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Cats come in a wide range of colours, from black or white to grey, brown and orange. The orange tabs have reddish hairs and striped markings. These cats can be long or short-haired, and they can be male or female, despite legend that only male orange oaks can be, according to Sandra Toney of Petside.com. Orange cats are visually attractive, but their temperament is determined by more than just their coat color.
People sometimes believe that cats of a certain color have a certain temperament, but these opinions are based more on perception than research-based fact. For example, orange kittens are visually attractive, so people are more likely to see them as good-temperers because of their cuteness. Black cats are likely to be friendly and affectionate, but people view them negatively because of their plain color and age-old superstitions, according to Kelly Kaczala of the Press website. The facial expressions are more noticeable on the orange tabs than on the dark cats, which makes them appear more personal.
The idea that kittens have desirable temperaments is supported by the media, with movie and TV strip characters and a celebrity. For example, Morris, the blunt but endearing “Logic” cat food is a kumquat, as is Puss in the heroic shoes from the Shrek film series. Heathcliff and Garfield are both popular orange tabs that feature in the comic movies.
Genetics affects a cat’s temperament, so orange tabby cats are likely to be just like their parents, no matter what color they are. Other physical factors also affect a cat’s mood, according to the ASPCA. For example, kittens with malnourished mothers put up, have problems playing and tend to be more fearful and aggressive towards humans and other animals. Their coat color does not affect these traits, and their negative personality traits persist into adulthood even if they are fed good diets.
Cats of all colors need early socialization to develop good temperaments. The ASPCA recommends that kittens be handled by a variety of people when they are between 4 and 12 weeks old to be properly socialized. Cats who receive this treatment are more receptive to strange people and things. Cats with any coat color, including orange tabbies, are fearful and shy if isolated from humans for the first seven months of their lives, and are fearful or aggressive when restrained. Cats that are around humans and treat them gentler than goths tend to be friendly and secure.