Orange cats have long delighted feline aficionados. The warm, sunny hue of an orange cat’s fur coat makes them distinctive and photogenic.
If you desire an orange cat of your own, the first thing to know is a cat that is orange does not indicate a distinctive breed of cat. Rather, orange fur along with any markings is one of many genetic expressions of the cat’s particular lineage, whether mixed or purebred.
Fun facts about orange cats
- Ginger cats, as they’re sometimes called, most often have eye coloring that’s amber or gold. An orange cat with green or blue eyes is especially rare.
- Most orange tabby cats — 80% — are male. Orange fur originates from the so-called “ginger” gene — a recessive gene in the X-chromosome. Producing an orange male requires just one of these genes from the mother, whereas females must get copies of the ginger gene from both parents.
- Nearly all orange cats have stripes, spots and/or patches of white fur. The rare exception is a solid red Maine Coon, whose fur is uniformly reddish-orange from ear tip to tail.
- Orange cats are friendly. Or vocal. Or mean. Or daring. Or lazy. These are just some of the myths pet parents believe about their orange cats. As with any feline friend, the breed and socialization your marmalade cat received early in life has the largest impact on its personality.
- Orange cats can develop black freckles, which are visible around their gums, lips and noses.
What are the top orange cat breeds?
There are several feline lineages in which orange fur presents itself as a variation. These five orange cat breeds are best known and most common.
Picture an orange cat with stripes. That’s your quintessential orange tabby. Like any other tabby, its calling card is the striping that forms a capital “M” on the forehead. Unlike other cats on this list, the tabby cat isn’t a breed. Rather, they’re cats of mixed lineage broadly known as domestic shorthairs. Tabby is a way to describe the markings and patterns in their fur.
Red Maine Coon
Some call these orange Maine Coons, but the Cat Fanciers’ Association classifies their color as red, and these are typically a deeper, brick red compared to the tabby.
However you call it, you’d better get them on camera. A Red Maine Coon is not only a rare sight but they are seriously striking creatures worthy of a social post. With a fluffy mane-like coat and elongated nose, you can’t help but wonder if you’ve come across a domestic cat with a direct lineage to the lion.
Despite that lion-like stature on a 20-pound kitty frame, the Maine Coon — red or otherwise — is a gentle giant that comes with plenty of smarts, a mellow personality and a heart brimming with love and loyalty for their humans. What more can you want?
Orange Turkish Angora
A true pedigree cat, the Turkish Angora is one of the ancient cat breeds with a plumed tail and short silky fur that puffs out over its graceful, fine-boned body. Though they’re best known as princessy white felines, they come in a range of hues, including a soft sherbet orange.
Regardless of their shadings, the Turkish Angora will quickly establish their reign as your home’s alpha pet. And they’ll impress your guests with their impeccable hosting skills, holding court and mingling with the party from start to finish.
Orange Egyptian Mau
The Egyptian Mau is a head-turner. For starters, you’ll notice the mark of the tabby “M” on the forehead, contrasting with a spotted body. Those of the orange variety are stunners with their deep rust-colored markings. Their intensely friendly personality charms everyone they meet and they’re famous for adapting to just about any living situation. But they also have their loyalties, as they single out one family member as their favorite.
The Abyssinian stands out because the standard has a reddish-brown or coppery orange coat with darker ticking patterns. With their large ears, wide almond-shaped eyes and long lean bodies, the Abyssinian has a statuesque form and glamorous bearing that has captured hearts for decades. Yet, these are active cats with lots of personality. If you’re inclined to the Abyssinian, be sure and provide plenty of interaction along with a feline companion or two.
The care and feeding of orange cats
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