3 Reasons Why Orange Cats Are Special
Are orange cats more affectionate than others?
Cat lovers generally believe that orange cats tend to be the most affectionate. After Pontier et al.’s 1995 research, this belief might prove to be more than just a stereotype. According to Karen Wu Ph.D., ‘the gene responsible for the orange color is sex-linked, resulting in a much higher likelihood that an orange cat will be male versus female’. It is also believed that male orange cats are friendlier than female ones – although there is no solid evidence to prove this yet.
Pontier et al. found that orange cats differ from others in three significant ways.
Between 1982-1992, researchers in France sampled from 30 cat populations and collected data on 56-491 cats from each population. Pontier et al. found three interesting trends which make orange cats unique:
1. They are more common in rural rather than urban environments.
Wu explains that this finding may suggest that orange cats have greater reproductive success in rural conditions. That is, she writes that ‘in rural environments, the mating system of cats is more polygynous, meaning that while male cats tend to mate with multiple female cats, females tend to mate with only one male’. Conversely, both female and male cats have multiple mates in urban areas.
2. They are less common in areas with greater mortality risk.
This finding could suggest that orange cats might be more likely to engage in risky behavior which could result in death.
3. They show greater sexual dimorphism.
Sexual dimorphism refers to the condition where the two sexes of a species have different characteristics apart from the differences in their sexual organs. In the case of orange cats, it was found that the male cats weigh significantly more than cats of other colors and female cats weigh significantly less.
So why are orange cats friendlier and more affectionate?
While these three findings do not provide solid evidence to prove that orange cats are friendlier, it is believed that their affection towards humans could be attributed to their risk-taking behaviors. Furthermore, Wu explains that male orange cats might be friendlier as their dominant status and bold personalities might make them feel more comfortable to approach humans (who often scare away timid cats). In any case, further research needs to be conducted so that one can know exactly where their affectionate side truly stems from.