Orange Tabby Cat Facts

Orange tabbies, also known as ginger cats are beloved worldwide. An orange tabby is an orange colored cat with a tabby coat pattern. Many people think that orange/ginger tabbies are a specific breed of cat. In actuality, “orange” and “ginger” refer to the cat’s coat color only. By contrast, the term “tabby” or “tabby cat” refers to the cat’s coat pattern. Neither the color nor coat pattern are considered an actual feline breed. However there’s more to these felines aside from their fiery good looks!

Tabby Cat Fact #1: Ginger Cats Are More Likely To Be Male

The “ginger gene” that produces the orange coloring is on the X chromosome. Females need two X chromosomes to get the ginger coloring while males only need one X chromosome. Therefore it’s far easier for an orange tabby cat (ginger cat) to be male.

female orange tabby

Elena is one of the few fierce female orange felines!

Tabby Cat Fact #2: Ginger Cats Are Like Ginger People… Well Kinda 

If you’re a ginger person (someone with red hair) or your cat seems to have a special bond with your ginger human friend, it may be because they have more in common than you think. Pheomelanin, the pigment responsible for a ginger cat’s orange color, is the same pigment that causes red hair in humans.

Tabby Cat Fact #3: These Cats Are Marked With The Signature “M”

If you look closely at their foreheads, ginger tabby cats are marked with what appears to be an “M” pattern. The “M” mark is similarly found on all tabby cats, but there isn’t an official orange tabby cat breed.

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Tabby Cat Fact #4: Orange Tabby Cats Have Freckles 

Sometimes you need to look closely to see them, but it’s common that most ginger cats have freckles. Their freckles are most commonly found near their lips and noses.

Tabby Cat Fact #5: Ginger Cats Have Always Been Popular

From President Churchill’s lap in Washington, to the iconic cat cartoon, “Garfield,” ginger cats have been in the spotlight for decades. Their warm, friendly personalities and meowing conversations with any human makes them irresistible.

orange tabby cat near books

Rescue cat Aslan, pictured above, looks ready to have meowing conversations in the local kitty cat book club.

Tabby Cat Fact #6: Many Breeds Have “Tabby Cat” Characteristics

Any cat breed can have the signature orange coloring so long as they inherit the gene for red coats. Some cat breeds that tend to have orange colored coats include Bengals, Abyssinians, Maine Coons and many others –  so it’s not uncommon to see other cat breeds with this vibrant color. Additionally, the tabby pattern can often be found on a wide variety of breeds including Abyssinians, American Shorthairs, Persians, Norwegian Forest Cats – just to name a few.