What Percentage of Ginger Cats are Male? The Science Explained

Have you ever noticed that ginger cats are often represented as male in the media? From Garfield to Crookshanks, and Puss from Shrek, it seems like there’s no shortage of male ginger cats. Even Thomas O’Malley and Toulouse of the Aristocats fall into this category. There is some truth to this – 80% of ginger cats are male, ranging from pure ginger to ginger tabbies.

However, despite what many people think, not all ginger cats are male – it’s a common misconception. Find out below to know more about these unique felines and discover whether or not there is any truth behind a ginger cat’s gender, fur color, and behavior.

The Fascination For Ginger Cats

There are a few reasons why ginger cats have become such an adored breed among cat enthusiasts. Their distinctive fur colour is a standout feature that sets them apart from other felines. With markings that match tigers and cheetahs in the wild, having a ginger cat is like having a piece of nature with you.

In addition, ginger cats are known for their charmin, gregarious, and affectionate personalities, making them excellent companions for families and individuals. 

Moreover, ginger cats have a fascinating history that dates back to ancient times. In ancient Egypt, cats were considered sacred animals, and ginger cats were particularly revered. It is believed that ginger cats were often depicted in ancient Egyptian art, and some even held high positions in society as protectors of crops and homes.

What’s in a Coat? Ginger Cats Colors and Patterns

Ginger cats are known for their unique and varied hues and patterns, which can differ based on their breed and genetic makeup. For instance, some ginger cats may display a reddish tint, while others showcase a golden or yellow tone. 

One of the most frequently observed types of ginger cats is the tabby; its coat pattern often features stripes or blotches across its fur. However, there exist other striking fur patterns as well: 

  • Mackerel – tiger-like stripes with a distinct “M” on the forehead. 
  • Classic – tie-dye stripes and swirls on the back and arms.
  • Ticked – salt-and-pepper type coloring. Almost pure orange or yellow in color but when in close inspection, have white or darker “ticked” spots
  • Spotted – large and small spots around the body, common in ginger Bengal cats.
  • Patched – large and small spots with variating stripes around the body and arms.

Ginger Cats Color Genetics and Gender-Based Behaviors

Many factors affect and influence the genetics of cats. These include their parentage, breed, and the environment they are in. With ginger cats, their color does not indicate certain behaviours. However, the color of their fur is determined by a sex-linked gene called O which is carried on the X chromosome.


No research proves that a ginger cat’s color will depend on its behavior. However, most ginger cats born are indeed male rather than female. This is in part due to the “ginger gene” called O.

The X chromosome of ginger cats is what makes them orange in colour. Ginger females have two X chromosomes, while ginger males only have one X and one Y. For female cats to be ginger, they must get the same ginger gene from both parents (two X chromosomes of just the ginger gene). While ginger males only need one ginger gene from their mother.

The number of genetic coat colour combinations or variations is higher in females since they inherit two X chromosomes and different sets of O genes from both parents. Because of this, about 1:3 female to male ginger cats is around. Only 20% of ginger cats are female, while 80% are male.

Other than orange, tri-colored and two-tone cats have the ginger gene, such as calico and tortoiseshell cats. In fact, cats of these colors are predominantly female due to their genetic makeup. With this enhanced knowledge about feline genetics, it is fascinating to understand how certain traits manifest in different cats and vary from gender and breed.

Female gingers also have lesser chances of giving birth to pure gingers. Most of their offspring are non-ginger colors, such as black, white, and sometimes grey. But most offsprings of both ginger parent cats can be pure ginger, tri-colored, or two-toned with hues of orange or red.


There are many myths and preconceptions about ginger cats and their behavior, especially towards their gender. Female ginger cats are considered more hostile and irritable when faced with unfamiliar people and handled in an uncomfortable environment. There is a correlation between this erratic behavior and color in female ginger cats.

The pigment pheomelanin is found in cats with orange hues. The same pigment is found in human ginger hair. Red-haired women are known to have lower pain tolerance and quickly feel discomfort in certain situations. There is a suggestion that female cats are equally impacted as well.

Despite the colors and genetic distinction between genders, orange cats can still be lovable pets. They are affectionate to their owners and can be trained no matter what color or gender they are.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are ginger cats rare?

The color is not rare, but female ginger cats are rarer than males.

Is the ginger color of a cat a breed?

No. the orange color of a cat only refers to its hues, but some breeds of cats are ginger.

Are ginger cats expensive?

Yes, they can often be expensive as ginger cat colors are more preferred among people than black or original tabby colors.

What common behavior do orange cats usually express?

Ginger cats love to “talk.” They socialize with their owners by purring, chirping, and meowing. They do all of these to communicate or ask for attention.

How long does a ginger cat live?

The life span of ginger cats ranges from 15-20 years. This factor varies depending on their overall health and general well-being.

Do ginger cats make the perfect pet?

They are popular for their affectionate and amiable personalities, which makes them perfect pets and home companions.

Bottom Line: Appreciating Cats of All Gender and Colors

While it is true that most ginger cats are male, female cats should also be appreciated despite their perceived irrational behaviors. A ginger cat’s genetic makeup, unique hues, and individual personality set this color apart. 

At the same time, it’s important to remember that a cat’s gender and coloring do not determine its personality alone. These will still depend on their breed and how you care for them.

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