Marmalade cats, also known as ginger cats, are domestic cats of any breed that are reddish, yellowish, or orangish in hue. These cats typically sport some sort of tabby pattern, in which dark spots, blotches are stripes can be seen against a pale yellowish or orangish backdrop. There are generally considered to be four basic fur coat patterns for marmalade cats — classic tabby, mackerel tabby, ticked tabby and spotted tabby. There are also several variations on these basic fur coat patterns for marmalade cats. The color of the average marmalade cat can vary greatly, from very pale yellow to very deep reddish orange, as these cats may be solid orange in color, or may have patches of white on the feet, tail, abdomen, or legs.
One of the most common types of marmalade cat is the mackerel-patterned marmalade cat. This type of cat also usually has stripes on its tail and legs, and an M-shaped marking above its eyes. Rather than splotches of darker orange color, however, the mackerel-patterned marmalade cat typically has dark, broken or unnbroken stripes running from its spines down its flanks towards its abdomen. The abdomen is typically paler in color than the rest of the fur, and may even be white.
The classic tabby marmalade cat, also known as the oyster tabby, butterfly tabby, or blotched tabby, is the other most common type of marmalade cat. Classic tabby marmalade cats usually have stripes on their tails and legs. There is also normally an M-shaped mark above the eyes. The cat's back and sides, however, will usually bear large, dark splotches of reddish or orangish color against a paler backdrop. Seen from the top, these dark splotches typically create a pattern that resembles a butterfly's outstretched wings.
Less common fur coat patterns for marmalade cats include ticked tabby and spotted tabby. A ticked tabby is typically very pale in color, with a sprinkling of darker individual furs across its back. The spotted tabby usually has the tabby's striped tail and legs, with rows of small leopard-like spots on its flanks. All of these types of cats typically have an M-shaped mark above their eyes, as this mark is generally considered indicative of the tabby cat fur pattern.
The several variations on these basic tabby cat fur patterns are generally found in feral and wild breeds, or in domesticated recently derived from wild ancestors. Most of these patterns are far more complex, and may serve to camouflage these cats in the wild.