There is something irresistible about a small, purring kitten.  And, if you are instantaneously drawn to an orange tabby cat compared to other breeds of cat, you are not alone.  Across the world, studies have found that more people are instantly drawn to orange tabby cats, and it may be because they are more affectionate. 

If it is true that orange tabby cats are more affectionate than other breeds, why?  Can a simple fur color dictate the demeanor and temperament of a cat? Below, let’s take a closer look at why orange tabby cats are so affectionate 

Orange Tabby Cats Are More Affectionate

After repeated studies in the matter, evidence suggests that orange tabby cats turn out to be more affectionate when compared to other breeds of cats and other tabby cats of a different color.  This is because of a self-fulfilling prophecy surrounding tabby cats that are orange in color. 

Humans imagine orange tabby cats to be more affectionate due to a history of commercialization of orange tabby cats, and thus, are drawn to these cats more when they are an early age.  Increased attention and affection toward orange tabby cat kittens can help to better socialize the cat early in life. 

When a cat is subjected to positive interaction with humans at an early age, it can help develop an ongoing pleasant and affectionate demeanor throughout its adult life.  It is true that orange tabby cats are, in fact, more affectionate.

But Why?

An orange tabby cat is not a specific breed and really is not any different from another tabby cat aside from having a different coat color.  So why are orange tabby cats more affectionate than their tabby counterparts? 

The truth is that we need to dig down deeper into this self-fulfilling prophecy to get a better understanding of why orange tabby cats consistently are more affectionate, while only fur color differentiates them from their tabby brethren.  

Early Development

A great deal of a cat’s personality stems from the way a kitten is treated and raised.  Due to a number of different factors, humans continuously find themselves drawn to orange tabby cats.  This can generally be attributed to the lovable Garfield cartoon character. 

With a popular cartoon, people are generally drawn to orange cats, and thus, are more inclined to interact and handle young cats.  It is a fun fact that all orange cats are, in fact, tabby cats, further attributing to the stigma of an affectionate orange tabby cat.  

When a kitten is handled and held at a young age, it can greatly contribute to its personality later in life.  Socialization is key to personality development in pets, and shelters regularly find that orange tabby cat kittens are adopted faster than other cats. 

Regular handling and positive interactions create happy and affectionate adult cats.  It makes sense that if orange tabby cats receive more attention at an early age and receive better socialization, they will disproportionately grow into affectionate and friendly adult cats when compared to other tabby cats or other breeds of cats.  

Are Calicos and Tortoiseshells That Bad?

There are several breeds of cats, which include tabby cats, calicos, and tortoiseshell cats.  In repeated experimentation, calicos and tortoiseshell cats are rated as aloof and non-affectionate when compared to their feline friends. 

In fact, many people will turn away from adopting one of these breeds simply because they are known to not bond with their humans, preferring to be fiercely independent.   But are we seeing the same self-fulfilling prophecy in play here?  

The truth is that both calicos and tortoiseshell cats are a completely different breed of cat, which lends itself to an entirely new range of personality traits. 

Typically, these cats are very vocal and independent, which can make them seem less affectionate.  Pet owners who are accustom to a friendly tabby cat may be taken aback at the independence of these two cats, and thus, a stigma is created surrounding these two cat breeds.

Many potential adopters understand that calicos and tortoiseshell cats have a different personality compared to a tabby and are less inclined to play and adopt a cat of this breed. 

Thus, the cycle continues, and these cats often do not receive the same amount of socialization compared to their counterparts.  It is important to note, though, that a great deal of socialization, particularly at a young age, can greatly impact the overall temperament and demeanor of your cat. 

Just because you own a calico or tortoiseshell cat does not mean that you will not have a fun, loving, and affectionate companion.  

How Cats Show Affection

Unlike a dog, cats have their own special personality and ways to show their affection toward their human companion.  Some cats will choose to sit and snuggle with their human, preferring long hours of petting and cuddling.  However, not all cats are lap cats, and that is perfectly alright.  It is important to remember that all cats can show their affection in different ways.

For some, playtime is the best form of affection.  A cat that is willing to play and engage with their human is a loving companion.  Playtime can be as simple as chasing a string around the house or as adventurous as a harnessed walk for your cat.  To some more independent cats, spending quality playtime together is enough to show affection and the equivalent of sitting together under a blanket.  

To other cats, affection can be demonstrated by presenting gifts and presents to the owner.  Gathering “gifts” from normal every day objects to give to an owner is a great surprise and sign that your cat loves you. 

Unfortunately, sometimes these gifts are not what we humans would prefer, but it is the thought that counts.  Cats that are willing to share their finds, treasures, and, unfortunately, kill are showing their humans that they do, in fact, love them.

Lastly, cats can show their affection toward their people simply in the way they choose to posture themselves.  If your cat kneads on you, it is a sign of affection.  Rubbing a face or body part along your leg as you walk past is another sign of affection.  Further still, a cat that presents its stomach to you shows trust and love. 

All pets are unique individuals, and it is important to remember that a sign of affection may differ between cats.  Just because your cat is not a lap cat does not mean that your cat is not affectionate.  

Bonding With Your Cat

Evidence suggests that orange tabby cats are more affectionate compared to other cats simply because of the amount of attention and socialization these cats receive at an early age. 

If it is possible to alter the personality and affection level of a kitten with an orange tabby cat, it is important to note that the same can be true for other breeds and colors of cats.  Spending quality time with your cat from an early age is a great way to guarantee that you will have an affectionate and loving companion for years to come.

Bonding with your cat is important for any pet owner.  Bonding can take several different forms, and each bonding activity should be catered to your particular cat and personality. 

Some cats prefer to be held for hours at a time or snuggled under a warm blanket while their human companion happily sits.  For these cats, spending quality time together resting is all that really matters, preferring close contact to invigorating play.  

For other cats, quality playtime is enough to form a long and lasting bond.  At a minimum, you should engage your cat in playtime for at least 20 minutes per day.  Time spent chasing a string, rolling around in catnip, or following a toy around can mean endless fun and quality time spent between yourself and your cat.

Still more, other cats associate food with a bonding moment.  The person who dishes out the food is usually the provider and the preferred family member.  Make mealtime special with your cat to establish quality bonding. 

Whatever form you prefer to bond with your cat, it will undoubtedly contribute to your overall relationship with your pet.  Be sure to give your pet plenty of quality time spent together, and ensure that you are matching bonding activities to the preference and personality of your cat. 

Every pet is an individual, and it is important to remember that you must respect and appreciate these wonderful differences in cats.