Categories: orange

Orange, red, yellow, ginger or marmalade cats

Red tabby Siberian cat (believed). Photo in public domain.

Different groups of people use different descriptive words for the red (usually tabby) cat.

  • Geneticists use orange
  • Breeders use red. Although I’d like you to read at the base of the page about Marc and the cat he loved and who he named ‘Red’.
  • The public use ginger
  • Story tellers use marmalade
  • In the old days people used yellow

The definitive book on cat genetics (a poor book in my view – sorry, just my personal opinion), Robinson’s Genetics for Cat Breeders and Veterinarians describes the orange gene as follows:

The recognised symbol for the gene is ‘O’. The action of the O gene is to eliminate all melanic pigment (black and brown) from the hair fibres.

Dorothy and Marvin. Marvin was a semi-feral cat that DW adopted and brought inside. He adapted brilliantly to home life. You can see that his left ear has been ‘tipped’ meaning the top cut off to indicate that he was a feral cat in a TNR program.

Dr Morris tells us that:

In the early days, the term ‘orange’ was also applied to various pedigree cats by breeders, before they switched to the official term ‘red’.


Orangey was a long-haired ginger cat with a temperament to match the color. He was a professional cat who featured in a number of films such as the title role in Rhubarb which aired in 1961. He appeared in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) with Audrey Heburn. He was knows as ‘Cat’ in this film. Here he is…

Orangey in Breakfast at Tiffany’s with the fabulous Audrey Hepburn.


Red was the name of Marc’s cat. Marc is a great guy. He is or was living in Switzerland. He gave generously in spirit and financially. Red passed too early. Read about Red by clicking on this link.

Or see Marc’s memorial to Red – this is a big and detailed page.

And finally a touching video to Red and the friendship between Red and Lilly (click this to see it).

There are some great orange tabby cats on this website. Ten examples are below but there are lot more. If you like red cats please use the Google custom search tool at the top of the page.


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I think I like this, although I expect some cat lovers won't. The photograph is, of course, copyright protected so ...
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Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

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