For many people, the orange tabby cat is an association for Garfield. This is, of course, understandable because that cartoon character is really the most popular orange tabby cat in the world. These cats are really special and unique and anyone who had this type of cat at home would relate.
Most commonly they are known as ginger cats. There is one quote by the creator of Garfield – Jim Davis, that is completely accurate:
“In my head, the sky is blue, the grass is green and cats are orange.”
So, if you are a fan of the orange tabbies, or would like to know what type of cats they are, here are eight interesting facts about them.
Fun Fact #1 Most Orange Tabby Cats are Male
This is a fact that hasn’t been explained scientifically, but sure it’s true. Around 80% of orange tabbies are male cats and this is in a ratio of 4 to 1. One question often pops up: Are orange tabby cats always male? – Of course not, but most of them are. Probably this is the reason why people think that most ginger cats are male. That would mean that the answer to the question ‘are female orange tabby cats rare’ would be ‘yes’.
If you are familiar with the Calico cats you may see the correlation because most Calico cats are female.
Fun Fact #2 Orange Tabby Cat is Not a Cat Breed
Often the tabby pattern is confused with a cat breed, however, orange tabby is not a specific cat breed. In other words, any type of cat breed can be tabby because this refers to the coating and fur markings. In fact, an orange tabby cat can be any Maine Coon cat, Munchkin, Persians, Abyssinian cat, or Domestic Shorthair cat.
Fun Fact #3 Orange Tabbies Have Black Freckles on Their Nose and Mouth
If you have an orange tabby cat you may have noticed that it has some black dots or freckles on the nose or around the mouth. This is completely normal for this type of cat because it’s a result of a benign genetic called lentigo. This condition increases the number of cells that produce this pigment called epidermal melanocytes. The melanocytes cause these black freckles to appear around the nose, mouth, and eyes. Some orange tabbies may even have a few black whiskers. Usually, this is not a reason to be alarmed, however, if these freckles start to grow bigger or you notice something unusual you should consult with a vet about it.
Fun Fact #4 They Have Four Coat Types
Not one orange tabby cat has a solid orange pattern. Each of these cats has a different type of coat, and these patterns can be divided into four categories:
- Mackerel – Also known as a striped pattern. These are tiger-like cats with the common letter ‘M’ on the forehead;
- Ticked – (stripeless). They are closest to the solid orange pattern because their tabby markings are on their head and are discreet. This is also known as the “salt-and-pepper” or “sand” appearance.
- Spotted – This marking is the most common for Bengal cats and their stripes appear as ovals or spots.
- Classic – Orange tabbies with a classic pattern can be swirled, blotched, or marbled, and they usually have a dark swirl or bullseye around their midsection.
Fun Fact #5 Orange Tabby Cats Simply Love to Eat
These wonderful cats really enjoy eating. It’s no wonder that the Garfield character was inspired by the orange tabby because he did love his lasagna. For that reason, you have to be extra careful and plan your cat’s healthy diet. Same as it is with humans, cats can suffer from obesity and this can cause various health issues for them. So, even though we all love to spoil our felines, you have to keep your ginger cat on a diet for its own sake.
Fun Fact #6 They Are Often on the Screen
Apart from Garfield that we’ve mentioned a few times already, there are other orange tabby cats that were an inspiration for certain characters on screen. Another popular orange tabby is Puss in Boots from the animated movie ‘Shrek’. Nobody can resist his loving big kitty eyes when he is using them for his own benefit. He is just adorable!
Then we have Goose from Captain Marvel, Orangey in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and many many more.
Fun Fact #7 Winston Churchill Loved Orange Tabby Cats
This is one fact that makes these tabbies not only special but also legendary. Winston Churchill loved cats with this pattern and he even owned an orange tabby who he called Tango. Another legend around these cats is their letter ‘M’ that appears on their forehead. It is believed that an orange tabby cat curled up with baby Jesus to help him sleep and Mother Mary blessed him for that by touching the cat.
Fun Fact #8 A Specific Pigment is Responsible for Their Pattern
If you are wondering why these cats got the specific different orange or ginger color on their coats, the reason is one pigment. Some have a reddish color, while others have yellowish-cream. The answer is that these cats have the predominance of pheomelanin, a pigment that is responsible for causing red hair in humans.
Do you need any more reasons to love these special orange tabby cats?
There really isn’t a person who has ever owned a ginger cat and to think differently than to adore them.