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Orange tabby cats are considered by many the best feline companions for people that need a pet that is full of spunk and fire, one that will surely stand out.
Orange tabby cats are among the favorite breeds for centuries and it’s pretty obvious why people love them. They have affectionate and chatty personalities, great-looking patterns on their coats, and social, sunny temperaments. They really make for great pets and true companions for anyone regardless of their experience as cat owners.
The orange tabbies are often called either marmalade or ginger cats. They are very vocal and bold in nature and will always like to make their presence known, which means that they are far from the shrinking violet type. Some people also say that orange tabby cats are pretty big foodies, although this isn’t something scientifically proven up until this point. This means that before getting one of these cats, you should read about their diet and stock up on cat food to make sure you’re ready.
These marmalade cats have big hearts and are excessively charming, with personalities as unique as their fur color. If you’re one of the people that want a cat that will cuddle and snuggle with them, then the Orange Tabby might be among the best choices. Below you will find a few very important facts to know before you get this particular type of cat.
1. There isn’t an Orange Tabby Breed
A lot of people don’t know this, but there isn’t actually a breed called the Orange Tabby. The word tabby actually comes from a striped silk fabric that comes from Iraq. This refers to the beautiful markings that these cats have on their coats. You can call all orange cats tabbies, but, as you’d expect, not all tabbies will come in orange color.
2. Their world is dominated by males
The world of marmalade cats is weirdly ruled by males, that make up 80% of all the orange tabby population. This means that, as long as you don’t have a favorite gender, you have 4 in 5 chances of actually adopting a male orange tabby.
You might find this weird but there is actually a pretty clear explanation as to why this would happen. As it turns out, their color will be given by a gender-linked gene, which is prevalent with the X chromosome, it being responsible for the orange color in their fur.
As you already know, females will have two X chromosomes, while males only have one coupled with the Y chromosome. This means that a female will need to have this gene in both of her X chromosomes, while males will only have the gene once to get that beautiful orange color.
3. Their color if given by a specific pigment
Cats are not very different than people in this regard. The same pigment responsible for giving humans their red hair color, pheomelanin, is also found in orange tabby cats and it’s what gives the cats their beautiful color.
4. There are a few different types of stripes
A weird fact is that no orange solid-color coat cat has ever been seen. The scientific explanation behind this is that all tabby cats will carry the agouti gene, regardless of their color. This gene is the one responsible for the patterns that are created on the coat of the cat.
Having the agouti gene, cats will usually develop one of the four different tabby pattern types: the classic (having a swirled look), the spotted one, ticked (the hair will have alternating dark and light bands), and the mackerel (stripes like the ones on tigers).
5. Very loved in Hollywood
Hollywood seems to have an affinity for orange cats, as they pop up as superstars in all kinds of tv shows and movies. If you don’t think that they are favorites when it comes to television and films, then just think about the Puss in Boots, the sweet Milo, and even the grumpy Garfield.
6. M marks the spot
If you look closely, you will notice that most adult orange tabby cats will have a very distinctive M on their forehead. Not having a clear reason as to why this letter made its way to the cat’s forehead, many people speculated, which gave birth to all kinds of myths and legends, some arguing that it comes from Mohammed, the founder of Islam, while others saying it stands for Mary, as in the Virgin Mary.
Scientists, on the other hand, seem to have agreed that the letter M on the Orange tabby cat has no magical reasoning behind it and is actually something created by another gene that is found mostly in these cats.
7. Orange tabbies are also seen as Velcro cats
Male tabby cats are known to be a lot friendlier than female cats. This, coupled with the fact that this breed is made mostly of males, made people consider them very affectionate, although no studies have ever been able to conclude that these cats would be more loving than other breeds. Of course, each cat has its own personality, but people tend to agree that orange tabbies are great cats to snuggle with.
9. One of their trademarks is the black freckles
Most people that own an orange tabby have noticed that this cat has dark freckles all around its nose, kips, and gums. The reason behind this common appearance is a genetic condition known as lentigo, which leads to a boost in the amount of pigment-inducing cells.
Calico and tortoiseshell cats are also known to have lentigo. You should know that this condition is nothing to scare you, although, when big changes are noticed, you should contact your veterinarian.
10. They’re known as super chill pets
Yes, it is a clear fact that this cat will love to relax. Keep in mind that not all cats of the same color will act the same. But most of the time, you will notice that these types of cats will love to just sleep and stretch on your couch all day. Or even better, outside in the sun, just like a sloth.
This is a trait that won’t influence only their physical side; they will also be really chill on the inside, very laidback, and easygoing, which makes them great around children or other pets and a joy to play with.
11. They will usually be a little bigger
It’s not the biggest difference you will notice between a marmalade cat and one of a different color, but the orange ones do seem to be just a pinch taller and most of the time, a little wider as well. Although there isn’t a clear scientific explanation as to why this happens, most people believe that it is usually because most of them are males, and as with most creatures out there, males tend to be just a little bigger than females.