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Red Cats: What Makes Them So Special?

Red cats are very popular. Her special appearance is enchanting. Read here why this is the case and why there are more red tomcats than cats.

What is so special about red cats?

Red cats are probably what makes them so desirable because of their charisma. If there are red cats in a litter, they usually find a home faster than their siblings of a different color.

Among the lovers of the red fur are numerous prominent personalities such as the former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who spent his old age with his red-spotted cat Jock. The politician decreed that a tomcat named Jock should always live on his country’s estate from then on. As the sixth red tomcat, Jock VI. since 2014 this tradition continues. And red was Chico, Pope Benedict XVI’s cat.

Why are red cats red?

As with all animals, genes also influence coat color in red cats. In house tigers, the sulfurous, yellow-red pigment pheomelanin provides this unique nuance. Incidentally, the same pigment also dyes human hair red. In contrast, the eumelanin produces black and brown hues.

Amber: A red for certain cats

Usually, the red coat color is not tied to a specific breed of cat. It’s different with the nuance “Amber”. So far, this color has only been observed in the Norwegian Forest Cat.

Due to a special genetic predisposition, the black fur color based on eumelanin changes in such a way that different shades of amber appear in the cat. The animals have a reddish-brown coat with a top coat interspersed with black hair. A more or less pronounced pepper and the salt pattern are typical.

Why are there more red cats?

A tomcat is about four times more likely to be born with red fur than a cat. This is because the red color is inherited via the female X chromosome. Females have the combination XX and males XY. In order for a tomcat to be born with red fur, only the mother has to pass on the corresponding genes to him.

In the cat, on the other hand, the gene for the red coat color must come from both sides, i.e. from the father and the mother. This is of course much less common, which is why there are significantly more red tomcats.

There is another special feature for women: tortoiseshell or tricolor. Tricolor cats are almost always female, precisely because coat color is linked to the X chromosome. One X provides the cat with the genetic information for the red color and the other X for black, blue, or white.

There are red-white-black spotted, red-white-grey tabby variants as well as cats with red-black or red-grey tabby fur. In the case of the conventional court cats, these combinations are more common in the queens than the pure red color. With some pedigree cats, on the other hand, there are more red female cats through targeted breeding – for example, the Maine Coon.

Red cat fur

There are monochromatic blue, white and black cats, but no red animals without a pattern. Even if a cat’s markings appear very weak and washed out, they are always at least subtly present.

Red cats have a more or less pronounced tiger pattern, and are brindle, spotted, or ticked. There are also numerous red and white spotted cats. In cream cats, the red base color is diluted, similar to the blue variety, which is a weakening of black.

The eyes of red cats

In red cats, the eyes present themselves in a variety of colors. Most red cats gaze out at the world through yellow, green, or amber eyes. But there are also red cats that keep their blue eye color in adulthood. Such animals are relatively rare. Red cats with two different eye colors are extremely rare.

How Healthy Are Red Cats?

Red cats are generally considered to be a bit more sensitive when it comes to health. For example, they are more prone to ear diseases. Skin cancer also happens from time to time. This is probably related to the lighter skin color: Red cats often have pink or flesh-colored noses, lips, and ears.

Red cats sometimes develop small, black dots, especially on the mouth, over time, but these are usually harmless. Only in rare cases does it develop into skin cancer. Again, there are parallels with red-haired people, who are more prone to developing freckles and whose skin is more sensitive to the sun.

However, red cats are by no means as sensitive as hairless cats, which need special sun protection.

According to observations, red cats need a little more anesthetic in the event of surgery, which applies equally to red-haired people. Some veterinarians believe that red cats are more prone to gingivitis and mouth problems. However, this has not been scientifically proven.

The character of the red cats

In the eyes of many cat lovers, red cats are considered to be particularly calm and sociable, tolerant and tolerant. Typical is a tendency to coziness and a general domestic and uncomplicated character.

This idea is also reflected in the naming because a striking number of red tomcats are named Bruno, Hugo, or Otto in contrast to the pitch-black Baghiras, Diabolos, and Azrael.

The world-famous cat Garfield is also very often the namesake. Thousands of red Garfields are lounging on the sofas of this world. It is estimated that every third to fourth red tomcat bears this name.

If you want to give your red-haired cat a somewhat original name, take a look here: How to find the most beautiful cat name.

The purring film stars in red fur

Many love and know the aforementioned Garfield. The lazy, gluttonous comic hero is the prototype of the red cat. A red cat also stars in the 2016 drama comedy Bob the Stray. The red street cat “Thomas O’Malley” from the Disney cartoon Aristocats is world famous.

Star Trek fans know the cat “Spot”. The pet belongs to the android Data, who is part of the crew of the Starship Enterprise. Also at home in extraterrestrial realms is “Jones”, the red cat of Ripley, the main character from Alien and Alien Returns.

Crookshanks, the flat-nosed Kniesel crossbreed of Hermione Jean Granger from Harry Potter, inhabit a magical world. The winner of the PATSY award was the slightly eccentric, orange-hued “Orangey” who acted as a supporting actor in numerous films in the 50’s/60’s, such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Incredible Story of Mister C. and Metaluna IV Doesn’t Answer.

If you have a red four-legged friend at home, we wish you a great time with your darling. And even if he doesn’t appear in any films, we’re sure: he or she is still a star for you!

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