Angela Westfall
Your guide to this review today is by cat expert Angela Westfall
Published 14:20 pm

Does the Orange Tabby cat love lasagne? No, that is Garfield. But the Orange Tabby cat definitely has a strong dislike for Mondays, right? Well, that is pretty much Garfield again. Somebody once said that the most popular orange cat is Garfield. And, we can forgive ourselves for agreeing – unless you have no idea who (or what) Garfield is. So if you are a lover of this popular breed of cat, then you have come to the right place for all the information you need about the Orange Tabby.

History Of the Orange Tabby Cat

Before we start our journey, let us take a trip down history’s lane and learn a few things about the origin of this orange cat. First of all, it is important to indicate that the tabby cat is not a breed of cat. The term tabby only refers to a type of coat markings and not necessarily a breed of cat. The history of the orange cats or the orange tiger cat, as some people are used to calling it, is one that is filled with a lot of speculations. Even the term “tabby” itself is not left out of the speculation with respect to its origin. One such speculation purports that the term is from the Arabic word “attabiya,” used in reference to Atttabiy. Attabiy is located in Baghdad, and it is was well-known for making silk with stripes as patterns. It is believed that the inspiration is from the pattern of the type of wild cats that were common in that region. It is also speculated that, due to the popularity of the striped pattern in the wild, a lot of medieval cats were tabbies. Orange tabby cats have made famous appearances and have taken their place in history. One popular example is Winston Churchill’s Orange Tabby named Tango. Other orange tabbies have shown up in famous paintings and even movies.

orange kitten

Quick Facts About The Orange Tabby Cat

How about we get to some quick facts about the Orange Tabby cat?

  • Female ratio: Did you know that only about one out of five Orange Tabby cats are females? Due to their chromosome structure, an orange tabby kitten is five times more to be a male than a female.
  • Not a breed: As mentioned earlier, the tabby cat is not a breed type. The term “tabby is only used to refer to the coat type that comes with stripes pattern. The striped pattern is caused by the agouti gene.
  • Patterns: Every tabby cat carries the agouti gene. As a result, it is impossible to have a tabby cat with a solid color. Orange Tabby cats have four different tabby patterns. The first is the striped pattern that looks like that of a tiger. The second pattern is the classic one. This can either be marbled, blotched or swirled. The third type is the ticked tabby cat pattern, which looks like broken down patterns. And the final pattern is called the spotted. This breaks down the swirls and makes them look like dots instead.
  • Pheomelanin: The pheomelanin pigment is responsible for the different shades of orange that Orange tabby cats appear in. It is also responsible for red hair in humans.
  • Black Freckles: It is very common to notice the appearance of black freckles on the coat of the Orange tabbies. They are harmless and offer no cause for alarm. However, if you notice any change in the color, it is best to visit a vet.
  • Lifespan: Tabby cats have an average lifespan of fifteen to twenty years.

Things You Should Know About The Orange Tabby Cat

Are you contemplating welcoming an Orange Tabby cat into your home? Here is some useful information concerning their temperament, health, and care that you need to know before you dash off to the pet store.


As mentioned earlier, the Orange Tabby cat is not a separate cat breed on its own. Thus, we cannot be specific about its health challenges. However, in general terms, tabbies are prone to several health issues.

  • Worm infestation: Just like other domestic cats, tabby cats are prone to worm infestations. These are common in domestic cats. The types of worms that tabbies are prone to include tapeworms, hookworms, and roundworms. Symptoms of worm infestations include weight loss, lack of appetite, restlessness, white spots in stools, and diarrhea.
  • Obesity: Just like all other cats, the Orange Tabby cat is also prone to obesity. This can be caused by a combination of a lack of good exercise and a diet that is packed with too many calories. Always ensure that your cat’s diet is made of at least eighty percent high-quality natural protein sources. This will help fuel its lean muscles.
  • Diabetes mellitus: This happens when the insulin level in the cat is not enough to control the glucose level. When it comes to tabbies, the male cats are more at risk of diabetes than female cats. Always ensure that your cat’s diet is very well balanced to prevent the possibility of diabetes mellitus.
  • Kidney related issues: Kidney failure and other kidney-related issues are common in tabbies. The dominant symptom of a kidney problem in a tabby is an increase in thirst. Aside from that, bladder and urinary tract infections are also very common.

Related Post: Cat Food for Kidney Disease


Remember the issues of obesity and diabetes in tabby cats? The best preventive measure lies in their feeding. Cats are carnivores. Thus, their diet should reflect just that. Always ensure that your cat’s diet is made up of at least eighty percent protein from natural sources. Tabby cats, just like other cats, are naturally very picky eaters. Thus, it is best to be simple and go with what your cat loves – as long as it is healthy. The safest options are cat-grade foods. Fortunately, cat foods are available in different types to suit the specific needs of your cat. Thus, whether you have an orange tabby kitten or an adult tabby, there are cat foods available. If your cat has certain allergies, you can consult your local vet for the best cat food recommendations. It is very important to avoid feeding adult cat food to tabby kittens. Your cat’s diet should be very balanced. Although protein should form the largest part, it should also be rich in essential vitamins and minerals that will help keep its coat healthy and shiny. A typical adult Orange Tabby cat can be served two meals a day – morning and evening. A tabby kitten can be served three times a day with kitten food. Bot dry and wet cat foods are available to choose from. However, most cat experts lean towards the wet cat food as they contain more high-quality natural protein sources as well as moisture.

Tabby Cat


As mentioned earlier, the Orange Tabby cat has an average lifespan of fifteen to twenty years (which really is the average lifespan of every domestic cat). However, whether or not your tabby cat will have a long and fun-filled life (like you will want it to have) depends on how well you take care of it. The great thing about tabbies is that, unlike other pets, they are quite low maintenance. Tabbies are very resilient and do not require too much when it comes to caring for them. The only thing you need to get straight is that your cat owns you and not the other way round. Taking good care of your cat covers feeding, protection, exercise, playtime, grooming, and frequent medical examinations. We have already dealt with feeding. We will deal with grooming closely later.

  • Exercise: This is very important when it comes to keeping your tabby healthy and happy. Good exercise also helps to reduce the risk of obesity. Tabbies are agile and nimble on their feet. Thus, it is good to have some cat toys at home, especially ones that can explore the agile nature of your tabby. There are several options to choose from in any pet store. Going for walks outside is another excellent way of exercising your cat.
  • Playtime: Closely linked to exercise is playtime. Tabby cats love to play. And because they are smart animals, they enjoy puzzle games a lot. Always make sure that you spend some time every day to bond with your cat. When you are busy, always leave your cat with some toys to play with. Playtime helps to stimulate the cat’s mind and keep it focused.
  • Medical examinations: Frequent trips to the vet are very important. Do not wait for something to go wrong first. Frequent general medical examinations will help to diagnose problems before they become serious.

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If you are already used to being around cats, you have noticed that they are generally very clean animals. The same is true for the Orange Tabby cat. In line with their love for cleanliness, tabby cats groom themselves a lot. They usually bathe themselves by carefully licking their skin as often as they feel the need to. Thus, unlike dogs, cats do not need to be bathed regularly unless they have been outside for a considerable amount of time. Your major role when it comes to grooming your cat is to brush its fur often. If your Orange Tabby cat has short hair, then you typically need to brush it at least once every week. To do this, you need to have a wire brush that is soft and gentle on the coat of your cat. Gently brush your cat repeatedly while following the natural direction of the flow of its fur. Avoid brushing its underbelly, so you do not risk its wrath. After brushing with the wire brush, switch to a mitt brush or a rubber brush. This is ideal when it comes to removing dead hair and dried skin. If your cat has long hair, you will be faced with the possibility of the hair getting matted. Thus, you need to brush its fur several times a week. When brushing a tabby cat with long hair, try to get rid of insects or other smaller particles that may be trapped in the hair. To do this, brush from top to bottom first to ensure that all particles fall from the fur. Then brush again in the direction of the flow of your cat’s hair. When brushing your cat, it is important to keep it relaxed and calm. You can do this by petting and stroking it while you brush. You can also give it some treats to keep its mind off the brushing.

Related Post: Brush For Cats


Okay, do not expect your tabby to come rushing out through the door to meet you when you get home. In fact, what you should expect is that your cat will ignore when you get home – until it needs to be fed. Just like most cats, tabbies believe that their owners work for them. Tabby cats are generally very laid back and observant. They do love to play at their own time, but they prefer to be left alone to go with their own time table. And, most of their time consists of lazing about, eating, sleeping, and putting their humans to work. The silver lining here is that you can take advantage of this lazy laid-back attitude and make your tabby the perfect lap cat. When it comes to specific traits, tabby cats come in all manner of temperaments and characteristics. Orange tabby cat personality depends mainly on the cat. As mentioned already, tabbies are not a breed of cat. They only share similar coats. Thus, you might find some tabbies that are very friendly and outgoing. You may also find some tabbies that are very reserved and hate strangers. Thus, when it comes to Orange tabbies, you really do not know what you are getting until it’s too late. This shouldn’t stop you from getting one, though.

tabby cat

To Summarize

In conclusion, the Orange Tabby Cat is a popular cat that comes with a lot of mystery concerning its origin. Although it is a very laid back and low-maintenance cat, it comes with its own personality that may be different from another Orange Tabby cat. This is because Orange Tabby cats are not bound by genes as they are not a cat breed. They are only bound by their coat type. However, if you are looking for an adorable and well-mannered cat that will not cause you problems at home, then the Orange Tabby Cat is for you.

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Angela Westfall
Angela has fostered, adopted, screened and saved cats for over 15 years. She is known as one of Central Ohio’s most passionate and knowledgeable cat enthusiasts. Her rescue, Angels Assisting Felines has partnerships with PetSmart and PetSuppliesPlus to help more cats find great homes.


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