Popularized by Morris from the 9-Lives commercials and the ever-so comical Garfield, orange tabby cats are not considered a breed but are just a colorization of the tabby cat. But don't tell this to fanciers who love their "orangies" as they have been affectionately nicknamed. Many owners describe these cats as more than your typical tabby - the personality of the orange tabby cat is sometimes referred to as quite unique.
You are never going to get an expert to go on record saying that an orange tabby has a better or worse personality than that of other tabby color variations because after all, it is just a color. The red variations including orange of the tabby are from breeding with other red-toned, solid-colored types of cats. The term tabby refers to the markings of the cat which can be stripes, blotches, dots and swirls, among others.
One characteristic of tabbies that is distinct about their markings is the "M" mark on their forehead also referred to as "the mark of the true tabby" or the "tabby mask". That unique "M" mark has many folk lores and myths as to how it came to be.
*Mackerel tabby-also called the striped tabby this pattern has narrow stripes that are parallel on the sides of the cat.
*Classic tabby-the patterns are swirling and bold and sometimes referred to as the "marble" pattern. This pattern is called the blotched tabby in the United Kingdom.
*Spotted tabby-sometimes this pattern will appear as broken mackerel stripes but is in fact spots of various sizes.
*Ticked tabby-this tabby does not have either stripes or spots but has the markings of a tabby on the face. The color is occasionally mistaken for the Abyssinian thus sometimes referred to as the "Abyssinian tabby".
The colors of the tabby vary as often as the pattern. The color is associated with the agouti hairs or the ground color of the hairs. These colors include the brown tabby, blue tabby, red tabby, cream tabby and the silver tabby with shade variations of each color widespread.
Cat fanciers generally agree that genetically all domestic cats carry the tabby gene. Even though you won't find "tabby cat" on the list of accepted breeds on the Cat Fanciers' Association's list, you will find the Tabby Persian which just like the tabby cat, comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Too often, the tabby cat has been placed last on the cat totem pole but anyone who has ever shared their home and lives with a tabby will tell you how affectionate and intelligent this cat is. As for the personality of the classic orange tabby, they are all unique and have their own personalities based on the specific cat and not the color of their coat. Some are loving and affectionate while others will give you the cat look-of-death if you even think of moving them from their favorite lounging spot.
There are some cat owners though that find the personality of the orange tabby cat unique - they are very affectionate and they are known to have their own quirks not often found in other breeds. While the color of the orange tabby may or may not lend to its personality, it does make this type of cat truly distinctive simply due to the fact of their brilliant coat.