About 25% of orange tabby cats are females. Tabby cats are today’s topic so I thought I’d try and answer the question in the title to this post. Most orange tabbies are males and they tend to have a nice character. The rarer orange female tabbies tend to be “sassy” but that is anecdotal.
The reason why most orange tabby cats are male is because the gene responsible for the orange colour is sex-linked. The gene is carried on one of the sex chromosomes, the X chromosome. The recognised symbol for this gene is O. The O gene eliminates all eumelanistic pigment, which is black, chocolate, blue – variations of black) from the hairs. Also, the O gene masks the non-agouti gene, which in simple language means ginger cats are tabby cats.
Robinson’s Genetics, the definitive book on cat genetics (and a horrible book to be honest), does not tell us in plain language what percentage of orange tabby cats are female neither does The Cat, Its Behavior, Nutrition & Health, a good reference book. The same goes for Legacy of the Cat and Home Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook.
So, trawling the internet I have these figures:
I cannot find anything more definitive or certain. The general rule is that you are much more likely to see a male orange tabby cat than a female. As for calico cats (red, black and white) males are extremely rare.
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