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That Special Something: Orange Tabbies.

What IS it about orange tabby cats that makes you love them the second you meet them? I've experienced this a few times now-there's a quality about orange tabbies-a sweet nature, outgoing personality, ready to fit into whatever situation they find themselves in…dare I add the cats must be boys, too?

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. I put a spellz on youz.

Over a year ago we had MacGruber. What a doll! Such a huge personality, friendly, carefree, right from the moment he got off the transport he was ready to roll. We've had LOADS of great orange tabby foster kitties since his adoption, too.

A few weeks ago I took in Milo, who you got to meet in my post HERE. His brother, Boogie, was a scared gray feral. I expected Milo to be skittish from the reports I got about him before he came into my home.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Checking out the cat tree.

I was completely stunned by his transformation. Within two days Milo was ready to leave his room and join the family. He got along great with all the other cats. He LOVED eating raw food and playing with all the toys.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Napping next to me.

He'd sleep on a cat bed that's on a bench near my side of the bed. He didn't wake us up in the middle of the night, something many kittens do. He just slept the night away. I knew he was sick with a mild upper respiratory tract issue he'd had since he and his two brothers were taken in by my Vet, Dr. Mixon, in July. Milo's condition waxed and waned, a sign of herpes. It would mean Milo might always be a bit sniffly, but he ate and played normally and had no fever.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. At Dr. Mixon's.

Milo began to get sicker the day I approved an adoption application I'd received from a couple who wanted to meet him. The couple decided it was OKAY that Milo wasn't feeling his best and said they wanted to meet him. I had Milo checked out before we let him go to his new home and as I expected, Milo just needed some lysine and rest and I had confidence his family could provide that.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Feeling a bit stuffy, but still sweet as pie.

A few days ago, the couple came to meet Milo and to possibly finalize the adoption. Milo was a bit shy at first, but the couple knew not to push themselves on him. They distracted him with play time as we all sat on the floor, talking about cats and making comments about Milo's every move.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Milo wanted the Brawny lounger, but Jackson wasn't up to share it.

Dan reached out to Milo and Milo came right over and let Dan pet him. We all remarked that Milo was going to be a “daddy's boy” but Dan's fiancé Kathy said; “for now, but wait 'til I get my hands on him.” I think she was planning on getting Milo a lot of toys and treats. It was an endearing challenge as to who would be Milo's favorite Guardian.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Milo wouldn't take no for an answer.

Their visit lasted about 90 minutes and Milo was getting tired of playing. For fun I asked the couple; “Is this your cat?” They both replied a hearty, YES!

Milo and Jackson R.Olson.jpg
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Jackson=1, Milo=1. Game tied!

Sick or not, how could you say NO to Milo? I would have been glad to have him stay here. He would chat with me constantly and always be nearby. I loved how affectionate and mellow he was considering he'd only been with me for two weeks and barely knew me.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Milo with his new family.

Saying goodbye to Milo wasn't difficult because I knew he was going into a great home, but I was glad he got adopted quickly. There's just something about those orange cats, like Bob Dole, that make me want to keep all of them. I wouldn't want to say that I hoped Milo's adoption didn't work out and that he would have to come back to me, but it wouldn't be the worst thing that ever happened, either.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bye-bye Milo! We'll miss your orangey goodness around here!


The next morning I noticed my non-orange cat Spencer wasn't eating. He was also gagging a bit when he tried. The orange-cat spell fell away as day wore on. Spencer continued to act oddly and not eat. After 48 hours it was clear something was terribly wrong with my cat. I picked up the phone to make an appointment with Dr. Larry as my stomach tightened up with anxiety…stay tuned for more.


I have read a lot of comments about orange tabbies. The one I am most curious about is that they are almost always inevitably males. Is this true? My orange tabby is a female from a feral mom that I found abandoned at 5 weeks old in Wyoming. Is that unusual? She is the first cat I ever had and she's my love. Like I said...just curious :)

Females are not as common. They are 1 out of 3 orange tabbies. ;-)

Loved your post! Orange Tabbies are the most amazing furballs ever. Mine adopted me 16 years ago; I went to the rescue looking for a black cat. (99% of my wardrobe is black so I figured that no one would notice black fur on black clothing.) Well, one look at Her Royal Orangeness and I was in love. She jumped into my arms, orange fur flying everywhere, and gave me the big kitty eye look of "I pick you. let's go home." She's silly, regal, cute and has a personality that just owns a room. love my orangie!

A group of friends refers to orange tabby's as "Sweet Orange Bundles of Love"  - having one myself, I have to say I agree!

My 23 year old orange tabby died yesterday May 22, 2013. Even though she must have been in terrible pain with renal failure and vomiting bile, she was alert and knew I cared. We will miss her dearly as I so fortunate to have had such a long time with her. She understood every time I had a conversation with her and when outside she would follow me like a dog would follow his master. My cat had a personality of no other. I loved her so much and will miss her dearly. 

I am sorry to hear of your loss. 23 years is a long time and I hope I have my girl Cassie that long. I adopted her the minute I saw her cute face at the humane society 12 years ago. Not sure if it's because she is a female orange tabby, but she is absolutely the most lovable, loyal cat I have ever had in my family. I adopted a grey tabby the following year and to this day my Cassie girl thinks she is the grey tabby's mom. Started the day I adopted the 2nd cat. They are the love of my life and if I can have both for at least 20 years, that would be great. Again, sorry for your loss.

Pumpkin is my orange feline tabby. She is very beautiful with big cat markings. She was my very first pet ever. She was a stray found as a small kitten in the city of Philadelphia. I often wonder if she belonged to someone. While visiting my grandchildren in Philly. The mother of the children remarked at the beauty of the kitten and put her in my car. She was so cute and cuddly. Seven years later she is with me and loves to be outside. She is a great hunter and takes her time at warming up to someone. Oh how i wish you could see her!! She is absolutely beautiful and a little mean...

<p>So sorry about the loss of your cat. My Milly died on the 22nd of March 2017. She was such a lovely cat -with personality. We took her to the vet when she was batteling to breath and he put her on a drip. I was devastated when he phones me the next day to tell me that he had put her down. She had fluid in her lungs and a cancerous lump near her heart...She was not just a cat-I love her so much and miss her loud purr and the happiness she brought us.</p>

I have had a thing for calico and tortie cats.. I have a tortie right now and she's a doll, and I wasn't looking for another cat, until....... one day while outside doing yard work a scrawny kitten (now known as Jake) approached me and my roommate with a friendly meow greeting.  Poor thing was hungry but had such a sweet disposition.  He acted grateful for the food and was extremely affectionate!  I had to be careful because he was covered with fleas and I didn't want to get them in the house or on my other cat.  He stuck around living under the house in the crawl space for 3 days before we could take him to the vet and have him neutered and get a check up, etc. and we gave him a flea bath that morning too (and both cats take Revolution once a month now even tho they don't go outside).  The first night Jake lived on the screened in porch and he already had a hold on my heart.  It was a rough spell for awhile doing the intro to my tortie, Anna, but it has gotten easier.  It's been about 3 1/2 months now and I've totally fallen in love with Jake.  He has a huge personality, he struts, he's not scared of anything, he started bossing Anna around the moment he marched into "her" house.  I think he has been great for Anna after the intro phase because he has gotten her to be more active - they chase each other and play fight but she's not hissing as much anymore and she doesn't spend her days sleeping as much now that he's around to keep her on her toes.  I love both cats, but Jake has made up for Anna's lack of affection and certainly is a little entertainer if company comes over.  He's never bit or scratched me either.  The only thing that can sometimes be "trying" is he is very vocal and demands that mommy get out of bed to feed him even before daylight, around 5 am but I've gotten used to it.  He doesn't always cuddle at night because Anna likes to snuggle me then only, but he does show his love and appreciation for "his human". He loves all over me if I spend the night at my boyfriend's or have been gone several hours.  I love this cat!  Wonderful addition to the home!  Love watching him play and attack his toys.  Did I mention I love this cat?  

I found My Sunny as a stray & had him picked up by our local Animal Rescue Organization, about 3am. He was so friendly pretty, & Lovable. Nobody claimed  Him so after treating a self inflected injury I decided to adopt him or he adopted me I think it was both ways, we adopted each other. He was such a Friendly Lovable Cat out of over 50-60 some Cats I've had, he was The Best. I was told he was neutered, given his vacines he needed, & checked out as having no infectious bad Kitty diseases. He fell in Love with one of our other smaller Females spaded & free of any diseases & fully vacinated. They were so cute together, they truely was in Love with each other, did everything together & even protected each other. Well, I decided to have him checked out by my own Vet & found out he had a terrible Cat disease known as FIP. He was constantly getting sick since I adopted him, started with digestion problems then that finally seemed to clear up & then started having respiration problems like coughing choking & sneezing & I kept taking him to the Vet & was given several doses of antibiotics & was put on a diuretic to prevent fluids build up in his body & his lungs, he was also given a chest xray & a small mass was found in one lung the Vet couldn't decide what it was & couldn't get a biopsy of it. The vet decided to try taking him off the diuretic & I was told by him if he starts coughing again to get him back to him right away. Well he went several months without showing any respirtory problems untill recently & I took him back to the vet, he put him on a wide spectrum Antibiotic & the diuretic again & sent him home with us & said if he gets worse or any other problems shows up to get him back to him as quick as we can. I gave him his drugs later that night & about 2 hours later he got a lot worse, was choking up blood & mucus & it was draining out of his mouth & also seemed to not be able to breathe through his nose & seemed to be breathing through his mouth mostly. I was afraid he was going to die before I could get him back to the Vet in the morning. He didn't die & I  called his Vet & he said to get him there as soon as possible. I got him there right away, the Vet looked him over & said he looked & sounded a lot worse than yeaterday & did a chest xray. The mass hadn't seemed to changed but his other kung was so bad the Vet couldn't tell what he was looking at & said he was very sick & had pneumonia. The Vet decided to keep him at the clinic overnight & gave him a injection of antibiotics & put him on special machine to help with his breathing. He thought he would get better & might be able to go home the next day. Well, the Vet said his lungs seemed slightly better BUT still seriously ill & decided to keep treating him the rest of the weekend. I called the Vet on monday to find out how Sunny was doing & he said I got some good news & some real bad news. The good news was he wasn't coughing up any more of blood & mucus & his lungs sounded better BUT he did lab blood tests on him & he was very anemic with his red blood cells being very low & needed a transfusion to try to get him well, which he advised against doing cause of the cost of the process & also felt Sunny wouldn't get well, at best might improve for a short time & also his white Blood cells were not normal meaning he had a problem with his bone marrow & suggested that it was time to put Sunny to sleep to eliminate any farther unecessary suffering, which he didn't feel was fair or right for Sunny to suffer any more. I wanted to see Sunny one last time before I decided what's next, after I seen how bad of shape he was in & how much pain he had, I decided, the only humane thing to do was to put Sunny to sleep. Which was done even though I loved My Sunny with all My Heart. I don't know what I'm going to do, I miss him so much & remember all the good times we had together for such a very short time. I did a lot of reading up on FIP, it one of the worse cat diseases there is & is very difficult to diagnose. Good luck if you have a cat with FIP, you'll need it. My cat was very healthy in every other way until that FIP took over his body. Basically in 2-3 days. Thank You.

WE LOVE our Simba, male orange tabby. There really is something about them...

I have had Charlie since the day he was born, he is very lovable wouldn't hurt a fly. He's a year and 4 months old. I did have a female long hair orange tabby when I was 7 years old she was very sweet natured as well. 

I've had many Orange Tabbies over the years...3 were most memorable...There was Bubba a scared little orange ball of fur I found being kicked around outside a courthouse and went back after I got off work and found him and took him home...He became a big boy weighing about 25 pounds and gave me unconditional love for 19 years...He would stand guard when he was outside playing and run off any stray dogs with the fierceness of a lion. I thought my heart would never heal the hurt of his passing...until I found Pablo who was grown already living in a trailer park in the and bones with two huge growths one on each side of his face...but I took him home because of a sweet gentle spirit he had. He was already neutered but had obviously been abandoned and only weighed 5 pounds and was emaciated.  I put him on home cooked food with added vitamins and also on antibiotics.  He was such a large framed cat that he could stand on the floor and put his front paws up on the counter to peek and see what was there. After 6 months of love and good food he was a silky bright orange beautiful boy weighing in at 37 pounds...Needless to say he was a lawful and so handsome because the growths has fallen off of his face leaving no sign they had been there. He was my big buddy for another 10 years. My last orange tabby was Bert and had a twin brother named Ernie. When they were about 3 years old they were outdoors playing when a couple of stray pit bulls cornered Ernie and killed him but Bert got away. I was sick at heart of losing one of my babies because they had been raised with my dog and didn't know to fear dogs. Bert grieved for Ernie and I thought I would lose him too but he pulled through and was my lovey buddy for another 12 years. I still have 3 cats..A black and white, a black and a silver.  I love all my boys and they each have their own special personalities but none like my orange tabbies...One day another orange boy will find his way into my life.  All of my fur babies have been rescues that chose me to be their mom.

I liked your article about your orange tabby.  Lost my Rusty Xmas day.  He was a healthy 12 year old and I had just retired a week earlier.  I told him that morning he and I could now play all day.  : (  Don't know what happened.  I heard him crying out side and he died in my arms about 5 minutes later.  I thought I was going to die...couldn't even breath because my chest was so tight.  He would sleep on me all night.  He would then lick my nose right at 5:15 when it was time to get up.  Never set an alarm clock.  He'd run down my stairs and wait on the last landing for a kiss on his forehead.  He actually could speak .  I'd ask him, "Do you need to go outside?"  He'd answer "Un Uh" if he didn't.  About two weeks before he died, he crawled up in my lap when I was having coffee, put his arms behind my neck, and pulled on me giving me a kiss on my lips.  He was a great little friend and I still can't believe he's gone......

I am so sorry about your boy, Rusty.  I know how hard it is to lose a kitty you love.  Just wanted to say I'm so sorry. ♡

I found my adoring orange tabby at my grandmothers house nearly a day after she was born. She had 4 siblings. 3 Calicos and another Tabby. Soon later when we came to check on them in my grandmother's yard, they were gone. My Aunt found them in the gutter! 2 of them had climbed onto the roof, 2 were lying on the ground beneath the gutter, and the other was sleeping away right where her mother had put her. Their mother was nowhere to be seen. The two kittens who had climbed onto the roof were dead or nearly dead. My mom thought they both had passes away, although only 1 really had, a calico. She slowly picked them up, neither moved. She placed them in the shade, and soon later, the tabby was squirming. She immediately hydrated her using an old bottle and nipple. The one Calico was the only one who didn't live by then. The next day, the mother was still gone, so we took the kittens home and let them live in a comfy box, using blankets and even an old calico stuffed cat of mine (their mother was a Calico). The kittens lived with us for about a weak. They were all healthy except for 1, the other Tabby. She kept losing weight and wouldn't eat. She passed away quickly laying in my lap. :( The kittens grew big (especially the Orange Tabby we named "Jabe.") We really wanted to keep them, but we already had a cat, so it took lots of begging to convince our parents to let us keep the three girls. (Georgia, Bella: Calicos; Jabe:Orange Tabby) Hears something funny about the naming. I would call the cats by states. At one point Georgia and Bella were North and South Dakota and Jabe was Arkansas. Later, I called Georgia...Georgia, Bella Florida, and Jabe Maryland. The name Georgia stuck. My mom named Bella after the word for beautiful in French. We thought Jabe was a boy when she was still developing, so that's why she has a girl name. I was reading her a book called "Big Jabe" and the name sort of stuck with her "him" A few weeks later, after a visit to the vet, we learned Jabe was a girl, although my brother, Jabe's "owner" refused to change her name. The three cats still live with us today. The Orange Tabby, although, is definitely the Sweetest, and Smartest of the Bunch. :)

My parents and I have four cats: one black, one gray and white, and two tabbies. I've never had a tabby cat before. I found them in our garage last Labor Day weekend. They were only five months old but a calico cat was taking care of them. After I told my parents I found them they told me not to name them. So of course I did name them: Mufasa and "Simba". After they came home, we took them in that night, locked them in the bathroom with food and water and a cat bed and took them to the vet the next day. Turns out "Simba" was actually a girl, so her name is now Sarabi. When my mom told them we were thinking of putting them up for adoption, the doctor told us that there was no gurantee that they would both go to the same home since a female tabby is rare. So she would have been adopted quicker than her brother. When he told us that my mom finally agreed to let us keep them. Now, after almost a year, Mufasa is 14 pounds and playful while Sarabi is only 7 pounds and likes to sleep on my shoulder.

I have now fostered two orange tabby kittens among a total of 10 kittens fostered.  One was a male, this one is a female.  Both have been exceptionally loving, loud purring, just want to nuzzle up against you, and look directly in your eyes.  I remark that the temperament of Orange Tabby #2 is just like #1, while the other kittens, some from same litter, are sweet but not nearly as affectionate.  All have been bottle babies I fostered, so all socialized identically.

I cannot keep this one as I already have 4 cats (too many!) and all my fosters have been pre-adopted.  but if I was looking for a young cat, it'd be an orange tabby, for sure.

A couple of months ago, my wife and I (we are both in our 60s) adopted a 2YO orange tabby from a local shelter. We thought just by looking at his picture online that we would like him, and that turned out to be immeditaly true when we first met him. His name at the shelter was Harrison. We sometimes call him that and sometimes Hieronymus. I just laid that name on him one day and it stuck. As I do, Mr. H. has a serious medical condition—he, heart; me, liver—so we are well-met in that way. We tried taking him out on a leash/harness. It worked, but no one was really happy. So one day, in acordance with his wishes, I let him out. He now knows where he eats (mostly...he may be doing a number on mice and chipmunks), sleeps, and lives, but he mainly likes being outside. Long ago, i did not undersdtand cats and did not get along with them. When I met my wife, she had two calicos, with whom I developed a good relationship. One of those cats would go nuts whenever I brought home fish and would demand her share. The two cats eventually died of old age. Quite a few years passed. I didn't think I wanted another pet. But I am happy with Harrison Hieronymus. He is a real character, though, and it takes some effort to keep him happy. I think he likes being called "Dude." Hope he's around for a while yet!

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