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Mackerel or spotted tabby?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Hey guys!

I was wondering if you can help me. I'm trying to figure out whether my kitten Church should be called a mackerel tabby or a spotted tabby? When he was younger he was more striped, but now more of his stripes have broken up into spots... He's 4 months old now. Right now he has some spots and some stripes. I am wanting to register him in TICA to show him in HHP but I am not sure what to register him as! I'm not sure if the rest of his stripes might break up into spots making him a spotted tabby or if he will stay stripe-y and should be called a mackerel tabby? I'm also wondering if he is more likely to end up with more stripes breaking up into spots since he is growing so large? He already weighs almost 6.5 pounds.

Here's a "baby photo" when he was younger (and very fuzzy/fluffy!) and had more solid stripes:

And here are the newest photos I have of him, from a few weeks ago:

post #2 of 35
Brown Spotted Tabby and white
post #3 of 35
Still looks stripey to me Especially in the last pic where you see his other side.
post #4 of 35
While the stripes are broken up in certain areas, he's still considered a Mackerel Tabby.
You'll find that judges will go both ways on this, some saying Mackerel others claiming he has enough broken stripes to say he's spotted.

I would go with how he presented as a kitten. Stripes, therefore mackerel.
post #5 of 35
Why I say spots is simple...his shoulders are spotted.....
post #6 of 35
Originally Posted by Abymummy View Post
Why I say spots is simple...his shoulders are spotted.....

Please explain.
post #7 of 35
How it was explained to me...(CFA speak, the only judges I meet )

A mac would have obvious lines on shoulders...Church's is spotted...even if only on the right side (last pic). If there are spots on shoulders and the rest of the body appears to be broken lines, then the cat is spotted. If there are no spots on shoulders and the lines are broken rib to belly then its a mac!

That makes sense no?

Having said all that, it matters little for HHP. And actually for some color classes in some breeds as well since macs and spots are in the same color class!
post #8 of 35
cute as can be!
post #9 of 35
Ok guys - I'm gonna compare him to my Charlie who IS a spotted tabby. Church may have spots on his sides and shoulders (they are broken mackeral stripes). BUT he has stripes on the back legs.

I just looked at Charlie - his spotting is all over - including the back legs. He only has stripes on the bottom of the front legs, his broken necklaces and that is all - the rest is spotting.

Therefore, Church is a mackeral tabby. Many times mackerals do break up some stripes on the sides.

I will agree that some judges may call him a spotted tabby and some a broken mackeral. Since he's a HHP it doesn't really matter that much in registereing him in TICA; however I would put him in as a Brown Mackeral Tabby and White
post #10 of 35
One cannot compare Ocis and/or Bengals with other breeds. I've met many a "spotted" cat in Exotics, Persians where I can't even distinguish spots but judges have agreed that those cats are spotted! Ocis must have obvious spots. Anything less is a fault!
post #11 of 35
What we need is a good picture of BOTH sides standing up of Church. IMO one side looks more "spotted" then the other. Which in that case he would be a mackeral tabby (one side is broken into spots)

I've seen spotted tabby orientals who have spots on the legs instead of stripes
post #12 of 35
Sice GK, Nial and I are arguing which is of no help to you Nekochan, may I suggest you get yourself a copy of the TICA show standards (I think they have show standards for HHP...I know FIFe has standards) and work it out?
post #13 of 35
I'd definately say brown spotted tabby. You simply can't compare a cat from a breed (or a DSH/DLH) where you don't aim for good spots (color breed) with spotted breeds such as the Ocicat (just one example). Getting good colors and patterns takes a lot of work and you can't expect superb colors or patterns in cats you don't color breed.

I think Church looks somewhat like the cat with "mackerel tabby spots" on this site. Shown as a mackerel tabby but genetically spotted.

I think it comes down to as to what you think is more acceptable: a mackerel tabby with many broken lines or a spotted tabby without perfect spots.
post #14 of 35
For a definitive answer could you please give us standing/stretching pics, both sides and also a belly shot?

post #15 of 35
Thread Starter 
I'll try to get some more photos of him. It's hard to get standing side photos because as soon as he hears the camera's noises he turns towards it! I can probably get some stretched photos if I hold him up and stretch him out, I'll just have to ask someone else to take the photo since I'll be occupied holding him.

I am also wondering if the stripes may break up more as he gets older since he's only 4 months and the stripes have broken up since he was a baby.
post #16 of 35
That could be possible, but I doubt it. We just need to try and figure out which one he is before you register him. I was thinking that maybe you should just show him in a TICA show and ask the judges what he is for registration purposes. Then again you may wind up with a 50/50 split on what he is - then go by what you want.

It doesn't matter as much since he's not a purebred and breeding cat - but it would be helpful to know which he is

And don't forget to have someone hold him and take a good shot of the belly. Aby and I think we've figured it out based on the spotting on his belly
post #17 of 35
I'm on the fence now. Originally I was completely on the mackerel side, but some interesting points have been brought up, so I'm undecided.

The belly shot will confirm things for me.
post #18 of 35
Thread Starter 
Ok, I took some photos. You're in luck on the belly because when I took the pics off my camera, there were also a few I took recently of Church lying on his back.
Hopefully I remember to resize all of these...

Oddly enough in some of these photos he looks more striped, I think when I stretched him some of the spots got squished together so they look like stripes. I re-posted the photo I already posted so you can see what I mean, when you compare this first one to the stretched one of the same side, the stretched one looks more stripey.

Stretched pics:

Side pics:

Belly pic:

Older belly pic (from about 6 weeks ago):
post #19 of 35
Ok stretched out he definately (IMO) is a broken mackeral tabby rather then a spotted one.

Lets see if we all agree that he's a mackeral.
post #20 of 35
I only know much about Orientals, and the differentiation between mackerel and spotted patterns in OSH can be a little confusing as there can be a bit of an overlap due to factors that I've mentioned before - but the deciding factor as to which class the unclear ones are (obviously not for showing if the pattern is not great, but they still need to be registered!) depends upon the markings along the spine - if they are unbroken, it is a mackerel; if the dorsal stripes break up, it is a spotted. There's only one photo I can see of Church's back, and he's tiny in it, even harder to tell with kittens - but the dorsal striping looks solid to me, which in OSH terms would make him a mackerel - also the spots are arranged in lines, a broken mackerel pattern is still a mackerel in my book.

I don't know whether that bears any correlation to other breeds or is even relevant, but I just thought I'd throw it into the ring
post #21 of 35
I still think he looks a lot like the mackerel spot... in Sweden we have a name for these hard cases, "spigré". It's a mix of "spotted" and the Swedish name for mackerel,"tigré". He's a perfect spigré.

He's a spockerel!
post #22 of 35
Whew, lot of stuff to consider, but based on the new photos, I'm going to say: Spotted Tabby. But just barely, and only because the belly is clearly spotted. If the belly were mottled or striped I would have said Mackerel.

I still think there will be lots of argument between judges at the shows. It could easily go either way if you don't take the clear spots on the tummy into consideration. Even those aren't a complete indicator, but since the stripes are broken up quite a bit................
post #23 of 35
Just thinking - since there still is no clear cut consensus on this between us show/breeder people, am wondering if this kitten may have Bengal or Ocicat in the background - either one would cause a problem with tabby markings (mack vs spotted). What do you all think?
post #24 of 35
Thread Starter 
Yeah, his stomach is definitely 100% spotted, no stripes there at all.

The patterns along his spine are hard to determine. The area is very dark, the pattern is not well-defined. It looks more spotty at his shoulders, then a longer dark area along the very top along the spine, with a mix of broken-up stripes (more elongated than spots) and spots on either side of the dark area going down his back towards his tail where the dark area breaks up.

I'm not sure if that helps, don't most spotted cats also have a 'dorsal' stripe that is mostly solid, with spots on each side of it?

Goldenkitty, do you think that Mau genes could also be a consideration? I've never seen any Ocicats or Bengals in the area, but I did catch a stray kitten a number of years ago who was silver spotted and looked a LOT like a Mau...
When I first caught Church I almost wondered if he could be part bobcat because he was so wild-looking and we live along a canal where there is a lot of wildlife!
post #25 of 35
Yes Mau could be a possibility too - forgot about those spotted ones Problem is that Maus have small spots. If we can't agree, then maybe YOU choose what you want to register him as in TICA
post #26 of 35
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Just thinking - since there still is no clear cut consensus on this between us show/breeder people, am wondering if this kitten may have Bengal or Ocicat in the background - either one would cause a problem with tabby markings (mack vs spotted). What do you all think?
I think any kind of breeding that don't focus on good patterns is bound to create these kind of problems. I see it all the time in the Devon Rex and I guarantee you there are no Bengals, Ocicats or Egyptian Maus that create problems in the Devon Rex.
post #27 of 35
This has been really interesting, both the pics and the arguments on either side. One of my DSH kittens (niles) is a red tabby and I've been wondering what he is. He seems to be in the same boat as church, some "stripes" (some of which are squiggly) a lot of "spots", he even has maybe 3-4 blury rosettes... A spotted belly and his topline is partially broken up around the shoulders into small spots with a (not-so-well) defined line down his back afterward.

I guess he'd be a spotted tabby too.

post #28 of 35
I stand by my conviction that he's spotted! And the belly shots just confirm it

Best thing to do is to get a copy of the show standards and make a decision...not that it really matters

Why are you hiding your face?
post #29 of 35
Ok so if the belly has a lot of little spots then it's a spotted tabby? What kind of spotting would the mackeral tabbies have?
post #30 of 35
Thread Starter 
I was searching for breeds which had similar coloration to Church to see what they call the pattern, and I've found that the breed which has the closest resemblance is the Pixie Bob. According to the TICA breed standard the Pixie Bob can only be brown spotted tabby, and broken mackerel stripes are allowed in their patterns:

COLOR: Light to medium shades of
brown spotted tabby with
warm/reddish tones preferred, broken
mackerel (muted) spotting accepted.
I've been looking at photos of Pixie Bobs and have seen a number of cats whose patterns look similar to Church's so I'm thinking that spotted tabby is probably an acceptable description for him. If I do register him as a brown spotted tabby (with white) and any judges ask about the pattern category I could refer them to the Pixie Bob standard for precedence.

The funny this is I had him listed on Catster as a Domestic/Pixie Bob cross just for the heck of it because his wild-looking face as a younger kitten reminded me of a Pixie Bob, but at the time I didn't realize the pattern similarities...
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