What is an Orange Tabby Cat

What is an Orange Tabby Cat? [why orange tabbies are so popular with cat lovers]

Many different cat breeds can have both orange coloring and the tabby coat pattern in their fur. In fact, all orange cats are tabbies no matter what breed of cat they are. This also means that orange tabbies are just as common as they are popular. 

Orange tabby cats have been popular with cat lovers for as long as these animals have been around. Their orange fur gives orange tabby cats a pretty cute appearance. 

long haired orange tabby cat
Long Haired Orange Tabby Cat

Many cat owners regard the orange tabby as being one of the friendliest and most outgoing cats that you can find. 

I will explain what to look out for in orange tabbies and what some of their common characteristics are. 

Keep reading for interesting facts about the orange tabby cat that you will want to know!

What Cat Breeds Can Be An Orange Tabby?

Three are many different breeds that can have the orange tabby coat type. Here are some of the most common breeds of cats that can be orange tabbies. 

  • Domestic Shorthair 
  • Domestic Longhair 
  • British Shorthairs
  • American Bobtail 
  • Maine Coons
  • Persian 
orange cat breeds
Orange Cat Breeds

As you can see, there are a wide variety of cat breeds that can be an orange tabby cat. 

Orange tabbies also come in both long hair and short hair coat types depending on their breed and genetic makeup. Long haired orange tabby cats are very popular and desired.

The availability and price of the orange tabby kitten that you are looking for mainly depend on their specific breed of cat

Additionally, a cat’s breed can also dictate other things such as personality traits and health concerns as well. 

For example, orange tabby Domestic Shorthair kittens tend to be much easier to find than orange tabby Persian kittens are. 

What Coat Patterns Can Orange Tabby Cats Have? 

It may surprise some people to find out that there are actually four different types of tabby markings, and they can all come in an orange hue. 

Orange Tabby Cat Coat Patterns
Orange Tabby Cat Coat Patterns

Here we will be describing how each of these different patterns looks on orange tabby cats. 

Classic Tabby 

The classic orange tabby cat will also have stripes that run along their entire body, and they will also have the “M” marking on their foreheads. 

The main difference between the classic and mackerel tabby patterns is that classic tabbies will have stripes that look like swirls on their back and sides rather than straight stripes like in the mackerel pattern. 

Mackerel Tabby 

Possibly the first image of the orange tabby that people think of is the mackerel tabby. 

The mackerel pattern consists of straight stripes that go all along the cat’s body, and cats with a mackerel tabby pattern will also have an “M” marking on their forehead. 

Spotted Tabby 

Spotted tabbies will have spots in addition to striping. Many people enjoy spotted tabbies because they have a bit more of a wild look. 

Spotted tabbies will also have the classic “M” mark on the cat’s forehead along with striping on the face. 

Ticked Tabby 

Ticked orange tabbies will appear to be solid orange cats at first. However, ticked tabbies do have stripes on their tails, face, and sometimes legs. 

Ticked tabbies will also have the “M” mark on their foreheads. 

Orange Tabby Cat Personality

Most of the time orange tabbies are considered to be friendly cats that enjoy getting as much attention as possible. 

While this can often be true, it is important to remember that this is not necessarily a guarantee with every orange cat. 

Orange Tabby Cat Personality
Orange Tabby Cat Personality

This is mainly because a cat’s temperament is not really believed to be based on coat color. 

More often than not things like gender, breed, and history of the cat play a larger role in their temperament and personality than the color of their coat does. 

Are Orange Tabby Cats Friendly?

It is believed that orange cats are often so friendly simply because this coat color is found in naturally friendly cat breeds like the Domestic Shorthair. 

Additionally, the fact that most orange tabbies are males could have something to do with this stereotype as well. 

Are Orange Tabby Cats Friendly
Are Orange Tabby Cats Friendly?

Male cats are believed to be more outgoing by nature, and sometimes this can make them more friendly, especially when raised around people. 

On the flip side, calico cats and tortoiseshell cats are stereotyped as being more temperamental. This is believed to be because a majority of these cats are females. 

Orange Tabby Cat Exercise Needs 

When it comes to an orange tabby cat’s exercise needs it is best to go off what is recommended for their breed. 

This will ensure that your cat is stimulated enough and stays at a healthy weight. 

It is important to mention that orange tabby cats do have the tendency of becoming overweight, especially when it comes to domestic shorthairs and longhairs. 

As a result, you may need to do some extra work to get your orange tabby cat moving on a regular basis. 

Orange Tabby Cat Dietary Needs 

Most orange tabby cats do very well on high-quality cat food. You will need to be careful about not overfeeding your orange tabby, though. 

This is because orange tabbies tend to love food, and they have the tendency to overeat when food is left out for them. 

Orange Tabby Cat Grooming Requirements 

Orange tabbies can have short, medium, and long coats. This means that the amount of grooming that an orange tabby cat will need depends entirely on its coat length. 

Of course, you will need to brush a long-haired cat more often than you will need to brush a short-haired one. 

Additionally, keeping your cat clean and keeping their claws at a good length is very important for all types of domestic cats. 

You will need to take care of these things in orange tabby cats as well. 

Orange Tabby Cat Health Issues 

The main health concerns for orange tabby cats are those that are associated with a cat being overweight. 

Orange Tabby Cat Health Issues 
Orange Tabby Cat Health Issues

This includes things like diabetes and heart disease. The good news is that these medical conditions are completely avoidable when a cat is kept at a healthy weight. 

Any other health concerns will be determined by the cat’s breed.

For example, orange tabby Persian cats will have a different list of health concerns than a domestic shorthair cat with red hair will.

As a result, keeping your cat’s breed in mind is very important when it comes to looking out for health conditions. 

Genes That Create the Orange Tabby Cat 

Like anything else having to do with a cat’s appearance, there are some specific genes involved in a cat’s coat color. 

Here we will be describing the genetic makeup of orange tabby cats and how the orange gene and tabby gene in cats works. 

Orange Color Gene Is Dominant 

The ginger gene in cats is a partially dominant gene that lies on the cat’s X chromosome. 

This means that this gene completely replaces any black or brown genes when it is the only gene present. 

The fact that this coat color gene is on the X chromosome also explains why there are more orange males than females.

Did You Know? Most Orange Tabby Cats are Male.

Male vs Female Orange Tabby 

Male cats have one X and one Y chromosome, which means that male cats only need one copy of this red gene in order to be an orange tabby. 

Meanwhile, female cats will need two copies of the red gene in order to have orange fur. 

An interesting fact about this is that female cats with one orange gene and one other gene will become either a tortoiseshell or calico cat. 

This also means that it is virtually impossible for male cats to be either calicos or tortoiseshell cats, as they only have one X chromosome. 

Tabby Pattern Gene is Dominant

The gene responsible for the tabby pattern in cat genetics is also dominant. 

However, unlike the orange gene, this gene overrides any recessive alleles that may be present in every situation. 

This means that a cat that has any copy of the tabby gene will always be a tabby cat, though there may be some variations in the specific tabby pattern that shows up. 

Did You Know? Every orange cat is also a tabby cat, and there is no such thing as a truly solid orange cat.

Even orange cats that appear to be of solid color will have ticked marks on their tail, face, and sometimes even their legs. This would make these orange cats a ticked tabby. 

What Eye Color Can Orange Tabby Cats Have? 

It may be surprising for some cat lovers to find out that orange tabby cats can only have three eye colors. 

This is due to the fact that orange cats have a very specific set of genes that also affect eye color. 

Although an orange kitten may have blue eyes, it will never last into adulthood. This is because orange tabby cats can only have green eyes, gold eyes, or copper eyes

Fun Facts About Orange Tabby Cats 

There are many more interesting facts about orange tabby cats than those we have already mentioned. 

Here are some more fun orange tabby cat facts that will shed some more light on these feline friends. 

Most Orange Tabbies are Males 

We have already mentioned that there tend to be more male ginger tabby cats than there are female orange tabby cats and that this is thanks to the gene being on a cat’s X chromosome. 

However, it may surprise you to find out that it is estimated that orange males outnumber orange females nearly four to one. 

Many Orange Cats Will Have Black Freckles 

In addition to their stunning fur, orange tabby cats are also famous for their pink noses and their adorable little freckles. 

This is because red cats commonly have the benign gene called lentigo. 

This gene creates spots of skin that have a darker pigment than the surrounding skin. Most of the time these freckles are found on and around a cat’s nose. 

Freckles in cats are usually nothing that a cat owner needs to worry about. It is also pretty common to see more freckles develop on your cat as they age. 

There are Many Famous Orange Tabby Cats 

It may not surprise you to find out that there have been many famous orange tabby cats throughout history. 

Possibly the most famous cat with ginger fur today is the cartoon character Garfield, whose first comic strip was published in the 1970s. 

If you go farther back in history you will find even more famous orange cats. For example, Winston Churchill owned an orange tabby cat named Jock. 

It is believed that this may have contributed to orange tabbies being such popular cats in recent history. 

Orange Tabbies Can Come in a Wide Range Of Shades

There are many genes that determine a cat’s coat color, and this means that even orange cats can come in a wide variety of shades. 

The shade of orange in an orange tabby cat can range from a deep orange color to a light orange. 

Some orange cats may even have a coat color that is just darker than a cream color. 

Orange Tabby Cat Names

If you are lucky enough to have a wonderful orange tabby cat then make sure you give it a great name.

Orange Tabby Cat Names
Orange Tabby Cat Names

Here is a short list of some popular orange tabby cat names to choose from.

  • Amber
  • Archie
  • Blazer
  • Chester
  • Goldie
  • Peaches
  • Saffron
  • Sandy
  • Scarlet
  • Tangerine

Orange Tabbies Have Lots Of Nicknames

Orange tabby cats have a lot of different nicknames. In addition to orange tabby cats, these kitties are often also called ginger cats, marmalade cats, or red cats. 

Related Orange Tabby Cat Questions 

Are Orange Tabby Cats Common? 

Yes, orange tabby cats are fairly common, and many orange tabbies can be found in shelters and rescues across the country. 

Although female orange cats tend to be a bit rarer, they are definitely not impossible to find. 

How Much Do Orange Tabby Kittens Cost? 

Many different cat breeds can have an orange tabby coat. As a result, the price of an orange tabby kitten will mostly depend on the breed of cat that it is. 

For example, an orange Maine Coon kitten will likely be of a different price than an orange Persian kitten is. 

Are Orange Cats the Friendliest Cats? 

It is widely believed that orange tabby cats are among some of the friendliest cats out there. 

While many orange cats are both friendly and confident, this is not necessarily a guarantee with every orange cat.

Are Orange Tabby Cats Hypoallergenic?

No cat is truly hypoallergenic and orange tabbies are no different. In fact, the color of a cat’s fur plays no role in how much a human will be allergic to them.


Orange tabby cats are truly beautiful animals that also make excellent pets. 

Bringing any type of orange cat into your home is a very exciting time, and most orange cats make for an excellent addition to any family.

What Is An Orange Tabby Cat

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