Orange Tabby Cat: Characteristics

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Last Updated on March 5, 2024 by Aftab Tariq

Orange tabby cat is really friendly and cuddly. But guess what? They’re not a special breed of cat. Even though you might think Puss in Boots and Garfield are the same, they’re not because they’re orange tabbies.

Orange Tabby Cat

Tabby just means the pattern of their fur. It can look different on each cat and come in lots of colors, like orange.

Now, you might be curious about what breed an orange tabby is. Keep reading to find out more about orange tabby cats and where they come from.

“An orange tabby cat is a symbol of warmth and companionship, brightening even the darkest of days with its cheerful presence.”

Orange Tabby Cats Breed Origins

People often discuss the origins of orange tabby cats, speculating that they may have originated in Egypt or Ethiopia.

Orange Tabby Cat

Some experts draw connections between orange tabby cats and other breeds native to these regions, such as the Egyptian mau and Abyssinian cats, which share similar genetic traits resulting in bright orange fur with distinctive patterns.

However, despite historical records of orange tabbies dating back centuries, their exact origins remain uncertain. It’s possible that similar cats existed in civilizations predating Egypt and Ethiopia, but conclusive evidence is lacking. Nonetheless, the orange tabby cat lifespan typically averages between 15 to 20 years.

What is an Orange Tabby Cat?

An orange tabby cat, also known as an Orange Tabby, is a lovely cat with a bright orange fur coat and a special pattern. Depending on their genes, they can have stripes or swirls in their fur. Sometimes, their fur can also be golden yellow, white, or a mix of colors.

Orange Tabby Cat

There are five main patterns for Orange Tabby cats:

Mackerel: This pattern looks like tiger stripes.
Classic: The fur swirls light and dark colors together.
Spotted: Instead of stripes or swirls, these cats have spots.
Ticked: Their fur has light and dark bands that switch.
Patched: They have random patches of orange, yellow, or white fur.

Breeders try to breed cats with these patterns, but sometimes, the patterns can vary depending on their parents’ genes. The one thing they all share is that bright orange fur.

Genetics also decide how strong the pattern looks. Some cats have very clear patterns, while others have more subtle ones. That’s why there’s a lot of variety in the Orange Tabby cat names.

Red Fur Pigment

Orange tabby cats have genes that resemble those responsible for red hair in humans. A study suggests that a gene called pheomelanin is responsible for their vivid orange hue, replacing the eumelanin gene found in black or brown colors.

Orange Tabby Cat

However, this pheomelanin gene isn’t exclusive to orange tabbies but is present in various cat breeds selectively bred to produce the orange tabby coloration. Hence, understanding the breeds involved is crucial in the study of orange tabby cats.

Orange Tabby Cat Characteristics

Besides their fur and color, orange tabby cats also have some special features. Let’s talk about a couple of them.

M-Shaped Marking: You might have noticed that many orange tabby cats have an “M” shape on their forehead. It’s a cool feature that breeders like. Some people think it looks like the word “Mau,” which means cat in Egyptian.

Orange Tabby Cat

But these M-shaped marks are most common in mackerel or classic tabby cats. They usually have orange and white fur with white spots on their mouth and forehead.

Pigmented Paws & Lips: Orange tabby cats often have the same color on their paws and lips, which helps make their features stand out.

Pencil Lines: Some orange tabbies have pencil-like lines in yellow or white around their body and face, though not all of them do.

White/Dark Lining Around Eyes: If you look closely at an orange tabby cat, you might see a faint line around its eyes. This line usually becomes more visible as the cat grows older.

Pale Coloring on Chin & Belly: Their chin and belly might have a lighter color, usually white, but sometimes orange or yellow, depending on the cat’s breed.

Which Breed Does an Orange Tabby Belong to?

An orange cat isn’t just one type of cat. It’s a special pattern that can be found in many different cat breeds. Each breed has its own version of the orange coat, which can look a bit different in shade. But the patterns on their fur might vary a bit, so orange tabby cats can look different from each other.

Orange Tabby Cat

Now, which cat breeds are commonly used to make orange tabbies? Here are some:

  • Bengal
  • Maine Coon
  • Abyssinian
  • Egyptian Mau
  • Munchkin
  • American Bobtail
  • Persian
  • British Shorthair

Orange Tabby Gender Myths

People often wonder if there are female orange tabby cats. Well, the answer is a bit yes and a bit no.

Orange Tabby Cat

Orange tabby cats are more often male than female. This is because of a special gene called pheomelanin. This gene is recessive, which means it’s only found on one of the X chromosomes. Females possess a pair of X chromosomes (XX), whereas males carry one X and one Y chromosome (XY).

When you breed a female orange tabby cat, both the mother and father need to have this recessive gene. But for males, they only need it from their mother. That’s why most orange tabby cats are boys, about 80% of them.

But even though most of them are male, people still really like orange tabby cats and enjoy having them around.

Male Cat Spraying

Some people might hesitate to adopt an orange tabby cat because they’re often male and can spray urine. Male cats start spraying when they’re kittens, usually between 4 and 6 months old. It’s a normal thing they do to mark their territory, just like big cats do.

Outdoor cats might be okay spraying outside, but indoor cats need to use their litter box. Cats usually spray by backing up against walls, furniture, or rugs. The urine of male cats that haven’t been neutered can have a strong smell because of certain chemicals in it.

Why do cats spray? There are a few reasons:

  1. To attract mates
  2. To communicate with other cats nearby
  3. When they’re stressed
  4. To mark their territory

The best way to stop your male orange tabby cat from spraying is to get him neutered before he starts. Only about 10% of neutered male cats keep spraying. You can make it even less likely by making sure your cat has a calm, happy life and avoiding things that stress him out.

It’s also a good idea to keep your male cat away from open windows where he might see other male cats outside.

Male cats are usually very friendly and loving, so don’t worry too much about spraying. Getting him neutered when he’s young and giving him a safe, happy life will almost completely prevent spraying.


Even though the orange tabby cat isn’t a specific breed, it still has its own unique look. Depending on which breeds were mixed to make it, the cat can have different traits like how it behaves, how big it gets, and more.

But no matter what, people still really like orange tabby cats because of their special ginger appearance and the diverse influences from various orange tabby cat breeds behind their genetics.

Find your perfect furry companion with a selection of orange tabby cat for sale. orange tabby cat price range starting from $3500 to $6000.

Frequently Asked Question

What Defines the Personality of Female Orange Tabby Cats?

The personality of female orange tabby cats, as characterized by their distinct orange tabby cat personality female ,often encompasses traits such as affection, independence, and playfulness.

What Factors Contribute to Obesity in Orange Tabby Cats?

Overfeeding, lack of exercise, genetic predisposition, and potential health issues can lead to orange tabby cat fat.


Cat Coat Color

Tabby Cat

Aftab Tariq

I am a dedicated content writer with more than five years of experience, particularly skilled in the art of storytelling. My writing journey commenced during my college years, where I pursued journalism and unearthed my talent for creating captivating narratives. Protection Status