11 Fun Facts About Orange Cats (2024)

What makes orange cats special?

Like humans, there are ginger-colored cats. They are often thought of as lazy layabout cats, but what is the truth?

Find out in this article, as I go through 11 fun facts about orange cats.

Let’s get into the article.

My goal with this website is to help cat owners learn more about taking care of their cats. I am not a veterinarian and I recommend seeking the advice of a vet for any further questions relating to your cat’s health.

11 Fun Facts About Orange Cats

1. Most Orange Cats Are Male

If you see an orange cat, it’s more likely a male.

The orange color gene (O) codes for orange, by releasing phaeomelanin. This is a type of melanin pigment that creates an orange color.

The O gene is only on the X chromosome.

When a cat is dominant for the orange gene, they have an orange color.

A recessive orange gene produces a black or brown color.

A male has only one X chromosome, which means there’s a 50% chance of being orange.

Females have two X chromosomes.

On female cats, if one orange gene is dominant and the other recessive, they become tri-colored cats (e.g. tortoiseshell)

It’s less likely that two copies of the orange gene ‘line up’ compared to one with female cats.

Bottom Line: Males have one X chromosome and only need one dominant copy of the orange gene to become orange. Females have two X chromosomes and must have two dominant orange copies.

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2. All Orange Cats Are Tabbies

The agouti gene produces tabby cats.

The agouti gene gives tabbies their vast array of patterns and blotches.

All cats get two copies of the agouti gene.

If the cat has two recessive copies of the agouti gene, they are solid-colored cats without tabby patterns.

When a cat has two dominant copies of the agouti gene, they are tabbies.

The orange gene suppresses the recessive agouti gene.

This prevents orange cats from becoming solid-colored cats.

Bottom Line: The orange gene blocks the recessive agouti gene. This ensures an orange cat produces tabby patterns.

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3. Orange Cats Are Larger Than Non-Orange Cats

Are all orange cats large voracious eaters?

Well, there’s some truth to this.

A greater size allows more dominance in the cat hierarchy. This leads to more mating opportunities.

Orange cats enjoy increased size to beat out their competition. This appears a consistent feature of polygynous mammal societies.

Orange cats appear more in rural and farm cat communities.

Dense urban areas put the aggressive and larger orange cat at a disadvantage. This is because they are prone to fighting and at greater risk of road trauma.

Bottom Line: Orange cats are larger than non-orange cats to improve their mating success

Read more:

  • How to Increase Your Cats Lifespan
11 Fun Facts About Orange Cats (3)

4. Female Orange Cats Are Lighter Than Non-Orange Cats

It may seem counter-intuitive, but this is due to sexual dimorphism.

Sexual dimorphism is when the male (or female) is larger than the other gender in a species.

This sexual dimorphism is greater in orange cats (32% vs 16% in non-orange cats).

The explanation is that female cats reach sexual maturation faster if they only grow to a limited size.

This increases mating opportunities.

Bottom Line: Orange female cats are smaller than non-orange female cats which helps reach sexual maturation faster

5. Orange Cats Aren’t A Breed

An orange cat isn’t a separate breed of cat.

Rather, there are a variety of breeds that produce orange-colored cats.

They include:

  • Devon Rex
  • Maine Coon
  • Bengal
  • Bobtail

Bottom Line: An orange cat isn’t a breed of cat. Many breeds have orange cats

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6. Tortoiseshell Cats May Not Have An Attitude

It’s often thought that tortoiseshell cats are feisty and ill-tempered.

Some refer to this as ‘tortitude’. This is a negative owner bias, research finds.

It’s based on the widespread belief among cat owners that orange cats are notorious for being unfriendly.

Yet, orange cats don’t appear any more unfriendly than other types of cats. Some breeds may more or less outgoing and friendly.

Kittens that get socialized in the first three months of development are more friendly. This points to the importance of raising cats.

Bottom Line: Tortitude is a negative owner bias. It’s based on the widespread belief that tortoiseshell are unfriendly cats

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7. The Most Popular Name For An Orange Cat Is…

It depends on where you live.

Australians have a soft spot for names like Tiger and Puss.

The Brits like fancy-sounding names like Molly and Charlie.

Can you guess what the most popular Italian cat name is?

It’s Romeo (why wouldn’t it be)?

Popular orange cat-friendly names include:

  • Oscar
  • Tiger
  • Tigger
  • Ginger
  • Max
  • Kitty
  • Mikan
  • Maron

Bottom Line: The most popular cat names are location-specific.

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8. Orange Cats Are At Greater Risk Of Disease

Orange cats have a higher risk of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) than non-orange cats.

The disease may transfer from deep bites wounds or commensal grooming.

It is a rare disease and symptoms include fever, weight loss, and lethargy.

If you suspect your cat has a health problem, consult your vet for help.

Bottom Line: Orange cats have a higher risk of FIV. Contact a vet if you notice changes in your cat’s health

9. Most Tortoiseshell Orange Cats Are Female

Females are more likely to be tortoiseshells as opposed to orange cats.

This is due to the orange gene appearing on the X chromosome.

A recessive orange gene makes a darker brown or black color.

A dominant orange gene produces orange.

When female cats have one dominant and one recessive orange gene, they become tortoishell or calico cats.

Bottom Line: Most tortoishell and calico cats are female due to a combination of two orange genes

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10. Male Tortoiseshell Cats Are Rare

Males have an X and a Y chromosome.

This means they only get one copy of the orange gene.

Either the gene is recessive (dark brown or black color) or dominant (orange).

There’s no combination of the two.

The only way a male becomes a tortoiseshell is through genetic mutation.

The most commonmutation is an XXY karyotype which is rare.

Male tortoiseshell cats have a few characteristics that includesmall size and infertility.

Bottom Line: Male cats are rarely tortoiseshell due to only having one orange gene that is either on or off

Read more:

  • Cool Facts About Tortoiseshell Cats
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11. Orange Cats Have An M On Their Forehead

Since orange cats are tabbies, they have a distinctive M marking on their forehead.

There is a lot of folklore about this marking.

Examples include:

  • Relating to Virgin Mary
  • Mau (name of cats in ancient Egypt)
  • Mohammed (tabby cat lover)

The reality is, the M is probably due to genetics.

Is that a fun answer though?

Bottom Line: Oranges cats have an M on their forehead which may represent different things based on folklore

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Personality Of An Orange Cat?

The personality of a cat depends on many factors including:

  • Early life socialisation
  • Breeding
  • Traumatic life events
  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Gender
  • Neutering

In the wild, orange cats tend to be more aggressive and larger cats. This helps when competing for sexual and food resources.

However, domesticated cats are more docile and well-natured.

Female tortoiseshell cat’s attitude is a social bias, from the widespread belief they are unfriendly.

Some breeds are more extroverted and friendly in general.

  • British Shorthair
  • Norwegian Forest
  • Ragdoll
  • Persian
  • Saint Birman

Bottom Line: Cat personality depends on a wide variety of social and genetic factors

What Is The Lifespan Of An Orange Cat?

Based on research, cats live between 13-17 years. The average lifespan is 14 years.

Breed affects longevity.

Orange cats may be different breeds, so lifespan may vary.

Crossbred cats live slightly longer(14 years average) than purebred cats (12.5 years).

Bengalslived to only 7 years on average and Abyssian cats live 10 years.

Diet and lifestyle affect the lifespan of your cat.

Wild orange cats may be at a higher risk of death due to increased aggression.

Bottom Line: An orange cat lives about 14 years. Different breeds may live longer or shorter lives, and diet impacts longevity.

What Kind Of Cat Is An Orange Cat?

An orange cat may be many breeds.

They are always tabbies.

The white spotting gene influences the white on a cat’s coat.

This gene affects melanocytes which block pigment on some areas of a cat’s body.

There are also genes that modify coat length among other things.

Bottom Line: An orange cat may be a wide variety of different breeds with variations to white color, coat length, eye color, and temperament

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Orange cats are tabbies.

The orange color is an X chromosome-linked gene.

Males are more likely orange due to only needing one dominant copy of the orange gene. Females need two copies lined up to become orange.

A female with one dominant and one recessive orange gene becomes a tortoishell or calico cat.

Orange male cats tend to be a little larger than their non-orange counterparts. This improves their chance of reproductive success.

11 Fun Facts About Orange Cats (2024)


11 Fun Facts About Orange Cats? ›

We can make no promises, of course, but the orange cat personality is one that is notorious for being fun and friendly. There's no universal consensus on this, and you're bound to get some gingers who are grumps, but if you've got a big fluffy orange cat, there's a good chance you've got a charmer.

What's special about orange cats? ›

We can make no promises, of course, but the orange cat personality is one that is notorious for being fun and friendly. There's no universal consensus on this, and you're bound to get some gingers who are grumps, but if you've got a big fluffy orange cat, there's a good chance you've got a charmer.

What is the trivia about orange cats? ›

Ginger cats can have orange flame point markings, be partially orange, or be completely orange. The gene that gives ginger cats their distinctive coat colour is on the X chromosome. Only female cats need two copies of this gene, only male cats need one. There is an 8 out of 10 chance that any red cat you see is a male.

Are orange cats talkative? ›

Fun Facts About Orange Tabbies

They tend to be snuggly. Some orange tabbies are so affectionate that they are often cat-egorized as “velcro” kitties. They are also chatty kitties. Orange tabbies are known to be quite talkative.

What is an orange cat called? ›

Ginger cats are hard to miss. Also called red, orange, orange tabby, marmalade, tiger-cat and cinnamon, this distinctive feline can certainly strike a charismatic pose. From 9Lives Morris to Garfield to Puss in Boots, ginger cats are some of the most celebrated felines in television and film.

Are orange cats calm? ›

Said to be more loving, orange cats are known for their affection in addition to their chaotic habits. This could also be due to their gender: “male cats have been said to be slightly friendlier than female cats, which could explain the loving nature of orange cats.”

What cat color is the friendliest? ›

When comparing the cats by coat color, gray cats had the highest scores for shyness, aloofness and intolerance, while orange cats had the highest scores for trainability, friendliness and calmness. Tabby cats had the highest scores for bold and active, tricolor cats for stubborn, and bicolor cats for tolerant.

What is the rarest color cat? ›

Of all the cats we discussed, the true albino cat is the rarest. These cats will have an all-white coat with blue eyes. The non-albino white cat is the next rarest, followed by other cats with white fur due to albinism, or the gene that prevents color from reaching the skin.

Why are orange cats so rare? ›

As female cats have two X chromosomes and males have an X and a Y chromosome, this means that a female cat needs to inherit two orange genes in order to be orange in color (one from each parent) whereas a male cat only needs to inherit one.

Are orange cats autistic? ›

However, cats and humans have brains that are structured and operate in different ways; cats perceive, understand, and move through the world differently. Because autism describes human neurology, it simply doesn't apply to cats.

Do orange cats cuddle more? ›

Share: YOGYAKARTA – The assumption that the orange cat is a bad cat has turned out to be the reason the researchers conducted the survey. The study found evidence from their behavior which found that cats with orange hair were reported to be more affectionate.

Why are ginger cats special? ›

Ginger cats are perceived to be friendlier and more affectionate with humans. A study conducted in 2012 revealed that based on cat owner perception, gingers are regarded as the most affectionate with their guardians and have been lovingly dubbed 'Velcro cats'!

How long do orange cats live? ›

How long does an orange tabby cat live? Generally speaking, the average indoor housecat has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. Providing your tabby with a healthy diet and routine veterinary care can help maximize his lifespan.

What is the M mark on tabby cats? ›

In gratitude, his mother Mary stroked the cat's head and left an 'M' mark on its forehead. Whereas in one Islamic legend, a tabby cat named Muezza saved his master Mohammed from a poisonous snake. To mark their special place in the feline world, all tabby cats from then on were rewarded with an 'M' on their forehead.

Why do orange cats get so big? ›

Orange Tabbies Are Usually Large

Perhaps most of that is because they are males who are larger than females in any pattern.

Why are orange cats so different? ›

The aptly named orange gene is on the X chromosome and not the Y chromosome, and is responsible for orange cats producing the pigment phaeomelanin that gives them their signature color. In orange cats, this pigment is expressed rather than the black or brown eumelanin, which is suppressed.

Are orange cats more healthy? ›

Unfortunately, orange cats tend to have more health issues than other cats. They can develop allergies that lead to skin issues and hair loss, but they're most commonly known for their weight issues. Orange tabbies are prone to obesity because of their love of food.


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