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The World’s Best Guide to Orange Tabby Cats

Oh, orange tabby cat — your stunning good looks, perfect patterned coat, and sweet nature make you one of the most beautiful and friendly cats in the modern feline world.

But what else makes you so special?

Let’s look a little further into why we love these little lion lookalikes!

ALL About the Orange Tabby Cat

The first thing to know about orange tabbies, and the rest of the tabby cat community, is that the term “tabby” does not refer to a specific breed. Rather, it refers to their uniquely patterned coats that typically feature stripes, spots, swirls, or whorls.

Orange tabby cats have definitely made their mark throughout the world, in our history, as well as in popular culture.

According to lore, the name “tabby” may have come from the Attabiyah section in Baghdad, Iraq, which historically produced famous silk cloths bearing a similar pattern.

Winston Churchill was gifted an orange tabby on his 88th birthday at his Chartwell estate, and left instructions that after his death “there should always be a marmalade cat named Jock with a white bib and four white socks living at the estate.”

When it comes to politics, orange tabbies can also lay claim to the fact that one of their own, Stubbs, held the title of honorary mayor for nearly 20 years in a little Alaska town called Talkeetna.

Garfield, the renowned comic strip kitty, is in fact, an orange tabby.

Other tangerine tabby notables include Morris, the famously finicky cat food TV commercial star, Crookshanks from the Harry Potter books, and “Puss in Boots,” voiced by Antonio Banderas in three feline hero films. 

Want to know something else about the orange tabby? They may actually love you almost as much as you love them.

Orange Tabbies Are More Affectionate

Legend has it that orange tabby cats are more friendly and affectionate than other felines. But could that just be a bit of marmalade mythology?

Psychology Today says self-report surveys definitely suggest that orange cats are more affectionate.

While acknowledging that this finding “could be a result of confirmation bias or a self-fulfilling prophecy,” it explains that due to genetics orange tabbies are predominantly male (80%) and male cats are thought to be “slightly friendlier than female cats.”

Ok Orange Tabby fans, here are a few more facts about our orange besties you may not have known.

Fun Facts About Orange Tabbies

  • They come in varying shades of orange, including creamsicle, ginger, marmalade, bright orange, and more — all due to a specific pigment known as pheomelanin, the same pigment that produces red hair in humans.
  • M is for “Meow.” While this distinctive feature may be more or less pronounced on individual cats, tabbies — including our beloved orange ones — are known to have an M-shaped marking on their foreheads.
  • They tend to be snuggly. Some orange tabbies are so affectionate that they are often cat-egorized as “velcro” kitties
  • They are also chatty kitties. Orange tabbies are known to be quite talkative. 
  • All orange cats are tabbies, but not all tabbies are orange. Tabby cats come in various colors including brown, gray, cream, orange, and black.
  • Tabby cats are distinguished by five coat patterns: classic, mackerel, spotted, patched, and ticked.

A Litter More About Tabby Breeds

As mentioned earlier, the tabby cat is not a specific breed. There are a number of different breeds that carry unique markings and coat patterns that must be present for a cat to be described as a tabby.

These breeds include American Bobtail, American Shorthair, Bengal, Ragdoll, Turkish Angora, Persian, Manx, Maine Coon, Abyssinian, Siamese, Egyptian Mau, Munchkin, and more.

But are orange tabbies one of the world’s best cats? They certainly have an outstanding reputation, and they are also known to be great at using the litter box.

For helpful tips on having an optimal litter box experience, check out this “litter bit of advice.”

Want to learn more about specific cat breeds?

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