The Thrills of Having an Orange Cat. Do you have it?

orange cat

Do you have an Orange Cat?

All cats are lovely themselves. But there is something about an orange cat that is simply alluring. It´s probably their personality or that shiny orange coat. I guess, we could say that once you go orange you don´t go back (failure at rhyme).
Now, we did write a great piece about the orange tabby cats. We could have missed something there, so we will add this piece to honor this beautiful cat the way it deserves.

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The legend

Some facts first. Orange cat coloration ranges from red to pale yellow. But they are all orange cats. Technically, orange cats are all tabby, but not all tabbies are orange. Tabby refers to a special coat pattern.

Orange cats are mischievous but they are real eye-catchers. Legend has it that when Mary was lying in the manger with baby Jesus, a tabby would descend and warm the baby while Mary stroke his forehead. Therefore, all tabbies have Mary’s mark on their forehead, an M. This and a well-defined eyeliner around the eyes is characteristic of all tabbies.

The eyes of the orange cat can vary from yellow to green; even copper and almost turquoise in some rare cases.

Why are orange cats orange?

All cats are born either black or red. The distribution of melanin, which is determined by the cat´s genetic composition, determines the cat´s final coloration. Eumelanin turns the cat into brown fur and dark shades. Pheomelanin turns the red coloration into shades of cream.

The fact that a cat is orange is due to a phenomenon known as epistasis, which means that a dominant gene changes one color to another. In the case of an orange cat, black coloration is changed into orange! What is even cooler is the fact that this gene that codifies for orange coloration is sex-linked. This makes the orange cat population be around 80% male.

Famous orange cats

There are some cats out there that have probably been inspired by the orange tabby. Probably the most well-known ginger is Garfield, the lazy cat that enjoys sleeping, lasagna, and making Odie’s life a misery.

Not many will remember The Brain, from Hanna Barbera’s Top Cat. Walt Disney’s the Aristocats featured Thomas O’Mally, a cat that helped Duchess return to Paris after escaping her captors.

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