Orange Maine Coon cat added by Michael (Admin) to illustrate article - this is a tabby MC - photo krisandapril (Flickr)
We found our princess as a stray in Arkansas. She was young and had fleas and worms and was very thin, so we had no idea she would be so beautiful. After vet visits and good care, her fur began growing and her beautiful tail emerged, as well as all the paw and ear tufts!
On our first vet visit, when they found out her name was Bridgette, and saw her, they all (receptionist to the Dr) tried to tell us she was probably a boy because she's completely orange.
Of course, they looked, and she's a girl. Even the vet had never seen an all-orange girl before. So we knew she was special. We all adore her trills and chirps, and her playful habits and marvel at how high she can jump!
Obviously, no one would dump a purebred female Maine Coon, so we're pretty sure she must be a mix, but she so perfectly fits the descriptions.
Wondering how many Orange (no white spots) female Maine Coons are out there?
She seems to dominate my Chartruese and Tuxedo neutered males, who are 6 and 15 respectively.
She's about 10 months and very large. She loves to play tag and fetch!
Hi Lila... Thanks for visiting and sharing. I admire you for rescuing Bridgette. The genetics as usual are complicated, very complicated but this is how I think it comes to pass that males are more often orange (there are some some great male orange cats - see Orange Persian cat for instance).
The O gene that produces the red (orange or sometimes called yellow) colouration is sex linked being carried by the X chromosome. Males have only one X, females have two.
Males only need to have the orange gene on one chromosome to become ginger, while females have to have it on two chromosomes. For this reason ginger males outnumber females 3 to 1. For a cat to have both orange and black (
for instance) it has to have two different X chromosomes per cell, which leads to calico (or tortoiseshell) female cats outnumbering males by between 200 to 1 to 3,000 to 1. This is a simplified explanation and may require refining.
The O gene eliminates all the eumelanistic pigment (black, chocolate and blue etc.) from the hair strands. The pigment granule is lighter with "different optical properties" (Robinson's Genetics 4th edition).
Here is another orange Maine Coon cat:
Photo copyright Helmi Flick
substituting at for @
See also: Yellow Cat (an orange feral cat)