This Kiss a Ginger Day (January 12) the RSPCA is celebrating the marvellous marmalade moggies in its centres and branches who are looking for their forever homes.
The annual day sees people all over the world celebrating friends and family with ginger hair but it is also an opportunity to showcase beautiful ginger cats and why they are so special.
The majority of ginger cats are male because the gene that determines whether a cat is ginger, lies on the X chromosome. A female cat needs two copies of the ‘ginger gene’ to be ginger, whilst male cats only need the one.
Figures from the RSPCA national centres would also reflect this with ginger Tom cats outnumbering the females by 4:1.
Sam Watson, RSPCA’s cat welfare expert said: “This Kiss a Ginger Day the RSPCA is urging people to consider adopting a rescue ginger instead of buying one. These cats and their striking colouring are very special and even more so is the less common female ginger cat.
“The frequency of ginger cats in the two genders is all down to genetics and chromosomes. The ‘ginger gene’ is on the X chromosome. Female cats have XX and males have XY chromosomes, like we humans do.
“This means that if a male cat has a ‘ginger gene’ on his X chromosome he will be ginger, but a female cat would need the same ‘ginger gene’ on each of her two X chromosomes - in order to be ginger. Females are therefore much more likely to be ginger mixed with another colour than pure ginger.
“This interesting bit of science gives us an insight into why ginger cats are so special.
“It would be great if owners celebrate any cat with a bit of ginger in their coat today, and appreciate the neat genetics lesson ginger cats have to offer us.
Sam added: “We would urge anyone considering adopting a cat to take a look on the RSPCA’s Find a Pet website where there are lots of lovely ginger cats waiting for their forever homes.
However, if you do already own a ginger cat and would like to show them some love rather than giving them a kiss, which they may not appreciate, you could try playing their favourite game or giving them a yummy treat.”
Do you have room in your home for a ginger cat?
Ginger and white cat Kyle came into RSPCA care in July with mild head trauma, injuries to his face and a fractured sternum.
He was collected from East London by inspector Kate Burris after he was found crying out in pain. It is believed he had been hit by a car and was very weak from his injuries.
He was brought to RSPCA Harmsworth Animal Hospital who gave him veterinary care before he was transferred to the RSPCA Finchley branch.
However, after a few months in their care watching other cats be rehomed before him, Kyle was transferred to RSPCA Friern Barnet branch in November where he has been patiently waiting ever since.
If you think you can offer Kyle a loving home contact RSPCA Friern Barnet branch on 0300 123 0594.
Nancy came into RSPCA care in December after her owner moved house and left her and five kittens abandoned in the property.
She is now being cared for at RSPCA Keighley, Craven and Upper Wharfedale branch. The two year old ginger moggy is very friendly and loves a fuss. She would like a home with a family who have children of secondary school age or older and without any dogs.
She has lived with other cats before so could live with a friendly cat again.
If you could give Nancy a loving home please contact RSPCA Keighley, Craven and Upper Wharfedale on 07949 229955.
To help the RSPCA continue to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals in desperate need of care please visit, www.rspca.org.uk/give