Ginger cats are the friendliest, according to science

A large ginger cat lies in the sun cat-wow

Marmalade, orange or ginger: the ginger tabby is a firm favourite. But such a cat is different from others in more than just colour, and - some say - may be the friendliest.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 09/10/2020, 09:00, Updated on the 04/06/2021, 15:58

The ginger cat is special without a doubt.

Research ongoing suggests the genetic composition of the ginger cat has given rise to certain behavioural traits. Popular online surveys even suggest the ginger cat is the friendliest of all felines. 

The findings

While it is impossible to verify whether the ginger tabby is the friendliest, certain traits of behaviour have been observed by researchers of the breed. In particular, a Copenhagen study carried out in 1995 by scientists Dominque Pontier et al. determined that:

  • Ginger cats are more common in rural environments
  • Ginger cats are risk takers and are more likely to die by accident 
  • A ginger tom is considerably larger than the molly

Although the findings of the research cannot be wholly accounted for by genetics it seems likely that the gene that brings about the ginger fur does have a bearing on a cat’s instinctive habits.

Not sure which cat you like the most? Check out our guide to cats according to hair, size and eye colour

Happiest cat of them all?

Of the suggestion that ginger cats are happier and friendlier than any other cat, it is hard to say; most surveys to do with the subject fall foul of subjective preference.

Certainly a link can be seen of cats that take risks by approaching humans: should the ginger cat be such a risk taker we may think the cat that wanders up to us for attention to be the friendlier.