Not everyone knows that the skin under their cat’s coat is just a lighter color of their fur! With cat’s, the coat color is a sex-linked trait- it all has to do with the gender of the kitty, according to mnn.com. Try to remember back to high school genetics: males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome, while females have two X chromosomes.
Since the gene that controls the orange and black coloring of the fur is on the X chromosome- either male or female cats can have orange or black fur. Because females have two X chromosomes, they can be tortoiseshell, tabby, or calico too. A tortoiseshell cat has orange and black patched fur coloring. Calico cats are tortoiseshell with patches of white fur (no pigmentation of the skin).
In order for a male cat to be a calico, he must have an extra X chromosome (which means he’ll have 2 X’s and One Y)- an extremely rare thing. In human’s, if there is an extra X chromosome it’s called Klinefelter Syndrome, cats with this particular syndrome are sterile and can’t reproduce. The College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri administered a study that discovered that only 1 out of every 3,000 calico cats is a male!
Dr. Smith from Central Texas Cat Hospital has only encountered 2 male calicoes in his 54-year career! This is Frank- a calico, Scottish fold!
According to Dr. Smith, this little guy is one in a million!
Here’s a photo of yet another male calico. This little one was at Southern Pines Animal Shelter and his name is Sting!
Happily, Sting has found his forever home and doesn’t he look quite comfortable there!
Take a look at the video below to see another little male calico that was rescued from a vacant home. He was very dirty and not in very good shape when his rescuer found him, took him to the vet, and was informed that he had found a very rare little guy indeed! Enjoy: