Ginger Cat Appreciation Day is a lighthearted holiday devoted to those striking ginger kitties everywhere. This holiday was founded by software developer Chris Roy,1 who later became an animal rights activist. Roy was inspired to start the holiday after his ginger cat passed at 17 years old in 2014. He had a soft spot for ginger cats in particular and went on to create a network connecting pets with adoptive pet parents.
On September 1st, every year, you can celebrate Ginger Cat Appreciation Day in many ways since it’s not a strictly defined religious holiday. We have some pretty good ideas, though, so check them out below.
How to Celebrate Ginger Cat Appreciation Day:
Why Are Ginger Cats Ginger?
Ginger cats are a cat like any other, but they have some interesting characteristics that set them apart from other colors of cats. For instance, did you know that 80% of ginger cats are male?
This happens because of genetics, specifically chromosomes. Male cats get a Y chromosome from their father and an X chromosome from their mother. That means that female cats are mostly the ones passing down the ginger cat gene. The males only need one copy of that gene, so it’s way more common to see male orange tabbies than females. The actual red coloring is a pigment called pheomelanin.
More anecdotal info about ginger cats is that owners report them to be more affectionate than other cat colors, possibly because male cats are generally more affectionate and most ginger cats happen to be male. Those coinciding facts have contributed to a colorful reputation for the ginger tabby cat, who’s sometimes considered the rock star of the cat world.
How Rare Are Female Orange Cats?
Estimates vary, but in general, male orange cats are five times more likely than females. It’s simply more difficult to pass the necessary recessive gene down to a female cat because of the color being an X chromosome. With that said, there are still plenty of female ginger kitties out there, but they’re simply harder to find.
Do Ginger Cats Have a Lot of Health Issues?
Unfortunately, yes. According to the Cat Practice, Michigan’s first cat-only vet practice, orange cats suffer from significantly more common health problems than other colors of cats. Specifically, they’re more at risk for dental problems, skin allergies, and obesity.
Like the lasagna-loving Garfield, ginger cats have a verifiable obsession with food. That makes putting them on more strictly regimented diets a sensible idea.
Ginger Cat Appreciation Day is a fun little holiday to show our ginger cats how much we love them and show this male-dominated color some general appreciation. Even if they have more health problems than the average, love for this cat color scheme will never die out.