Most, but not all, orange cats are male.
More than three-quarters or 80% of orange cats are male.
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Why are most orange cats male?
There is a close link between the color of a cat’s coat and its gender. If you have taken high school biology, you would know that mammals’ sex is determined by two chromosomes. It is XX for females and XY for males.
Black and red are the two dominant colors from where a cat derives its fur color.
The X chromosome contains the color genes for these two dominant colors, which is also the chromosome that determines the sex of the cat.
An X chromosome, then, can contain either a black hair gene or an orange hair gene, but not both.
The male cat carries only one X chromosome. Thus, males can be black or orange but not both.
The female has an extra X chromosome which allows the possibility of here having both a black and orange gene.
So, if a male carries the orange gene at all, he will be orange. The female, on the other hand, will inherit an orange color only if both X chromosomes carry the orange gene.
But you don’t always have 2 orange genes. This makes male orange cats more frequent than orange females.
An orange mother cat will necessarily have orange male kittens whatever the father’s color is.
If the color of the mother is tortoiseshell, which is a mix of black, white, and orange, half of her male kittens will be orange while the other half will be black.
If you want to get an orange female kitten, both the mother and the father must be orange.
If only the father is orange but the mother is tortoiseshell, then only half of the female kittens will be orange.
In short, male orange cats always come from mothers with an orange gene, but female orange cats also require a father with the same orange gene.
That’s why orange cats are usually male.
Also read: best electronic cat toys.
The Orange Tabby Cat
There are a variety of shades that the orange Tabby cat is known for. This color orange is produced by a chemical called Pheomelanin. There are different shades of orange tabbies.
The depth of color you can find in orange cats range from a pale biscuity orange to a deep rich ginger or reddish-brown.
While not all tabby cats are orange in color, all orange cats are Tabby cats. (Specifically, the presence of stripes denotes a “Tabby” cat).
So, even if you think your cat is a solid orange in color, you will still find evidence somewhere that it is a Tabby cat. A cat’s “orangeness” is inseparably linked to tabbiness.
This is within a cat’s genetic code.
There are five different tabby configurations.
The patterns on the Classic Tabby are tie-dyed and swirling like a marble cake. The swirl patterns have different sizes and shapes. Thus, people refer to them as the blotched tabby.
Mackerel Tabby cats look like tigers and they have stripes. These long, thin stripes cover their entire body. Since it closely resembles a fish skeleton, the name Mackerel was associated with these cats.
Their stripes go up to the head just before the iconic M forehead marking.
The ears and tails are also covered with stripes. And a thick stripe runs down the center of their back.
The Ticked Tabby cat does not have the normal spots or stripes found on its body and tail.
Even their torso, neck, or legs don’t have stripes. Since the pattern is more difficult to see, they are much harder to recognize as Tabby cats. However, the individual hairs on the bodies are ticked instead.
The Spotted Tabby has spots on its coat as you find in the Bengal cat breed. It is a modified version of the Mackerel tabby, except that it has spots instead of stripes.
The Patched Tabby have separate patches of brown and red. These patches are not found all over their body but only in specific locations like the tail, legs, and neck.
In the UK, orange Tabby cats are called Marmalades, after the favorite Orange Jam. But when we are not calling them Marmalade Cats, we tend to call them Ginger cats.
Other traits of a Tabby cat include the letter M on its forehead, a black eyeliner appears around the light-colored fur surrounding their eyes, splotched pigmentation on the paws and lips, thin pencil lines of color on the face, a pink nose outlined by a darker color, and banding on the tail, legs, and torso.
Orange Tabby cats usually have gold or green eyes.
Also read: What are calico cats?
The Orange Tabby Breeds
Orange Tabby cats are not a breed.
They are a type of cat defined by their color and pattern.
There are some purebred cat breeds like the red Maine Coon that have orange tabby as a color option.
However, many orange Tabby cats are mixed breed rather than purebred.
Here are some of the popular cat breeds with the orange tabby patterns.
These cats are very good companions and are very intelligent. Their appearance looks wild, but they can be ginger cats too.
The Persian cats are known for their long, silky coats and beguiling eyes. You can find Persian cats of different hues, but the orange ones look very glamorous.
Munchkins have short legs and are very small in size. They are a ginger cat breed that comes in a huge variety of colors.
The British shorthair cat are known for being very affectionate and laid-back. Although they come in many different colors, it includes a wide range of stunning orange tones.
The Bengal cats are very intelligent cats. They also look like leopards especially when they have a red coat. While the proper name for the color is brown, it also appears more like a fiery orange.
These cats are famous for being the largest cat breed. They come in almost every color with their rugged looks.
The most common color is brown but Maine Coons can also be a ginger cat breed.
Abyssinian cats are known to be very smart cats. They also have a distinctive ticked coat. These ginger cats are a playful breed which comes in a stunning range of red hues.
Famous Orange Cats
*Orlando The Marmalade Cat
Orlando was featured in a series of children’s books published in the UK in 1938.
The series was written by Katherine Hale for her own children. The stories were based on their real-life cat, Orlando.
*Tango and Jock
Tango and Jock were orange cats famously owned by Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister. During the Second World War, he owned many orange cats.
Tango was always with him during the war and was he often was with them during strategy discussions.
Jock was one of his favorite orange tabbies. He was at his bedside when Churchill passed away.
He also requested for Jock to stay on at Chartwell after his death.
And, requested that Chartwell should always have a cat named Jock. Today, the resident cat in Chartwell is Jock VI.
Garfield is the most published comic strip. It is about a cynical, fun-loving, and lazy orange cartoon cat and his canine friend Odie and his human, Jon.
This comic strip was created by cartoonist Jim Davis and it holds the world record for being the most widely published comic strip.
Morris was an orange tabby cat that was featured in 58 different 9 Lives commercials in the 1970s. An animal trainer adopted him from a Chicago shelter who recognized his being of star quality immediately.
Bob is an orange tabby cat who was featured in the film A Street Car Named Bob.
It won the Best British Film in 2017. The film was about how Bob, an orange tabby cat, helped save James Bowen, his friend, from addiction to heroin.
Stubbs was an orange tabby cat who was elected as Mayor of the small Alaskan Town of Talkeetna in 1998. He served in his role as Mayor until he passed away in his sleep in 2017.
He was 20 years old at the time of his death.
*Other famous orange tabby cats you have probably heard of include Puss in Boots in Shrek, Orangey in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Milo of the Adventures of Milo and Otis, and Heathcliff, the character from an American comic strip.
Are all orange cats male? Most of them are, but not all.
Around 80% of orange cats are male and this has something to do with the cat’s genes.
While it only takes a mother with orange genes to produce an orange male kitten, it will take both a mother and father with orange genes to produce an orange female kitten.
Orange Tabby cats are gorgeous cats.
With the interesting facts about orange Tabby cats given above, you now know for sure that they are a special kind of cat.