Orange Cat Breeds - Long Haired & Short Haired
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Not all breeds can have the same range of coat colors. Some pure bred cats will only have one color accepted by breed standardization organizations. Others will have almost any coat color possible, with various patterns and shades. There are people who discuss orange cats as if they were a breed of themselves. They often refer to them as orange tabby cats. In actuality, there are many breeds which can have the orange and white tabby pattern, both long-hair and short-hair varieties.
We bring you our list of 10+ orange cat breeds for both long-hair and short-hair cats. We also provide photos of each breed so you know what they look like and fun facts about orange cats you may not know.
Are orange cats a breed?
While every cat is an individual, there are certain genetic influences on their personality, behavior and appearance. Coat colors and patterns are just one such aspect dictated by genetics. Health is another important factor. One of the most common coat colors and patterns is the orange and white tabby cat. They have striped markings which look very distinctive.
However, the orange tabby is not a breed, but a coat color. There are different types of tabby markings which can be differentiated. Many different purebred cats have orange tabby markings, but otherwise look very different from other breeds. The type of cat most people think of as an ‘orange tabby cat’ breed is actually a Domestic Shorthair with an orange tabby coat. These are mixed breed cats with a genetic history of no determined origin.
The breeds of orange cat include:
- American Bobtail
- Maine Coon
- Oriental Shorthair
- Exotic Shorthair
- European Shorthair
- Domestic cat
- Other orange cat breeds
Are orange cat breeds the nicest cats?
Some people go as far to believe orange tabby cats are more affectionate than other types of cat. This has been seen in a study on human perceptions of feline coat color and personality. However, this is likely due to confirmation bias and there is little scientific evidence to prove they are any nicer than any other cat of a different color (even if there is a lot of anecdotal evidence). What is true is that surveys show there is a common human preference for orange cats over other coat colors.
Orange and white tabby cats are not the only type of coat pattern which displays orange. Some are more rare than others. Calico cats are cats which have three markings, usually white, black and orange. Tortoiseshell cats also have orange in their coat pattern. As with the tabby pattern, these can be seen in almost any cat breed and are not breeds of their own.
Among the types of orange cat breed, the Persian cat stands out. They are perhaps the most famous long-haired orange cat and are also one of the oldest cat breeds in the world. There are different types of Persian cat, but all can exhibit orange on their coat color. They are not only characterized by their long and fluffy coat, but by their endearing and affectionate personality. Persian cats can also display calico and tortie coats with orange on them.
2. American Bobtail
Selected breeding of the American bobtail began in the mid-20th century from a short-tailed cat found in Arizona. Today, there are both long-hair and short-hair varieties of American Bobtail. A wide range of colors can appear in both, but orange striped or marbled patterns are very common.
One of the most famous orange cats is not a domestic cat at all, but the tiger. A smaller specimen is the Toyger. They have been developed at the end of the 20th century to look like their big cat relative, but to be easier to keep in the home. Their pattern has the marked stripes of a tiger, but it does not look exactly the same. There are variations in color, but a deep pumpkin orange is the ideal.
Check out our list of other cats that look like tigers to learn more. Some are rare orange cat breeds due to their wild look.
4. Maine Coon
The Maine Coon cat stands out for their enormous size and striking coat. In fact, they are one of the largest cat breeds in the world. They originated on farms in the state of Maine USA as a working cat. They are currently the official breed of the United States.
The Maine coon has a long and fluffy coat, which can have a variety of patterns and colors. The orange tabby is quite common.
5. Oriental Shorthair
Reading their name, you may think they are an Asian cat breed. Although, they have genetic lineage from Asian cats, they were actually first begun in England, UK in the middle of the last century. They were developed form the Siamese breeds, resulting in a similarly elegant, elongated and stylized cat.
However, one of the key distinctions is that the Oriental Shorthair can be of almost any coat color or pattern. Orange tones are particularly common in brindle tabby, tortoiseshell and calico coats. This is why we can include them in our list of orange cat breeds.
6. Exotic Shorthair
Again, the Exotic Shorthair cat's name can be a little misleading. They are actually originally from the United States. They were bred with the Persian cat to create a breed which had a more robust body type. The resulting crosses resulted in a cat which was, essentially, a Persian with a short-haired coat. They have similar personalities and even suffer from some of the same health conditions. They can also be of almost any color, including orange. In fact orange and white Exotic Shorthair cats are one of the most common.
7. European Shorthair
The European Shorthair is believed by some to be the most ancient breed of cat. They were domesticated in ancient Mesopotamia from the African wild cat (Felis Lybica). Later, they arrived in Europe together with some of the merchant sailors of the time.
This breed is characterized by their enormous genetic variability, so many different colors and patterns can appear. Among them, the orange color stands out. This can appear in solid tones or striped patterns, tortoiseshell, calico, etc.
The munchkin is one of the most distinctive orange cat breeds. This is due to their short legs, which arose as a result of a natural mutation. In the 20th century, some American breeders decided to select and breed a series of short-legged cats, giving rise to the current characteristics of this breed. However, they retain enormous color variability, many of them being orange.
Their small stature makes them one of smallest cat breeds in the world.
The Manx cat comes from European cats that traveled to the Isle of Man, most likely with some British Sailors returning home. On this island, in the 18th century, a dominant mutation emerged that caused them to lose their tails. Due to isolation, this mutation spread throughout all the island's population of cats.
Like their European ancestors, Manx cats are very versatile in terms of appearance. In fact, orange individuals are one of the most common and all the usual patterns may appear.
10. Domestic cat
The Domestic cat is not a breed in the same way as purebred cats. By definition, they are a cat breed which has no known origin. They are mixed breed cats and by far the most common type of cat in the world. For this reason, they are the most diverse. They can be of any coat pattern, color or type. They can be of any size and have any number of distinguishing features.
As we stated above, so called orange tabby cats are usually Domestic cats. We can find them in both Domestic Shorthair and Domestic Longhair varieties, something which many people group them as. If you are unsure of the differences, we provide details on the differences between mixed and pure breed cats to help you out.
Other breeds of orange cats
In addition to the above, orange and white cats can also appear in many other breeds. In an attempt to be comprehensive, here is a complete list of all orange cat breeds we can think of:
- American Curl
- American Shorthair
- American Wirehair
- British Shorthair
- British Wirehair
- Cornish Rex
- Devon Rex
- German Rex
- Japanese Bobtail
- Kurilean Bobtail
- Scottish Fold
- Scottish Straight
- Selkirk Rex
Despite the broad diversity of cats, Domestic mixed-breed felines are those most commonly found in animal shelters. Due to a desire to keep purebred animals, many are lost in the shelter system. This is why we provide the video below to show reasons why you should adopt mixed breed cats from a shelter, whether orange or of any color:
If you want to read similar articles to Orange Cat Breeds - Long Haired & Short Haired, we recommend you visit our Comparisons category.
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2. Brown, W. P., & Morgan, K. T. (2015). Age, breed designation, coat color, and coat pattern influenced the length of stay of cats at a no-kill shelter. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 18 (2), 169-180.
3. Kaelin, C. B., & Barsh, G. S. (2013). Genetics of pigmentation in dogs and cats. Annu. Rev. Anim. Biosci., 1(1), 125-156.
- The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA). cfa.org
- Fédération Internationale Féline (FIF). fifeweb.org
- The International Cat Association (TICA). tica.org