From Milo, the lead character of The Adventures of Milo and Otis, to Garfield, an American comic strip, Orange tabby cats have been fascinating feline lovers for decades. Perhaps, these marmalade-colored cats have won your heart, and now you are curious to know what makes an orange tabby cat so charming. Is it their bright-colored coat? Is it their warm personality? Or is it their lackadaisical nature? Or is it their warm snuggles and cuddles?
What is an Orange Tabby Cat?
The orange tabby cat is not a cat breed but rather a coat pattern. They are a variant of tabby cats. It is the production of pheomelanin, a pigment responsible for imparting ginger tabby cats their orange color. All of the orange cat breeds that you see roaming around are orange tabby cats. They have a capital M marking on their heads.
Orange Tabby Cat Personality
Given that orange tabby cat is not a breed, one may think that they don’t have any common personality traits. While that is right to some extent, orange tabby cats are known for their affectionate nature. Orange tabby cat parents describe their cats as highly sociable and friendly creatures. They are also known for their laziness—you may find them basking in the sun or snoozing in their cat window perch, stalking at birds at one moment, and napping in the next moment.
They love to purr and meow to express themselves and convey their messages to their owners. Whether you are bewitched by their glowing, shimmering coats or beguiled by their affectionate and warm personality, there is something about orange tabby cats that makes feline lovers go crazy for them.
Below, we divulge a few fascinating facts about ginger tabby cats—facts you might have known up until now.
Orange Tabby Cat Facts
It is hard to resist a ginger orange tabby cat. Even if you are not a cat person, you may want to get yourself an orange tabby cat after reading the following fascinating facts about these adorable creatures.
80% of the Orange Tabby Cats Are Male
People enchanted with the orange tabby cats often ask: Are orange tabby cats always male? Are female orange tabby cats rare? How rare?
These questions often pop up in orange tabby cat lovers’ minds because there are way too many male orange tabby cats as compared to female ones. Only 1 in 5 orange tabby cats is a female orange tabby cat, which means that from the total orange tabby cat population globally, there are 80% males and only 20% are females.
Female tabby cats are rare to find but not as rare as male calico cats—there are only 0.1% of male calico cats from the whole calico cat population.
Now that you know female orange tabby cats are rare, you must be wondering: Why are female orange tabby cats rare?
Well, it all comes down to chromosomes. Where females orange tabby kittens are produced when they get two orange genes—one from each parent—male orange tabby kitten only needs one orange gene to have a charming orange coat. Therefore, there is a high probability of orange tabby kittens winding up males.
Orange Tabby Cat Is Not a Specific Cat Breed
As much as we want them to be a specific cat breed, they are not. It is just a coat pattern that is exhibited by many different cat breeds. The orange tabby coat pattern is found in many cat breeds, including Abyssinian, Munchkin, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, and Domestic Shorthair cats. Maine coons also have an orange coat; they make for an adorable fluffy orange tabby cat.
All Orange Cats Are Tabby
Have you ever seen an orange cat with a plain coat, free of stripes, spots, or swirls?
No, we don’t think so. Because all orange cats are tabbies. That said, the opposite is not true—not all tabby cats are orange.
Every Orange Tabby Cat Has M Shaped Marking on Its Forehead
Hard to believe? Look it yourself. Take a look at our 10 Famous Orange Cat Breeds Around the World. You will find the elegant M-shaped marking on all of the orange cat breeds discussed in the articles. This also proves the above-stated fact that all orange cats are tabbies.
However, the M shape might fade on some tabby cats, making it hard to trace. But still, if you look closely, you will spot it.
Orange Tabby Cats Are the Most Affectionate Cats Out There
Experiencing the affectionate nature of orange tabby cats, many feline lovers wonder, “why are orange tabby cats so affectionate?” It is not the color pattern of tabby cats that makes them highly affectionate cats but their upbringing and socialization at a young age. Having a happy childhood—full of positive interactions—orange tabby cats grow up to be highly affectionate cats.
Orange Tabby Cats Love Food
They love their food. If they wake up in the dawn and their food bowl is empty, they will wake you up and won’t let you go back to sleep until you fill their bowl. Given their never-satiating drive for food, orange tabby cats are prone to growing overweight. While a chubby orange tabby cat would look cute and all, it can lead to the development of several health issues. Therefore, you are advised to keep your orange tabby cat’s caloric intake in check.
Orange Tabby Cats Have Many Patterns
There are four possible tabby patterns that an orange tabby cat may exhibit.
Orange Tabbies Have the Same Pigment as Humans with Red Hairs
People with red hair have a mutant genetic variant that makes them produce pheomelanin pigment, which is responsible for their red hair. Similarly, orange tabby cats owe their orange-colored coats to the pheomelanin pigment.
Orange Tabbies Are Laid-Back
Orange tabby cats have quite a reputation for their lackadaisical nature. They love to snooze away the day. Give them a comfy cat bed, or let them hop in your warm lap and take a nap. Their love for food combined with their lazy nature makes them more prone to obesity.
Orange Tabby Cats Are Quite Famous
They have not only been soaking up the limelight in the Hollywood world but also have been to the UK parliament’s meetings. Yes, you read that right.
The former prime minister of the UK, Winston Churchill, owned an orange tabby cat. He was obsessed with orange cats, and it was declared that an orange tabby cat would always remain in his historic home.
An Orange Tabby Cat Can Have Three Eye Colors
Orange tabby cats always have one of the three eyes colors—golden, green, or copper. These colors make our orange tabby cats look more attractive.
Orange Tabbies Often Develop Black Freckles
Orange tabby cats often develop black specks on their nose, cheeks, lips, and rest of the body, which enhances their beauty. There is nothing harmful about these freckles, but if epidermal melanocytes multiply, cats develop lentigo, which is cancerous.