Yellow Tabby Cats

Yellow (Orange) Tabby Cats - Photo by Mrs eNil

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Yellow (Orange) Tabby Cats - Photo by Mrs eNil

People search for yellow tabby cats on the internet. When I first saw this, I wondered what it meant. I knew of no yellow cats, tabby or otherwise. About the same time, I was considering doing a short post on yellow tabby cats, Dorothy emailed me about a feral cat she called, Yellow Cat. And as it happened this cat was a tabby cat. That is not surprising as solid-coloured yellow cats are hard to breed or come by and tabby cats are the most common of all cat coat types.

yellow tabby cat

And what is interesting is that breeders and geneticists call these cats “red” cats. Both are a little wide of the mark, I think, as they are really orange unless I have become colour blind.

Actually, I am not colour blind because the gene that causes the orange colour is unsurprisingly the sex linked “orange” (or sometimes called red) O gene. This gene is found on the X chromosome which means its inheritance is more complicated as males have one X chromosome and females have two. Therefore males have one O or o (recessive non red) allele, while females have two: OO, Oo tortoiseshell or oo (non-red).

yellow tabby cat

Tortoiseshell cats are almost invariably female. The O gene creates an orange cat because it converts the pigment that makes a cat black, eumelanin into orange pigment phaeomelanin.

Yellow cats are a dilute orange and the dilution comes from the incorporation of the d gene into the genotype. However, it seems that an orange cat does not have to be dilute to be yellow. "Ginger" or "marmalade" are other terms for orange in the cat fancy.

As for the tabby coat; that is another story, which is told on this page: Cat Coats Tabby.

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From Yellow Tabby Cat to Home Page

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Yellow Tabby Cats

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May 09, 2012 The Yellow Cat with White Boots NEW
by: Anonymous

One night during Christmas, we had went outside to cut out the Christmas lights from the fence. I heard a meow but did not know where it was coming from. I got a flash light but still did not find where the meow was coming from. I let my dogs out and they immediately found where the meow was coming from. Across the fence in a vacant lot, there was a little kiddy in the top of the pine tree. I got my dogs in, a german shephere and a terrier and took the flash light and found the kiddy. She came down slowly. she came to me and I took her home. It was cold. I made her a bed in the carport and gave her food. The next morning she was gone. we figured she had gone home, that night she showed up again and we fed her and she slept under the carport. Then she begain to stay under the carport. The next night it was real cold so we put her in the closed garage with a blanket and made her a bed and put her food out. we contacted the vet and different one to find out who she belonged to because we are not cat people. Then she began to love on our german shepherd and he began to love on her. we decided that it was three weeks now, so we took her to the vet, got her shots, got her collar and tag and then had her spayed. She loves our family and our dogs. She sleeps in our bed, part of the night and part in her condo that we got her in the family room, but amazingly, she wants to ride on my left shoulder, walking, riding the golf cart or washing dishes. she wants to get in the shower with me, she watches us give the dogs a bath in the bathtub. she is a funny little orange white, black striped cat. she has brought joy to our life. I am so glad that she found us at the right time. we call her Bootsy Boo after my german shepherd, Bailey Boo.

thank you.

Feb 15, 2012lala
by: Anonymous

I have one named Lala shes really freakin lazy but she really loves me 🙂 i get up and shes in my bed. i go to the bathroom shes in the shower. i mean shes awesome!

Jan 28, 2012Lost tabby cat
by: Anonymous

Around October this cat came to my door starving and wounded. We can't have an inside cat. So we got him a chair and a heating pad and just hoped the winter wasn't to hard for him to handle. We would feet him everyday, and everyday it looked like he had been beat up the night before. He for sure is an inside cat, everything outside seems so new to him. He really never left the yard. Then about 3 weeks ago he just vanished, we looked for him knowing he had no defense skills. But had no luck and was hoping someone just wanted him. He was a really good cat. Then one morning around 6 a.m. He was cring at the front door, starving and cold. We had just his heating pad off didn't think he was coming back. Poor guy has been through the ringer beat up and starving, we feed him and turned on his heating pad. He was right back in his have came to love this cat,but he is not an outside cat. He wants who would love and protect this cat? He really needs to inside he is a family guy and really cute. I live in Indy just email me at gr**********@ao*.com... Thanks

Nov 06, 2011Yellow tabby
by: Anonymous

I need to give my beautiful yellow tabby cat (6 months old) in adoption to a good home, s he comes with all her toys. She is very sweet and playful. Can't keep her cause of my daughter allergies getting worse and worse. If interested please call me at 321-436-9395. I'm in Orlando, Fl.

Oct 04, 2011I recently lost my Apricot
by: Anonymous

And I had him since the day he was born, in my room. He was very much like a son to me, I buried his remains yesterday, live will never be the same without him.

Aug 09, 2011That's a shame...
by: Rob in the Bronx

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Jul 29, 2011losing a cat
by: sheri

i lost my dear yellow cat on june 24th 2011.he was love of my life and i still can not belive he is gon for ever. he was 9 years old and he died of cancer.

Mar 23, 2010To Finn
by: Dorothy

Ginger - I like the sound of that. Whatever he is, I'd love to get my fingers in his fur and give him a good rub.


Mar 20, 2010Cream
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Hi Dorothy. I had somehow missed the page about your feral yellow, so thank you for the heads-up. As you probably have noticed, this is exactly the kind of story I just can't help commenting on. I'll be over there in a minute.

Your yellow feral is indeed very blond, but still I would call him a cream or ginger tabby, because the only way to get that colour is from the O gene. Actually the cream tone is another good reason for calling the basic undiluted colour 'orange' and not red. 😉

Finn Frode avatar



Mar 18, 2010Hi Finn
by: Dorothy

It is so good to see your comments around these pages. Have you seen

I included a video of Yellow Cat, as I call him. Does he look orange or red to you? I see him as truly blond, except for the redish orange tones on top. He's definitely a tabby.


Mar 16, 2010Orange
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

In Danish we always talk about 'red cats', but from POC I've gotten used to 'orange'. I like that, because it's more accurate and has a pleasant sound too...

And Jan. You can always cheat a little by turning up 'Saturation'. No need for expensive software - even the free IrfanView will do this trick. 😉


Finn Frode avatar


Jan 13, 2010Orange tabbys
by: Jan Plant

Gosh what a stunning photo of this pair.My photos never look this beautiful!LOL!great information as always, Michael.I do have one question though,are these the cats sometimes referred to as Marmalades? or is that a cat of a different color?Or own separate breed? Oh,sorry, I did say one question.

Dorothy's Yellow Cat is a marvelous looking big boy,and I agree "orange" just wouldn't sound right!

Jan 12, are right
by: Dorothy

Yellow Cat is actually of the orange hue, but there is the very blond under fur, that makes him look more yellow to me than orange. Somehow, the nick name of "Orange Cat" doesn't resonate well.

All kidding aside, those 'twin' tabby's are gorgeous. That 'd' gene adds a nice touch.



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15 thoughts on “Yellow Tabby Cats”

  1. Taco came to us 2 years ago with his mother, an Abyssian-like colored feral, who after feeding themfor four months, became jealous of the kitten and abused him by not letting his eat his food, cuffing him,and chasing him off. We tried trapping her but she was too streetwise for that and left. Taco was neutered and became an indoor cat loving us but afraid of anyone else including our 6 year old 5 pound tabby. Taco now weighs 20 pounds and still daily curls up in my lap for a nap.

  2. Check this out, my name is DOROTHY, too….and I just took in a homeless, big, beautiful- yellow , male cat, this winter to get him in out of the freezing cold. I moved into a 1 bedroom Apt.-10 mos. ago. I didnt even know if pets were allowed, but I brought with me 2 cats – 1 at a time (out of a bad situation) they needed safety and love, and I had no intention of bring in pets, when I moved – I found myself , grabbing them up and bringing them along, hoping to find them homes. I cant live without them now, they have my heart. ( by the way were allowed 1 animal—-ssshhh). NOW, ANYWAY, I coaxed in this big yellow male cat in , I named him ” SUNSHINE ” . Its obvious, that someone totally LOVED HIM, and somehow left him behind. This big O bad Tom Cat, comes in my house, I see him rolling all over the floor, playing with my cats toys, hes rolling on top of the toys. HES such an amazing little talker, Ive never heard a cat, talk this much. Like Ill say, — want some kitty food? He goes -meew. Ill say, get you some kitty food. He says- meew… Like hes saying “what”?…… Or I SAID … its ok now, were going to the Kitty Doctors, be ok. MEEW. Ive got to find it though…MEEW…. Here it is I found the Kitty Doctors….Meew….I found It, were here at the Kitty Doctors….he goes MEEW . Like a child or an older person, constantly talked to him, and he learned to talk back, almost like hes answering you…. ANYWAY I have to find him a home, quickly. Were soon having Apt. inspections, and I CANT have 3 cats– I may loose my apartment. Hes so beautiful !!! call 269 3196186 if youd like this, sweet BIG BOY… THANK YOU. ,

    1. Dorothy, your comment is lovely. Made me smile. You are kind hearted. You’ll probably need to publicise this a bit more to get a response. I’ll put your comment on Facebook and see if that helps. I have merged your 2 comments to make one.

  3. I just won’t to say cats are awesome!!!! If you see this I love cats I have two one yellow tabby and one calico

  4. My yellow cat just passed away of old age. Let me tell you I never had a better or smarter and friendlier cat than him. They are the best.

    1. I have heard the same thing from other people. It is not scientific but it seems that the red tabby cat is one of the best.

    2. I know your loss. My tabby has passed on to cat heaven after many years of supervising my life. I was not a cat person. I was seriously ill. A big tabby sat outside on my window sill and helped me through. After recovery he helped in everything I did. When it was possible we were together. We fed and cared for livestock, built fence, cut wood, repaired equipment and most amazing of all swam in the swimming pool together.
      I adopted a young rescue tabby. It is amazing how much he is like the first tabby. He does everything but swim with me. He sits on the deck. I think he is trying to figure out how anyone be so stupid as get into the water. I live far back in the mountains and my animals are totally free to come and go as they please. I have dog and cat under foot constantly.;

      1. Erman, I enjoyed your comment. I’d like you to write some about your first tabby and your life with companion animals in the mountains. If you can add a picture that would be great. I’ll make it an article. Thanks for commenting.

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