About 25% of orange tabby cats are females, which means that 75% of orange tabby cats are males. I say that because sometimes internet users search for “What percentage of orange tabbies are male?”
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. Please click the link below to read more.
The rarer orange female tabbies tend to be “sassy” but that is anecdotal. People refer to orange tabbies as marmalade, yellow and red tabbies depending on their preference. ‘Red’ is probably the more accurate description. Read more on naming the coat by clicking on the link below.
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. So, the X chromosome is responsible for the red tabby coat type. Female cats each have two X chromosomes. They need to inherit the O gene from both their parents to have a red tabby coat. Male cats have XY chromosomes and so they only need to have the O gene passed on through the X chromosome from their mother. This equates to a much higher chance of male cats being red tabbies compared to female cats.
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.
- Yahoo Answers
Below are some more articles on red tabby cats.