When choosing a pet, many people want to be aware of the temperament of different breeds and types. In this article, I’m exploring whether or not tabby cats are affectionate and loving, as well as the relative rarity of the female tabbies.
The idea that female tabby cats are rare comes from the fact that orange tabbies, in particular, are only likely to occur about one in five times. So, some female tabbies are rare, but not all. Temperament-wise, tabbies are generally social, affectionate, and cuddly.
Keep reading as I explore the personality traits of female tabby cats and how well they interact with children and other pets. I’ll also share insights on the scientific level into why orange female tabbies are somewhat rare. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Are Female Tabby Cats Rare?
It’s important to note that “tabby” is not a designation for a cat breed, but rather, a type of coat marking. This marking is due to genetic factors – specifically, variations of the agouti genotype.
These markings on their own are not a rare occurrence in cats, as two out of three agouti genotypes are visible. Both the A/A and A/a agouti genotypes create a visible tabby pattern on cats and always or sometimes (50% of the time) get passed down to offspring, respectively.
But when it comes to female tabby cats, the question still remains whether or not tabby patterns are rare. While most people think that this idea can be equated to all tabbies, it’s actually only relevant to tabbies with orange-colored coats.
Orange tabbies are only likely to be female about 20% of the time, whereas they’re likely to be male up to 80% of the time. So, one could say those female tabbies of the orange variety are somewhat rare, but not extremely hard to find.
Why They’re Rare
So, you may still be wondering what’s the scientific reasoning behind this genetic rarity in female orange tabbies. Genetically, it’s more common for tabby coats to come in black and gray colorations, in general. But in some cases, tabbies can have the gene for orange hair, which results in a red pigment called phaeomelanin that replaces black and brown pigments.
For female cats, the reasoning basically comes down to the fact that, although being a tabby is likely, being an orange cat is not. Essentially, the gene for orange-colored fur in cats has to do with the X chromosome.
And since male tabby cats only have one X chromosome, they just need one copy of the gene for orange fur. On the other hand, female tabby cats have two X chromosomes, so they need two copies of the gene for orange fur. And it’s simply less common for female cats to get both copies of that color gene, so we have fewer female orange tabbies in general.
Are Female Tabby Cats Affectionate?
Now, onto the next topic of concern. Potential carers of female tabbies may have some concerns about temperament. Well, I am happy to note that most tabby cats – regardless of sex – are very affectionate. In general, cats with this fur pattern (and orange ones) have a very social personality and a tendency to cuddle.
But keep in mind that regardless of a cat’s fur pattern or color, they can still end up grouchy and/or antisocial if they haven’t been properly handled with care as a kitten.
Are Female Tabbies Kid-Friendly?
Most tabby cats are pretty friendly and, most importantly, gentle around children. Do note, however, that there are always exceptions to this depending on environmental factors that have shaped a tabby’s personality.
If you really want female tabby cats to be friendly around children, then you should also be teaching children how to be friendly to cats. For example, teach children to be gentle with tabby cats and avoid pulling fur, tails, or other body parts.
With increased exposure to children from a young age, you’re more likely to have good relationships between female tabby cats and children.
Are Female Tabbies Pet-Friendly?
It’s also important to figure out whether or not female tabbies are friendly with other household pets. Because these felines are generally pretty laid-back, you can expect them to gel well with other dogs, cats, and even pet birds in some cases. The exception would be with outdoor tabbies, who may have a predilection for hunting.
You’re not as likely to have a female tabby getting into spats with other pets that are well-trained. But keep in mind that before getting spayed, a female cat may show signs of aggression or odd behavior, regardless of what type of cat it is.
So, are female tabby cats rare and affectionate? Based on genetic factors, female tabby cats are technically rarer if they also exhibit the orange coat color. Otherwise, female tabbies aren’t that hard to find, and they’re sure to make a social and affectionate addition to your pet family.