Are Ginger Tabby Cats Usually Male and is it True They Are Always Very Affectionate?

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 It is indeed true that most ginger (orange) tabby cats are male, in fact the ratio of males to females is around 3:1. All cats have 19 pairs of chromosomes, and all 19 pairs are found in each and every cell in the cats body. In cats, just like in people, it is these chromosomes that carry genes that are passed along from the cats parents.

Just like people, cats have a pair of sex chromosomes, which make them male or female, and these chromosomes also play a significant role in determining the cats color. In cats, females have xx and males are xy (the ‘y’ is the male determining factor). Each parent donates 1 chromosome, since the females are xx, they can only send an x, if the father sends an x, congratulations it’s a girl, if he sends the y, you guessed it, it’s a boy.

The ginger color is located in the x chromosome, and dominates all other colors (except white, since white is not a color, but rather an absence of color, white can override orange). Since the boys only have one x chromosome, they either are orange, or they are not orange (hmmm… you don’t say, they either are or they aren’t). In females, two x’s conflict, and each cell randomly ignores one of them. So with one out of the way in each cell, some cells have the orange x on, and others will turn it off, which produces Calico fur (orange, black/brown/etc).

So for a female to be all orange, BOTH x’s need to be ginger genes.

Wait a minute, does that mean there is no such thing as a male Calico? No, there could be a male Calico, but they are very rare, since the male would need to have a mutation that causes a 2nd x in some cells, or an ‘xxy’ set-up. That means the male Calico would be sterile, and may even act a little girly.

And the color has nothing to do with affection.  Cats are just like people, some probably like you, and others just don’t.

For more than you would ever need to know about cats, check out:

If you hear your cats voice in your head, and you want to learn how to talk back to them, you could always blow $30 on this book.


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One Response to “Are Ginger Tabby Cats Usually Male and is it True They Are Always Very Affectionate?”
  1. Charlotte says:

    Really good article, well-explained and interesting. I heard that most orange tabbies are males and was curious since I have a female.

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