are orange cats all male

It’s a common misconception that orange cats are always male. However, around 80% of them are. The color of a cat’s fur depends on genetics linked to their sex, so orange cats inherit their color from their mother, with female cats needing orange genes from both parents rather than one.

Color in Cats is (Mostly) Linked to Sex

A cat’s fur color is determined by two dominant colors: black and red, regardless of whether it is calico, tortoiseshell, orange, black, brown, or gray. These hues can change into various tones; for example, black can turn into chocolate, cinnamon, lilac, blue, and fawn. Additionally, the orange gene, which determines red, can change into cream.

The X chromosome contains the color genes for red and black in cats. According to Dr., this chromosome determines a cat’s sex along with Y in males. Harold Bell is an adjunct genetics professor at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in North Grafton, Massachusetts.

“They are actually alleles, which are two different forms of the same gene located at a single chromosomal location,” he explains. Therefore, one or the other of the two hair genes—black or orange—can be found on an X chromosome, but not both.

“One allele will create orange coloration. Except for pure white, every other color will be concealed by this allele. The other allele will create a non-orange coloration. According to Dr., this allele is “recessive” and permits the expression of a non-orange (typically black) coloration. Susan Konecny is the medical director of Kanab, Utah’s Best Friends Animal Society.

Males normally carry only one X chromosome. Males cannot therefore have both black and orange hair on their bodies, but they can be either black or orange (or other color variations based on other gene locations). Bell says that because the female has an extra X chromosome, she may be able to receive both the orange and black genes.

Cat Color Comes Down To Genes

are orange cats all male

The initial sequencing of the domestic cat genome was aided by Stephen O’Brien of the National Laboratory of Cancer Research in 2007.

Researchers have discovered that a cat’s fur color, pattern, and length can all be influenced by distinct genetic combinations. Sometimes these combinations seem surprising.

For example, tabby cats gets their stripes from the same gene responsible for the cheetah’s spots.

But what does that mean for orange cats?

Are All Orange Cats Male?

About 81 percent of orange cats are male, says Bell. According to Konecny, male cats who carry the orange gene at all will be orange, whereas female cats will only inherit an orange coat if they carry the orange gene on both X chromosomes.

“The likelihood of having two orange genes is significantly lower because the orange gene is much less common than the black gene in the overall cat population. Bell claims that as a result, orange male cats are more common than orange female cats.

All of this means that, depending on the color of their father, the male kittens born to an orange mother will also be orange, according to Konecny, and a tortoiseshell mother will have half of her male kittens be orange and the other half be black.

According to Konecny, for a female kitten to be orange, the mother and father must also be orange. According to her, half of the female kittens born to a tortoiseshell mother and an orange father will be orange.

are orange cats all male

FAQ

How rare are female orange cats?

This is because the gene that causes a cat to be orange is linked to sex, and statistically most orange cats are boys. Only about 1 in 5 orange cats are female, so if you have an orange girl cat, consider yourself blessed with an extra special pet!

What is the rarest color for a cat?

Albino. We’ll finish out our list of rare cat colors with the rarest of them all: albino. This is when there’s no coloring at all, and it impacts not just a cat’s fur, but also its eyes and skin.

Can orange cats be girls?

About 81 percent of orange cats are male, says Bell. While female cats will inherit an orange coat only if they carry the orange gene on both X chromosomes, if a male carries the orange gene at all, he will be orange, says Konecny.

What are the odds of having a female orange cat?

1. Only about 1 in 5 orange tabby cats is female. Scientists and researchers are fairly certain that orange tabbies’ color transpires from a sex-linked gene, with the X chromosome responsible for the orange coloring.