Tabby Longhair - Longhaired Cats

Much rarer than the corresponding shorthaired breed, the Tabby Longhair is nonetheless an old-timer, making its first appearance in Europe by the end of the seventeenth century.

The Modern Tabby Longhair emerged during the latter half of the nineteenth century.

Some owners consider that the Tabby is more independent than is typical for a Longhair, but it still has the same equable nature.


The Classic should have a butterfly shape on the shoulders, three stripes running down the spine to the base of the tail, an oyster-shaped spiral on each flank, and narrow "necklaces" across the chest. Both the tail and the legs should be evenly ringed, the abdomen spotted, and a characteristic "M" should decorate the forehead. The mackerel pattern is less blotchy, more striped and lacks the spirals on the flanks. A "Torbie", or Patched Tabby, is also recognized in the US. The original tabby color of brown, red, and silver are recognized by all associations, but the newer varieties (see chart) have still to gain universal acceptance.

Varieties CoatEyes
Red Tabby
Rich copper marked in red
Copper or orange
Brown Tabby
Tawny brown marked in black
Copper or orange
Silver Tabby
Silver-grey marked in black
Copper, green or hazel
Blue Tabby
Bluish-ivory marked in slate-blue
Cream Tabby
Pale cream marked in rich cream
Cameo Tabby
Off-white marked in red
Patched Tabby
Silver, brown or blue marked with extra red and/or cream patches
Copper or hazel
Chocolate Tabby
Bronze marked in chocolate
Copper or hazel
Lilac Tabby
Beige marked in lilac
Copper or hazel

Picture: Brown Classic Tabby Longhair

Brown Classic Tabby Longhair
"Brownies" may be the oldest variety of the tabby Longhair, but they are still the most rare.

A solid, cobby, type.

The fur is dense and silky. The Classic tabby markings should be slate-blue over a bluish-ivory base color.

Short and bushy.

Short and thick.

The paws are large and round, with pads that should be rose-pink in color.

Round and broad, with a shirt nose. Deep rose-pink nose pad.

Large, round, and orange or copper in color.

Small and round-tipped with ear tufts.

Facial Characteristics
Blue Classic Tabby Longhair.

Picture: Blue Classic Tabby Longhair

Blue Classic Tabby Longhair
The deep, slate-blue markings of this variety may, to the uninitiated, make it hard to distinguish from a brown Tabby - until the fur parted to reveal the bluish-grey base color. Side markings should be symmetrical.

Silver Classic Tabby Longhair
Considered by many to be the most difficult cat to breed to the required standard, the Silver Tabby is also one of the most stunning.