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Tabby

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A tabby is any domestic cat (Felis catus) with an 'M' on its forehead, stripes by its eyes and across its cheeks, along its back, and around its legs and tail, and, differing by tabby type, characteristic striped, dotted, lined, flecked, banded or swirled patterns on the body—neck, shoulders, sides, flanks, chest and tummy. Tabby is not a breed of cat but a coat type seen in almost all genetic lines of domestic cats, regardless of status. The tabby pattern is found in many official cat breeds and is a hallmark of the landrace extremely common among the general population of cats across the world. The tabby pattern is naturally occurring and is connected to the coat of the domestic cat's direct ancestor and close relatives, the African wildcat (Felis lybica lybica), the European wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris) and the Asiatic wildcat (Felis lybica ornata), all who have similar coats, both by pattern and coloration. A genetic study of tabbies found five genetic clusters to be ancestral to cats of various parts of the world.

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