With the name ‘Orange Tabby’, which cat comes to your mind first? Of course, our all-time favourite, Garfield. Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, once said that “In my head, the sky is blue, the grass is green and cats are orange.”
Well, who doesn’t love cats? Those who were a mouse in their previous life! Okay, jokes apart. Cats are lovely, funny and cute at the same time.
Not only this, but they also amuse the owners with stubbornness behind their innocent face. Therefore, cat owners feel that nothing gives more joy than a warm welcome by a cat. They make you feel loved, cared, and special.
Above all, they keep on reminding you of their presence with their pitter-patter around. Humans are good at masking their emotions.
On the contrary, cats would express their inner feelings more honestly. If in a bad mood, they might scare you with their scream and on the other hand, they can curl their tail around your leg, when happy. Most people love to own ‘cats’, especially Russians. According to Dalia Research, Russia has the highest number of cat owners (59%) in the world.
9 Facts About Orange Tabby Cat
However, not all cats are in equal demand. A survey showed that Orange Tabby Cats are the second least popular cats to be owned by people. Why? Is it due to some myths floating around about them? Then, let’s burst the myths and give you a reason to love these golden- sunshine orange cats. Let’s go through important facts about Orange Tabby Cat.
1. Orange Tabby Cat is Not A Breed!
Yes, you did no mistake in reading! Orange tabby cat is not a breed. In fact, it refers to the pattern of stripes which is made on cat’s coat. Aren’t you fascinated by their classy strokes and shiny golden hair? The tempting patterns made on cat’s body is called ‘tabby‘. Etymologically, the name tabby has been derived from ‘Attabi’,striped silk taffeta in Arabic.
Attabi was adulterated as ‘tabis’ by French and furthermore, as ‘tabby’ by English speakers. Therefore, tabby is not a breed but pattern. This cat design can be seen in various breeds and in various forms, irrespective of the hair color.
For instance, they can be seen in super cute Munchkin cats, Maine Coon, American Bobtails, etc. Similarly, nearly all of them can be seen in orange tabby colouration. Actually, this orange color in cats come from agouti gene. In addition, all orange cats are tabbies. But remember, not all tabbies are orange. Don’t get confused!
2. Orange Tabby Cats and Their Typical 4 Different Types of Coat Patterns
Do all orange tabbies have same patterns? Absolutely, no. Even in the same type of breed you can find various patterns of coat. These patterns can be continuous lines or broken ones, including Classic (swirled, blotched or marbled), Mackerel (striped), spotted (stripes appear as spots) and Ticked (stripless)pattern. These are the four unique tabby patterns.
However, it is worth noticing that you will never see an orange tabby cat with solid orange coat. Why? Because it doesn’t exist. All credits to agouti gene because of which orange tabby fails to display solid orange coat. Interestingly, Orange Mackerel Tabby resembles a lion! Well, don’t forget that Tiger is the largest animal of Felidae (cat’s family), therefore, some similarities can be expected between them. Do you agree?
Already broken two myths? But wait, it was not the last. There are many more fun facts to shatter all your myths. Continue scrolling.
3. There is a Specific Pigment For Orange Color!
It is easier for cat lovers to understand. They know that orange tabby comes with variations in shades, for instance, they can not only be orange but also reddish, yellowish, creamish, yellowish-creamish, etc.
Only solid orange colour is impossible to be seen. Is the question, ‘why only these colours and not others’, pinching you? Then relax, we have the answer. This is generally due to the presence of a pigment called ‘pheomelanin’. Orange tabby has predominance of this pigment which is, fascinatingly, responsible for producing red hair in humans.
Is that a reason why people consider orange tabby as red-headed stepchild? Well! This looks over exaggerated but never mind!
Being a cat lover you knew this fact before? Oh, don’t give yourself a treat so early. Upcoming fact might leave you flabbergasted! You don’t believe? Let’s go and figure it out then.
4. Orange Tabby Cats Have Historical References!
Orange tabby is more elite and historic (sort of!) then you think! You might have not received any chance to get associated with any legend but this pussy has it already checked in her list. From spiritual leaders like Mary and Jesus to political leaders like Winston Churchill, she has managed to mark her presence everywhere!
5. Jesus And Mary
When Jesus was born, he was kept in a manger surrounded by hay all over. It was very cold outside and baby Jesus started to shiver. He couldn’t manage such low temperature and began to cry. Mother Mary rocked and covered him with blankets but nothing worked. She then called all the animals to surround him so that he could feel some warmth, but nothing was obstructing the cold breeze.
An Orange Mackerel tabby was watching this from distance. She then entered the manger and started to snuggle next to him. The cat’s purr made Jesus asleep. Impressed by the efforts, Mother Mary blessed the orange tabby with ‘M’ sign (her initial letter) on the forehead.
Is this the correct explanation behind tabby’s mysterious ‘M’? Obviously we’ll never get to know. However, this emphasize the importance of orange tabby in history.
6. Winston Churchill
As we all know that Winston Churchill loved cats and he never hid his love for orange tabbies, especially. He loved to stay with orange tabbies and therefore, owned one named ‘Tango’ earlier in his life.
Afterwards, he also owned another with the name of ‘Jock’. Even he couldn’t keep himself untouched by the love of these flame-colored kittens. Orange tabby managed to stay in touch with such an eminent personality, whom we could only dream of meeting!
7. You May Find Their Nicknames In Your Refrigerator!
If you ever get a chance to own an orange tabby, which name would you choose for her? Majority of people, choose nicknames like ginger, marmalade, tangerine, apricot or even butterscotch! Why this obsession with pantry? Most probably because of the hue of orange tabby’s coat.
To a point it is agreeable that since years we have been knowing these cats as ‘marmalade cats’ or even ‘ginger cats’, but it was done in order to make them distinctive from black tabbies. Still, reasons behind people’s obsession with food related names for orange tabbies are unclear.
If orange tabbies can be named apricot and tangerine after their coat colour then why black tabbies not named chocolate or blackcurrant? It’s Interesting to ponder. What say?
8. Male Orange Tabby Cats Outnumber Females Approximately By 4 To 1
Astonishingly, nearly 80% of orange tabby cats are males. Scientists and researchers are trying to dig reasons for the same. However, not much success is achieved in the same. On the above, some claim that there could be some undiscovered genetic relation between sex and coat pattern. It should be noted for the same that Calico and Tortoiseshell cats are mostly females.
This gives more weightage to the fact that there could be some strong correlations between sex and coat colour or Cat Breeds. Therefore, most probably, X chromosome could be held responsible for the orange hue. Obviously, these are all shootings in the dark. Clearly more and more research has to take place on this before landing on any concrete conclusion.
9. Orange Tabby Cat Loves Food!
Oh! the heading reminded you of Garfield? Yes, the orange tabbies are as foodie as your favourite cartoon cat, Garfield. Take your eyes away and you’ll probably find them stuffing around refrigerator! Cats are generally carnivores and this might lead them to become overweight easily.
What about giving these foodies plant based nutrition? Remember, cats might face problems in digesting plant based products and hence leading to heath issues. However, this shouldn’t push you to give full meat diet to your cat because like humans, even they can suffer from diseases like obesity, Feline diabetes and Cancer.
Apparently, diet of these cats should be strictly controlled or else you might invite extra troubles with extra large cat! This doesn’t mean that you should starve your cat. Controlled diet with exercise and fat burning activities would make your cat fit and healthy.
10. Orange Tabby Cats Are Generally Low- Energy
Remember Garfield! Seems like Jim Davis observed his orange tabby very keenly before making this cartoon. Nevermind! In reality too, these cats are too lazy to lift their asses(sort of!) and can be seen laying at one place idly. As discussed before, these cats love to eat and are, honestly, plain lazy.
Without any doubt, this approach of theirs might lead them to become overweight and obese. To tackle this problem, cat owners should engage them in cat friendly exercises and make them active as much as possible. This would not only help them in burning their extra fat easily but also would make them more sporty.
11. Orange Tabby Will Have It’s Own Personality, Like Other Cats
Previously it has been stated that orange tabby comes in multiple hues. Their shades of colours can vary from reddish to yellowish- cream. However, have you ever heard of shades in personality? Definitely, like humans, every orange tabby has its own personality.
Undoubtedly, we can have a friendly, playful, cuddly and assimilation orange tabby, but, at the same time, we can also see an aggressive, always-screaming and reserved cat. Assuming that all orange tabbies are as aggressive or as cheerful as the one you might had earlier won’t benefit you. Generalizations never work in this case.
However, this fact shouldn’t stop you from owning one because it is worth noting that every cat has its own personality, irrespective of its breed or texture. Above all, if human personalities can be accepted in the name of ‘individual difference’ then why not cats’.
Mostly chances are that you’ll get a cuddly, cute and funny tabby but even if yours is a contrast, it shouldn’t be treated otherwise. Personality is genetic but can be shaped with little care and efforts, so why not put efforts to live healthier and happier life if acceptation isn’t possible!
From Commercials to legends, orange tabby cats are practically everywhere. ‘Garfield’, movie with an orange tabby as protagonist, still has an imprint on everybody’s heart. These flame-coloured kittens are also seen in various artworks. John James Audubon, a famous artist, drew ginger cat in his famous ‘Two Cats Fighting’ painting.
Also, in Pablo Picasso’s painting-‘Cat Eating A Bird’, the cat was, none other than, orange tabby. In addition to it, Katherine Hale, a British author, wrote series of books for children with the name ‘Orlando’, her family cat.
Oh! How can we forgot ‘Morris’! Crackerjack from Harry Potter and Orion from Men in Black, are some unforgettable ginger cat characters. Even with so much of on-screen representation, orange tabbies are the second least popular cats to be owned by people! Well, this is something weird and striking.
Of course, we might not know the exact reasons behind it, but can figure it out by owning one. Might be you strike the conclusion that we are all following some traditions blindly which lack any ground. Probably you’ll end up boasting about your cheerful experience with orange tabby! Who Knows?