Although the tabby cat is not a breed, they do come in many colors.  There is a distinctive pattern that appears in many breeds of cats.  An orange color is usually  called an orange tabby.  Others refer to them as marmalade or ginger cats.

It is true that the majority of orange tabbies are males, females in this color are quite rare with a ratio of 80 males to 20 females.

Tabbies come in four patterns:  Mackerel, Classic, Striped and Ticked. These patterns are also called swirled, striped, swirled and striped as one pattern and spotted.

Often orange tabbies will develop black freckles on their noses while others will retain a soft pink nose.

One very distinct marking that belongs to tabbies is the “M” marking on their foreheads.  The story goes that when baby Jesus could not sleep, an orange tabby curled up with him and purred.  This let Jesus sleep, Mary in turn, kissed the orange tabby on his forehead and blessed him – ergo an “M”.

Although orange tabbies are not considered a breed of cat, owners would strongly disagree.  Winston Churchill’s cat Jock was a ginger tabby and attended wartime cabinet meetings and no one commenced eating until Jock was at the table.  Everyone knows the 9-Lives cat Morris and the cartoon character Garfield.

Owners who are the proud parents of orange tabbies pretty much all agree that they do have striking personalities ranging from strong in opinions to just sweet as angels!

On a personal note:  I know a very special orange tabby named Osca, not Oscar — but Osca!  He’s the most playful fun loving kitty sharing my home with 4 other kitties.  Not paying attention one night, I opened the freezer door not realizing he was sleeping on top of the fridge! I immediately caught him when he lost his balance, but he never once ejected his claws, he just let me catch him.

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One Response to “The Orange Tabby Cat: Fun Facts”

  • Carol McCrow says:

    Wow, another fascinating post Ellen!

    I checked Sadie out- my orange tabby female, and she definitely has a very prominent M on her forehead. So do my two male tabbies, that are both unique shades of orange.

    I have fallen in love with this site Ellen, and I thank you again for another fascinating post!

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