When you think of domestic cats, the tabby cat always comes to mind. With its distinctive stripes and playful personality, it’s easy to see why it’s a favorite choice for a pet. If you’re planning to own a tabby cat, you should come prepared – especially when it comes to the cost of raising one. And lucky for you, this article has got you covered.
On average, buying a tabby cat will cost you around $25 to $2,000, depending on the breed and rarity. Also, expect to pay an additional $100 to $200 per month to cover other expenses like food, grooming, healthcare, and other similar expenses.
However, there are other factors that can affect the cost of a tabby cat. If you want to know more – including some general information about this highly affectionate cat – then continue reading.
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Tabby Cat Identification
The tabby cat is known for being social, affectionate, and intelligent. This category of cats is characterized by their striped coat patterns, which allow them to camouflage in the wild. That’s why they are often referred to as miniature tigers – especially the orange or ginger tabbies.
Contrary to popular belief, the tabby is not a breed. It refers to a general classification of cats that have striped patterns all over their body and a distinctive M-shaped mark on their forehead. These physical traits can be found in multiple breeds. Thus, tabby refers to the category or classification of cats.
- Appearance: The tabby cat is easy to identify, thanks to its M-shaped fur pattern on its forehead, while the rest of its body is covered in stripes. At times, the stripes may only appear on its legs while the rest of its body has dots, bands, and whorls. Depending on the breed, tabby cats may either have long legs or short legs and have short or long coats.
- Height: 9.1 to 9.8 inches
- Weight: 10 pounds
- Color: Brown, gray, cream, and orange
- Lifespan: 15 years
- Place of Origin: Egypt
Is Tabby a Breed of Cat?
Tabby is not a breed of cat. Because of how common tabby cats are, it’s often believed that it is a breed of cat. Instead of being a breed, “tabby” is more appropriately referred to as a category that encompasses several cat breeds.
To explain further, the tabby is a domestic cat with a distinct M-shaped mark on its forehead accompanied by notable stripes along its body. Particularly, these stripes appear on its legs while its body may either have stripes, whorls, spots, or no pattern at all.
Interestingly, this fur pattern and unique forehead marking are common in several breed types. Some breed types with the tabby pattern include Persian cats, British Shorthair cats, Maine Coons, and even some munchkin breeds.
Are Tabby Cats Low Maintenance?
In general, tabby cats are considered low maintenance. This is especially true among orange tabby cats, which require the usual care you’d give to any pet cat – including proper grooming, getting regular vet visits, and making sure that they eat healthily.
However, bear in mind that some tabby cats are quite high maintenance, such as the Persian tabby cats. Persian cats require daily grooming, so make sure you have enough time to give them the extra love they need.
Are Tabby Cats Easy to Train?
Tabby cats are quite easy to train. Regardless of the breed, it is a known fact that tabby cats are highly intelligent. This makes it easy to guide them into desirable pet behaviors, such as doing their business in the litter box and stopping them from scratching furniture. And that makes tabby cats favored by first-time pet owners.
What Are the Factors That Affect the Cost of a Tabby Cat?
There are several factors that affect the cost of a tabby cat. When you get a tabby cat, you should not only prepare to pay for the costs of acquiring the cat. You should also be ready to shoulder other expenses such as food and medicine, veterinary bills, and so on. Thus, the factors that can affect the cost of a tabby cat include its health, age, whether it’s a rare breed, and the reputation of the breeder.
A healthy tabby cat will lead to fewer trips to the vet, which means you’ll save more in the long run with a healthy cat. In contrast, a cat with an existing medical condition will result in multiple vet visits plus ballooning medication costs. With that said, expect to pay more when you adopt or purchase a healthy tabby cat.
Kittens are usually more expensive than adult cats, and tabby cats are no exception. This is because kittens will be with their owners for longer periods, which puts a premium on their acquisition costs. Also, acquiring a kitten means that you have full control over training it into adulthood.
Additionally, there’s no doubt that kittens are more adorable than an adult or senior cats. That’s why a tabby kitten is more expensive than an adult cat.
Rarity and Breed
Rare tabby cats are more expensive than common tabby breeds. With that said, expect to pay less when adopting a common orange tabby compared to a grey or silver tabby. But since an orange female tabby is not as common as the male, it follows that the former is more expensive than the latter.
The price of the tabby will also be affected by its breed. Some tabby cat breeds like the Maine Coon and the Persian are known for being more expensive than other breeds.
Buying a tabby cat from a reputable breeder means paying more for your cat. Breeders take extra care of the cats they sell, so it follows that they charge more for the cats in their portfolio. They also make sure that their cats get regular vet visits and are given top-grade food and vitamins. That’s why you should expect to pay more from a highly reputable breeder.
In contrast, adopting a tabby from the shelter may be a more affordable option. Tabbies found in animal shelters are not always purebred. They are often given minimal care.
Cost Maintenance for a Tabby Cat
Emphasis is always placed on making sure that your tabby is taken care of. And to make sure that they live happy and healthy lives, you have to be willing to shoulder the costs of maintaining a tabby cat.
On average, expect to pay around $100 to $250 per month on your tabby cat. This includes costs for food and snacks, vet visits, healthcare, pet insurance, and shelter. These are discussed in detail below.
Expect to spend around $30 to $60 on feeding your tabby cat. Cats are meat eaters by nature, so you should make sure they get enough protein to meet their dietary needs. As such, you can give them fish or meat in addition to low grain dry kibble. High-protein wet cat food is also a great alternative.
Every responsible pet owner knows the importance of making sure that their pets are healthy. As a way to prevent discomfort and diseases from plaguing your pet, make sure that your tabby is updated on all its vaccinations. This also includes regular visits to the vet. With that said, expect to pay healthcare costs starting from $50.
Tabby cats are domesticated cats – and they surely love living indoors with their favorite humans. However, bear in mind that cats, regardless of breed, are territorial. That means that your tabby needs a specific place in your home that is exclusively his.
You may consider investing in a cat hose or crate, a litter box, and a climbing frame. All of these may cost around $25 to $50.
To cushion the economic impact of paying for your tabby cat’s emergency medical bills, it’s best to get pet insurance. Depending on the conditions and coverage of the policy, expect to pay monthly insurance premiums ranging from $10 to around $100.
Medications and Vet Visits
A responsible tabby cat owner should be ready for emergency medical costs, especially if your cat has a pre-existing health condition or is already in his advanced years. Expect to pay around $50 to $100 on emergency vet visits and medication.
Are Tabby Cats Hypoallergenic?
Some tabby cats are hypoallergenic. Cats can trigger allergic reactions due to the Fel d 1 protein produced from their saliva. Since cats love grooming themselves, this protein allergen attaches to their fur, which triggers an allergic reaction. Some cat breeds produce more of this protein, while there are others known to produce less of it. And those that produce less are considered hypoallergenic.
With that said, some tabby cat breeds are less likely to produce the Fel d 1 protein. This includes the Siberian tabby cat and the Javanese tabby cat. In contrast, the Persian tabby cat is not considered hypoallergenic because it produces more Fel d 1 protein while also being heavy shedders.
How Big Do Tabby Cats Get?
An adult tabby cat should be around 9 to 10 inches and weigh around 10 to 15 pounds. However, there are larger breeds with tabby marks that can grow up to 16 inches tall and weigh around 18 pounds. Interestingly, there are also munchkin tabbies that grow around 5 to 7 inches tall and weigh up to 9 pounds.
How Long Do Orange Tabby Cats Live?
On average, an orange tabby cat can live between 10 to 20 years. This age varies depending on its health conditions, diet, veterinary routing, and overall care by its owners.
Why Are Orange Tabby Cats So Affectionate?
While almost all tabby cats are known for being friendly, the orange tabby cat is reputed to be the most affectionate. It has been observed that the orange tabby is more sociable than the others, which makes them more drawn to humans.
Also, some experts believe that the cat’s orange hue is believed to make people pay more attention to them. This has made them more familiar with humans – and thus helps them become more affectionate.
Are Orange Tabby Cats Always Male?
Not all orange tabby cats are male. The orange tabby cat, otherwise known as the ginger tabby, is one of the most common tabby cat colors. While a majority of this ginger-colored tabby is male, there also exists a small portion of them that are female.
Are Tabby Cats Friendly?
Tabby cats are friendly. The tabby cat is quite popular as a household pet, and it’s mostly owing to its affectionate nature. They are also easy to train and are quite playful, and that makes them great around kids.
When Do Tabby Cats Stop Growing?
Tabby cats stop growing at around 12 to 18 months. By this age, a tabby cat should be around 9 to 10 inches tall and weigh around 18 pounds or less.
However, bear in mind that while they have stopped growing, they may still gain weight. In this case, the owner needs to keep an eye on it to make sure that it does not become overweight.
There’s no denying that the tabby cat is quite popular among cat lovers. They’re affectionate and easy to care for – although it still varies depending on the breed. But to be responsible tabby cat owners, you should be ready to shoulder all of the costs associated with owning one. Fortunately, this article has already made it easier to expect how much you’ll end up spending.
List of Sources
Lyons, L. A., et al. (2006). The Tabby cat locus maps to feline chromosome B1. Animal Genetics.
Johnson, G. (2021). What Makes a Cat a Tabby? Harvard University.
Gronlund, H., et al. (2010). The major cat allergen, Fel d 1, in diagnosis and therapy. International archives of allergy and immunology.
Popescu, F-D., et al. (2021). Molecular diagnosis in cat allergy. World Journal of Methodology.