An orange tabby cat picture by Helmi Flick, the well known professional cat photographer. Sometimes people substitute “yellow” for orange. “Red” is also used for orange cats. “Orange” appears to be the current standard at 2012.
This is a classic or blotched tabby pattern because you can see the swirls of the darker fur on the sides of the cat.
In fact this seems to be a tabby and white cat as there is a small amount of white on the muzzle and chin.
The cat’s name is “Pheonix”. He has the characteristics of a Maine Coon but some domestic long hair cats that are not purebred can have very similar characteristics.
What causes a cat’s fur to be orange tabby?
The gene that makes the fur orange is carried on X chromosome. and so is sex linked. The symbol for the gene is O.
The O gene removes the eumelanistic pigment (dark brown/black) from the hair strands. It is substituted by a pigment called “phaeomelanin”. This is lighter in color and this pigment reflects and refracts light differently.
“All tabby patterns can be found in red and cream cats”¹. Cream is dilute red.
You can read about the tabby cat coat and how it is made plus see a lot of great pictures by Helmi on this page.
If you click on the picture immediately above (he is Fredo, living in Malta), you can read about the orange tabby cat personality and a slightly extended discussion on genetics.
Orange tabby cat picture — note: (1) Robinson’s Genetics for Cat Breeders & Veterinarians 4th ed. Page 143. ISBN: 0-7506-4069-3