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Tabby Cat

Massachusetts State Cat

Gray tabby cat; photo by Sebastian Tauchmannon on Flckr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike).

Official State Cat of Massachusetts

Massachusetts designated the tabby cat (Felis catus) as the official state cat in 1988, in response to the wishes of the schoolchildren of Massachusetts (a state dog had already been adopted in 1979). All State Dogs & Cats

Cats are also state symbols in Maine (Maine coon cat), in Maryland (calico cat), and in Colorado, Tennessee, and California (all three designate shelter or rescued dogs and cats as official state pets). 

A tabby is not a breed of cat but a description of the cat's fur coloring. Tabby cats have distinctive stripes that occur naturally in many breeds of cat (a feature of the domestic cat's distant ancestor, the African wildcat). The tabby cat stripes often form an "M" above the eyebrows. The stripes can be muted or bold, there can be spots and swirls, or the stripes can appear in patches.

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