All About Orange Tabby Cats

Orange Bi-Color Spotted Tabby

All cats are awesome and unique in their own kind. However, orange tabby cats occupy a special place in many peoples’ hearts. Although people sometimes call average cats’ tabby, tabby is not a cat breed.

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Tabby is a pattern of kitty’s coat, and it happens to be the most amazing of all the feline coat patterns. In other words, it doesn’t matter the markings or colors you see on a cat; all felines have a tabby cat gene.

Why Are Orange Tabby Cats So Affectionate?

What do orange tabby cats have that makes you adore them every time you meet them. Well, the quality thing about this cat is their sweet nature, outgoing affectionate personality and ready to fit in any situation.

Their transformation is very stunning. You will be surprised that the orange tabby cats will be willing to leave the room within two days of adoption. They get along with other pets as well as the environment.

As previously explained, tabby is not a breed. It’s simply a fur pattern that appears across a wide range of colors.

All tabbies have some aspects of marking on their forehead that resembles letter M. There are various types of tabby cats, each possessing a unique coat pattern.

Below are five popular types of tabby cats with an explanation of each model.

1. Mackerel Orange tabby cat

Mackerel tabby cats have narrow stripes running across in parallel down its sides. Many cat lovers refer to it as a tiger cat. Ideally, the strips are evenly spaced none broken lines. The lines branch out from one strip and run along the top of the cats’ spinal, resembling a fish skeleton.

2. Classic Orange Tabby

male orange tabby cat

male orange tabby cat

The classic orange types are the most common tabby cats. They have bold and swirling patterns on their back resembling a marble cake. They have a random series of dark and light orange swirls, much like the bull’s-eye.

3. Spotted Tabby Cat

Spotted Tabby Cat

Spotted Orange Tabby Cat

Spotted tabby cats have spots all over their sides. The bright spots can be large or small, and most people can’t differentiate them from mackerel stripes. However, it’s not yet known whether the spotty tabby cats developed from the mackerel tabby or they are simply different genes.

4. Ticked Tabby Cat

Ticked Tabby Cat

Ticked Tabby Cat

Ticked tabby cats do not inhibit the traditional spots or stripes on their body and may not seem to be a tabby. However, just like all tabbies, their coat pattern has tabby markings on their forehead and agouti fur (hairs stripped with dark or light brown bands). These cats are commonly referred to as Somali or Abyssinian cats.

5. Orange Bi-Color Spotted Tabby

orange tabby

The tabby cats have a spotted tabby pattern, but slightly less common than the mackerel and classic types. Their fur is marked with patches rather than bands or swirls. Their spots are darker orange shades compared to the rest of the body.

Personality and Temperament

Orange Bi-Color Spotted Tabby

Orange Bi-Color Spotted Tabby

Taming- As outdoor garden cats, orange tabby cats are usually very easy to tame. The cats are receptive to human contact even at older ages.

Tolerance- The orange tabby cats are a very tolerant breed. They tolerate not only kids but also adults as well. They make great family pets since they bond quickly and make a great companion for children for everyone giving back more affection.

Intelligent- Although the orange tabbies are not considered as the most sophisticated cat breeds, they are brilliant. They are sharp when it comes to studying something new. Their curiosity towards video games and toys makes them the most entertaining pets.

12 Fun Facts About Orange Tabby Cats


1. Orange tabby cats are almost all male. This is an interesting fact that tells us that sex chromosome can affect the color of the cats.

2. They are often dubbed ginger or marmalade cats,  and the nicknames have been used for years to differentiate the black from orange tabby cats.

3. Tabby cats are not a breed of cats; it just refers to a coat marking patterns.

4. The orange skin color on the orange tabby cat is due to the presence pigment pheomelanin, which is responsible for the display colors between creams and red.

5. Just like other cats, orange tabby cats showing various personalities depending on their surroundings. Some are friendly while others are outgoing

6. The orange genes are dominant over other colors except for the white cats.

7. All orange cats are tabbies, but not all tabbies are orange

8. All ginger tabbies have no solid orange coat

9. The lifespan of orange tabby cats depends on their particular breed and not cover patterns. The average life expectancy of orange tabby cats are 10-16 years

10. Orange tabbies love eating, and they are often obese and lazy.

11. More than 75% of orange tabby cats are male. The same statistics stand for female calicos

12. Winston Churchill owned an orange tabby cat called Tango. Churchill was known to have a great affection for felines.

52 thoughts on “All About Orange Tabby Cats

    1. Avataranthony nardone

      Well sadly yesterday. My orange tabby. My best friend Oz. Is 6 years old such a awesome cat loyal and always near me. Was diagnosed with heart failure.😔 making me very depressed the vet is telling me orange tabbys life expectancy is 6 to 8 years. And he will be in and out of there for the next year for heart failure. He showed no signs prior. And is still the most friendliest thing with needles in him. This sent me into a depression on what I coulda done to make him not have to go threw this. Hes went threw 3 major sugerys for P.U sugerys and another for ulcers on his eyes. My cats been threw hell. Just really sad rn 😔 he made me from a dog lover to a complete feline lover. I dont know if putting him down is the right way to go or to let him continue his life with these issues.

      Simply was my one and only friend..

      1. AvatarConstance Obrien

        I am so sorry to hear this my male tabby Tigger is also just gotten very sick breathing issues? Nothing is getting better inhalers he is struggling he has been by my side my best friend through so much.. I lost my mom my best girlfriend my dad my stepmother in the last 4 years my boyfriend six months ago and another good friend I lost in the last six months Tigger has been by my side snuggling with me as I caries my eyes out now Tig? Is sick I feel your pain more than you know

      2. AvatarJust Me

        Don’t put him down. So sorry you had to go through this- just keep giving him lots of love and research what types of food is best to ease the symptoms if not curable. Bless you both.

  1. AvatarTodd H Victorson

    I loet my orange tabby of 15 years april 9, 2018. He was amazing. I warn you that these cats will win you heart and you will get very attached to them. Mine followed me everywhere and slept right beside me every night. I am about to adopt another orange tabby. They are amazing companions. I love them dearly

    1. AvatarRobyn

      Your comment was touching. We have had many cats but the orange ones absolutely LOVE everyone. I’m sorry about the loss of tour guy. I know you will find your next best friend.

      1. AvatarAudrey

        l’m so sorry for your loss my orange tabby passed i didn’t come out of my room for a week my mom put my food out side my door. That cat was my life my heart i wear this neck less everyday i see him in my head everyday to.But one night my mom found a pic. of a gray main coon that my dads friend at work sent him they where moving to a place that didn’t allow pets that was when my grand dad was over because his house got flooded 9 in. my cat was so nice to everyone even you he was laying on the carpet way before my dad showed my mom the pic. of the gray main coon listing to them talk about new things for my grand dads house then he started getting bigger for no reason he wasn’t even eating much my mom when’t to the vet i kissed him by before the check up i didn’t really now if he was going to pass but then i saw my moms car out the window me and my sister where the only ones home shes 13 i yelled to her THEIR HERE! we stood at the front door i saw my mom crying caring the pet holder me and my sister followed my mom and dad in the living room my mom set down the pet holder and my mind played sad music because he passed i picked up his tail it fell down my eyes watered then tears then heavy tears we said by and hugged and kissed him for 1hr then i saw my sister wiping tears away she never crys she never let her feelings out then my dad picked up the pet holder and was going to barry him at mt grand dads this guy who is helping my grand dad on is house made a grave for him but then one day came my dad got the pic. of the gray main coon my mom really wanted one them i said to myself tango (my cat) knows want we want i new he wold do anything for us. my dad texted everything we need to know the food what he likes what time to get him. the guy said tom. morning. the next day my mom woke me up and i got ready it was a long way away but i sleeped the ole time then my dad woke me up and said where here so i ran out of the truck and we knocked on the door the guy my dad works with kid opened the door and said come in welcome he was laying on the floor we put him is the pet holder and put him in the car and when’t home and my mom and sister came home with toys and a litter box and the grey main coon we named Eli hide be hide the couch all day long for like 3 or 4 days and thats my story of tango

    2. AvatarNancy

      I am sorry for your loss. My dog (adopted at a Kill Shelter as an adult). Just seemed to love cats. I prayed to God that a neighbors cat would jump the fence and play with Annie. God was listening and decided to do it his way. One morning I woke to leave Annie outside and in the yard was a skinny Orange Tabby. I picked him up and asked what is your name. He replied Meow Meow. That is his name. Annie and Meow Meow LOVE ❤️ EACH OTHER. Meow Meow wakes me up biting my hair to wake me to feed him. If I don’t get up he get s on mt dresser and knocks things off. He is personality plus. On Father’s Day he should probably get about a 1,000 cards…..Hmmm, I had heim nurtured and shots within 3 days of his arrival.
      Several of appearance. I love my oranges headed man.

      1. AvatarAngela Thomas

        I am sorry that you lost your orange tabby 😢❤️
        Spencer was adopted by me on July 20 2019
        I am in love – I have had many cats – never have I had one so loving , so bright and almost human – like
        I know that a beloved pet can NEVER be replaced but since these cats are THE BEST – I am hoping that another one has found its way to you
        Affectionately yours ,

    3. AvatarScott Willis

      I know, i had one for 6 years up until last week. he got killed by a dog….i miss him and its killing me…he was mostly white with some orange…im interested in finding another one like him.

    4. AvatarAngela Thomas

      I am sorry that you lost your orange tabby 😢❤️
      Spencer was adopted by me on July 20 2019
      I am in love – I have had many cats – never have I had one so loving , so bright and almost human – like
      I know that a beloved pet can NEVER be replaced but since these cats are THE BEST – I am hoping that another one has found its way to you
      Affectionately yours ,

    5. AvatarRobby

      I’m sorry for your loss. I lost my Tabby today. 🙁 I’m devastated. We had him for 10 years and he was just the very best cat, our neighbors absolutely loved him too! He basically owned this neighborhood, everyone loved him. He will be sadly missed for a long time. I can’t keep I do t want to eat. I’m too sad.

  2. AvatarRuby

    I just lost my orange tabby Tiger late Saturday night. He was the sweetest loveable baby!!! I miss him so much already. My home and myself will never be the same without him. Love you Tiger!!!

  3. AvatarJamie Robinson

    I have my first orange tabby. His name is Gary England, after our meteorologist. 🙂 He is silly, loving, cranky, energetic and my absolute heart. He makes me happy every single day that I have had him.

  4. AvatarRD

    We had an orange tabby kitten show up last year while I was out back rebuilding our shed. Told my wife and girls to come out but don’t pet him or feed him. We already had indoor cats and really didn’t need another. He was so friendly and my family just Loved him from day one. Turns out he and the mother cat got out from a house a block over and due to circumstances the previous owner let us have him after he got out again and came back to our house. We always laugh because realistically it’s a cat we would have never picked out, but my family says we will always have one because of his kind nature and patience. He loves the outdoors and will not stay in to be an indoor cat. His name is Little Man and everyone on the street Loves him and watches out for him.

  5. AvatarStephanie Dareing

    When Mary and Joseph were in the barn with baby Jesus, there was a cat that comforted Mother Mary. Mary took her finger and made an “M” on the cats head. That is the legend of the Tabby cats.

    1. AvatarNicole

      I’ve never heard this legend before; thank you for sharing! I just adopted a orange tabby today, and I am so excited to know this now. 🙂

  6. AvatarJoseph Karkowski

    I have an orange tabby cat who is the most social, people friendly cat I have ever see. Right now he is 12 1/2 years old, how long might I expect him to live. He is not around any other animals, has never been nor have I allowed him outside. He goes to the veterinarian once a year for a check up. Any idea how long he might live?

      1. AvatarAlisha

        My buster is 16years strong. Indoor outdoor as well. A awesome cat. I call him big fat buster. He answers to big fat cat. I would bite someone who named me big fat he is the best. I also has a black female named sammy. She lived 23 years. I still believe it’s because I let her eat prey. Rabbits and mice and in her plus years a can of cat food every day, with her hard food. I feed big fat buster the same. I love my babies.

    1. AvatarAshley

      My angel cat/love of my life passed away a year ago very abruptly from cancer that basically came out of nowhere. He was 13 years old and ate only natural and organic food for the last 4 years of his life. Hold onto that sweet baby as long as possible! My heart is still not the same.

  7. AvatarKarl Jensen

    My orange fur ball passed away a few weeks ago. For 15 years he went everywhere with me including my boat. He loved boating. When we got to the island, he got full access to everywhere. He was so well mannered that everyone welcomed him aboard their boats. A Total people cat! He would walk the docks with that lion/tiger swagger carrying his tail high over his back. The cool cat smirk expression on his face as he walked up and look into your eyes. I’ve known many cats, but none close to as great a company as he was. God I miss him.

    1. AvatarMelissa

      This made me cry. I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what a puddle I’ll be when I lose mine. I almost did lose mine a year ago when he came into contact with a lily. I paid thousands of dollars to keep him alive and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. At the emergency vet hospital I was bawling before they took him in to hook him back up to Ivs and he was wiping my tears off my face with his forehead. He wraps his front legs around my neck to hug me, and the Vets said it was like he was a person trapped in a cat’s body. Ugh again I’m sorry for your loss. Your cat sounded amazing!

    2. AvatarGreg West

      Dear Karl, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. He sounded amazing. I just lost my angel Julee 2 weeks ago to Lymphoma and I’m absolutely devastated. Our bond was epic and there will never be another one like her. Thank you for sharing your story.

  8. AvatarJeanne

    Our adopted orange mackerel tabby just turned 5 months old. He and his twin brother were left motherless at 2 weeks old. An angel (Anne) adopted them from a shelter and her daughter now has the twin, Brian, and we have Jack, the bigger guy. What an amazingly happy disposition he has, having been through so much. And so smart!

  9. AvatarKarla J Holt

    Three years ago I lost my ginger boy named Dinky Do, & he would not acknowledge any other name. He was a feisty bad boy, but my heart! He was raised with two big dogs. They taught him to dig like a dog, if that isnt a site! But mind you he was 100% the boss of the house! I got him as a abandoned kitten, too young to have been separated from his mother, every night the only way he would go to sleep is to suckle on my ear lobe, he did this still at 2 hrs old. My ear & surrounding area, were scratched continuously from him kneeding, but i didnt have the heart to deny him

  10. AvatarFrannie

    My first orange Tabby was Throckmorton (Mort for short). He was mine for 15+ years.

    My current orange Tabby is Mr. Simba. I’ve had him for a month now. I lost my Meeser, a black Domestic Shorthair aged 19 years in January.

    A friend contacted me just a few days after her death. Her brother in law had passed and she needed to re-home his cat. Even though it was less than a week, once I saw his pictures, I knew I wanted him.

    He is 3 years old and weighs 17.6 pounds. He is very loving and playful. The beginning of a wonderful friendship!

  11. AvatarRocky Rococco

    We love our Zippy boy. Loyal like a dog and super sweet. Has slept with us every night since we first adopted him 14 years ago.

  12. AvatarStephanie

    I have not been fond of cars my whole life. I didn’t hate them, but I was always a dog person. Then, one day a little orange tabby cat, about 6 months old found her way to my doorstep & would not leave. She was incredibly sweet & eventually won our hearts. We’ve had her about 4 months and Nippy is the most amazing cat. I am so attached to her. She sleeps beside me every night.

  13. Avatarrandall j swearingen

    Our Orange male is named Patch. He was a stray (vet said he may be 2 yrs old) Came for dinner every night at 6pm.
    He was blind in left eye and has a unhealed cut above that eye , and missing large chunk of fur from his back. He was semi wild stray…We kept him after several dinner dates locked in garage. He was not happy for the 1st day. Then off to the vet for much needed help. He is the best cat I have ever seen! loves to play with anyone at anytime. talks endlessly. follows us around the house, loves our other cat and dog! I have never been much of a cat person until I meet Patch! Two years now in our house. I cant say how much he has enriched our life! Orange Tabby males Rule!!!

  14. AvatarRobert farr

    i just got one male so he is my garfield now and i love him so much. just wondering how big he will get at almost 6 months (kitten) looks full size.

  15. AvatarKristyn

    My Orange Tabby, Tigger was a stray at 6 months old. We took him in, he would still get out against our will, but would come home in a few hours. He contracted Feline Herpes 7 years ago, gets a shot from vet every 6 weeks and is as happy as ever at almost 17 years old now!

  16. AvatarDebra Reaid

    I have an orange tabby Persian named Mosey. I call him Mo or MoMo. He is very attached to me, as I am to him! He is quirky, very talkative and needy. He wants my attention all the time. He is strictly an indoor cat. When I adopted him at 11 months old he had been declawed already. He loves telling me about his day when I get home from work. I have found him sleeping with his beard in the water bowl. He snores and shorts. He is flat faced so I have to clean his face everyday. It would be very lonely without my smoosh face baby. I love him dearly

  17. AvatarNance

    I have an Orange Tabby Female I rescued from the Arch of San Juan March 2018
    I named her Tulip, but often I call her Orange Muffin. Her first owners had her front paws declawed which made it hard for Tulip in many ways like jumping & being able to keep her balance landing on the floor. Five months later I ended up taking a 3 week old grey & black Tabby from a woman who found her & she was in the cat food isle I was in. She had 2 dog’s so I took her, bottle fed her, got her shots & we’re taking her soon to be spaded.
    We named her Yuna.
    As Yuna grew she began to protect Tulip by showing her how to jump & play together & Yuna never uses her claws on Tulip.
    Tulip is out of her shell & they both are the cutest together & apart. Tulip is a talker & cuddler. She’s always sleeping on me especially when I go to sleep
    If I’m laying on my sideTulip lays on my side & I don’t know how she does it but she lays all over me. Also at night I will look up at my night stand & Tulip is there standing perfectly still just staring at me. Tulip can stand that way for a long time. I believe a person lives inside her. Tulip & Yuna have changed my Family for the better with their unconditional love

  18. AvatarDeborah Burlingame

    I have an Orange Tabby at 4months old from my niece Denises daughter Kayla .I went to Mississippi ,for three months last year from a broken right foot for my birthday that I didn’t know I broke my foot before I went down.When, I came home my boyfriend an I picked him up at my niece’s house to take him to my place permanently.Now ,he’s had neuturing an all his shots since he’s been with me 9 months.Hes putting on weight every since he’s surgery.He weighs 10.7 lbs .Is that overweight for a nine month old .I feed him a half a can every day morning an night an he feels his getting too fat

  19. AvatarBobbie Weaver

    So I found a baby oarnge tabby female stuck in a wall of my house I have no clue how she got there but I busted a hole in my kitchen wall to rescue her she’s around 3 months old and I’m totally in love with her, her name is Sister Ginger Puss!

  20. AvatarPenny

    I am the proud owner or a super hyper orange tabby female I named Blaze! She is certainly a little fireball full of spunk and energy!

  21. AvatarRichard Stanzak

    I was working on my cabin halfway up my mountain in Appalachia. It is a remote but beautiful valley far from the hectic city. I have been feeding a colony of ferals kitties 6 miles away that someone dumped into the wilderness. I feared they would all die and fed them but also knew they would always be cautious of humans (as they should). To my surprise, a female orange cat with a notch on her ear ran up my mountain toward me. She looked so anxious as she meowed at me. I was shocked to see this kittie up on my mountain and lucky for her, I had cat food that I was feeding to the feral colony. She gobbled down 5 cups of food and then rubbed against my leg. I hoped she would stay, and sure enough, the next morning she again appeared from the wood and ran to me in search of food. Well, it didn’t take long for me to move her into the sunroom of my cabin and soon, into my actual cabin where she makes herself comfy sleeping on my leather chair the down comforter draped over my sofa. I thank God for sending me such a loving cat to keep me company during our long winters. I named her Maneki Neko but she answers to only Neko. Maneki Neko is Japanese for lucky kitty and is what they call the gold ones you see as statues in Asian restaurants. I had no idea that she is a rare kitty. A friend told me that she is a Creamsicle which is a fairly rare tabby especially since it is a girl. She is so attached to me that I once went down the path of my mountain and she ran lickety-split all the way down to catch up with me. And they think dogs are loyal.

  22. AvatarMarisa Stubanas

    My orange tabby cat has lived with me and my family for 17 years. His name is George named after my wonderful grandfather. In the past year or so we noticed some problems happening. He wakes all of us in the middle of the night meowing half the night. He meows and meows all day until we feed him. Even after that he still done that. Just this past year we found out that due to old age, (17) he will die any day now. I loved my little kitty he was such a joy to grow up with him then loose him after I was so close to him. At least he will be even more happy when he has eternal peace. Farewell George. You were the best ( and only cat) that I ever had and hope that you’ll be happy once your gone. I will miss you and think about you all the time.

  23. AvatarSheila

    Sadly yesterday we had to euthanize our beloved orange tabby Maggie. She was 11-almost 12. She developed a tumor which blocked her bladder and colon and infiltrated her rear leg. There was no treatment for her. We are heartbroken. She was such a big presence in our lives. She was a real people cat. Loved kids and would walk with them to the bus stop in the morning. When they were playing outside she would be right in the thick of things. Goodbye my dear friend 😥

  24. AvatarJoan

    My orange tabby cat died in 2006. He was so special that I still can’t bring myself to try to replace him. When you entered a room, he started purring. He was absolutely a love.

  25. AvatarChip Longino

    On this Christmas morning I truly enjoyed all the loving Orange Tabby stories! My heart goes out to each and everyone of you that lost or may lose your wonderful cat! We also have Tommy, the greatest cat in America! He was living in the sewer top shelf across the street from our home. My wife thought he might not make it thru the up coming snow storm almost 3 years ago! Tommy went from homeless to demanding in 24 hours! We did not rescue Tommy, God sent him to our family and on this Christmas Day, may you all continue to love your cat and say thank you for the gift they give us everyday!

  26. AvatarDAVID SMITH

    I have had two great Orange Tabbies one lived 15 years and the last one 17 years
    the first one retrieved bottle caps brought use chipmunks snakes etc he was wicked smart
    the second one was the greatest sitter, he had a habit of always touching me with his paw
    and loved to eat bread even through plastic
    at the Cabin there is a stray that everyone owns and takes care of “Cabin Kitty”
    I love Orange Tabbies and will continue to have them the rest of my life
    all my cats are Farm cats

  27. AvatarT

    Took in 2 strays years ago who grew up together. Both stole my heart. Couple months ago just days before my own cancer surgery vet told me my 13 yr old beautifulvmaine coon boy had liver cancer. While I was in hospital after my surgery my parents who were cat sitting said he took a turn for the worse & my mom took him to be euthanized. I wish I could have have been with him his last moments. I miss him so much but he is forever inside my heart & I will always love him. I have no doubt he knew he was loved. My other cat is almost 14. An orange and white tabby. I took him in almost a year before I took in the Maine coon & he took the Maine coon under his wing & taught him, groomed him, & took care of him. They were best buds. My orange boy stole my heart the very first day. So full of love and affection …still is. Both of them just full of love. They will both be in my heart forever. I pray my orange tabby can stay healthy & be here with me a lot longer. Such special lovey boys!

  28. AvatarHeidi

    An orange tabby decided to grace us with his presence a year and a half ago…he was just a kitten. He followed us inside after we had just lost our precious Fiona (siamese) of 18 years and he’s never left. He is the most loving and affectionate baby to our family. Even getting along with our other new replacement cat Mary Jayne (male… long story hahaha). They are buddies. But we named this orange kitty Puff Puff…I swear he is a dog in a cats body….comes when we call him and follows us everywhere!!! Even had to trick-or-treat with our family. He is honestly the best cat!!! We absolutely adore him! He brings us so much joy and gifts of his catch (Lizards which we didn’t know we had). Snuggling us constantly and purring. He likes to lay anywhere we are in the most peculiar places. We have been blessed. I wish I could post a picture because we take tons of him. 💕


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