Why Are Orange Cats Male
The gene that codes for orange fur is on the X chromosome. Since females have two Xs and males have one X and one Y, this means that a female orange cat must inherit two orange genes one from each parent whereas a male only needs one, which he gets from his mother. Thats why orange cats are usually male.
How Chromosomes Determine Coat Color
To put it simply, two chromosomes determine gender. Each parent contributes one chromosome to the offspring. The mother, who has only X chromosomes, always contributes an X chromosome. The father who has both X and Y chromosomes, can contribute either an X or a Y chromosome to his offspring. Thus, it is the father who determines the sexes of his kittens. The red color gene cannot be passed to a male offspring due to unusual characteristics of the gene in question. Under certain conditions, when the red genes are passed to a female offspring, she displays not the expected red or orange coat, but the tricolor coat of a true calico cat.
So Why Are Male Calico Cats A Rare Type
The answer to this question lies in genetics.
First, you must know that for a cat to bear the calico or tortoiseshell fur pattern, it must contain two X chromosomes unlike the normal XY chromosomes in males. The reason is that the X chromosomes are the ones that deliver the heat or deep colors.
So, this means for you to classify a cat as a male calico cat, it must have the three chromosomes; XXY rather than the natural XY chromosomes in males.
Therefore, such a cat must acquire two X chromosomes from the mother and a Y chromosome from the father for it to get the chromosomes XXY.
Also Check: Blue Buffalo Cat Food
Like Love Meow On Facebook
A litter of five calico babies came to the Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, California early September. Soon they discovered something quite unique about this litter. Two out of the five kittens are male calicos.
Meet the calico clan.
Courtesy: The Cat House On The Kings.com
“We took in a litter of 5 calico kittens and two were boys,” Harvie Schreiber of the Cat House on the Kings told Love Meow.
Having a male calico is one out of 3,000 chance. Now they found two in the same litter, the odds of that is simply astounding.
Just like humans, cats have two sex chromosomes that determine their gender. Female kitties have only X chromosomes while male cats have both X and Y chromosomes.
Here’s one of the two boys.
Courtesy: The Cat House On The Kings.com
A calico or tortoiseshell must have two X chromosomes which means the kitty is going to be female 99.99% of time.
It’s very rare to see a male calico, but even more unique when there are two from the same litter.
This little boy share the same markings as his calico sisters.
Courtesy: The Cat House On The Kings.com
One of their three sisters.
Courtesy: The Cat House On The Kings.com
The calico pattern exists in male cats is because the cat has an extra X-chromosome: two X, one Y . In humans, this condition is known as Klinefelter Syndrome.
Calico girl from the litter of five.
Courtesy: The Cat House On The Kings.com
They don’t have much info on their cat mom or dad, but the kittens certainly share a very strong calico gene.
Do Female Calico Cats Live Longer
Gender does play a part in how long a calico will live. Female calicos live longer than male calicos.
The calico color is gender-linked, the cat must have XX chromosomes to achieve those brilliant patches. Unlike a normal male with an XY chromosome, the male calico has XXY chromosomes. Therefore, they inherit the calico color pattern. Unfortunately, along with it, the male calico will most likely to inherit bad health.
Male calicos are doomed to have a shorter lifespan. This is due to Klinefelters Syndrome. Symptoms include:
- SterilityReduced bone mineral content
- Insulin resistance
- Increased body fat mass
- Cognitive impairments
If you want a calico with the propensity to live a long healthy life, you might want to stick with a female.
Read Also: My Cat Keeps Throwing Up Yellowish Liquid
How Much Do Calico Cats Cost Prices & Considerations
If you want a Calico cat, youre going to have to do some searching, just like anyone else looking for a specific breed of cat. And if you want a purebred Calico cat, youll have to expect a high price to pay. No matter how much you end up paying, Im sure your Calico cat will become your best friend! So, how much do Calico cats cost?
Calico cats cost between $400 $2,000 to purchase. Adopting a Calico cat costs between $60 $125. The price of a Calico cat is determined by its age, sex, and whether it is purebred. Male Calico cats are rarer and cost significantly more than females.;
Like any breed, kittens will cost more than an adult cat, but whats interesting about Calicos is that males are more expensive than females because they are rare. If you fall in love with a Calico cat I mean, who could blame you if you do? just know that theyre an expensive breed. Lets talk a little bit more about how much Calico cats cost, why, and what you can expect to pay as a cat owner.;
Lets Begin By Finding Out; What A Male Calico Cat Is
You might have been wondering what we have been discussing about when talking about calico cats.
However, note that these are not any different from the cats you interact with day in day out. The only difference is that these are rare breeds, and the term calico defines the color and patterns of the cats fur.
Basically, calico cats feature three colors. These colors consist of white, a deep color such as black, blue or grey, and a heat color such as red, brown, orange, or peach. So, this means that you can expect the cat to combine white, one of the deep colors, and one of the heat colors so that you can classify it as a calico cat.
Something else that you have to know about calico cats is that there are those cats that do not only feature three colors, but you can locate others that feature up to six colors. However, the three color combinations are a must-have so that you can classify a cat as a calico cat.
Also Check: Do Border Collies Get Along With Cats
Are Calico Cats Always Female
The Spruce / Jordan Holcomb
Although most people know that the vast majority of calico cats are female, they dont always know that calico refers to a color pattern, not a breed of cat. Lets take a deeper look at what exactly is a calico cat, which breeds can have calico colors, and why there arent more male calico cats.;
How Do Male Calico Cats Occur
There is one exception to the females-only calico rule: A genetic anomaly called Klinefelters Syndrome. Klinefelters Syndrome occurs when a male inherits an extra X chromosome from either his father or mother, making his genetic makeup XXY.;
About one in every 3,000 calico cats is born a male, meaning theres less than a 0.1 percent chance of a calico cat being born a male. These unicorn cats are almost always sterile, so they cannot be used to breed more calico patterns.
Unfortunately, since male calico cats are born because of a genetic anomaly, they are often much less healthy than their female counterparts. Male calicos often have reduced bone mineral content, increasing the risk for broken bones; cognitive and mental developmental issues, which can lead to behavioral problems; and increased body fat, which can cause joint pain, heart disease, and diabetes. Its possible for male calicos to live long and healthy lives, but these special kitties require dedicated caretakers.
If youre looking to welcome a calico kitty into your life, chances are shell be a female. But, you may get lucky and find a unicorn cata male calico. Whatever your feline friends color, youre sure to enjoy your new cats company.;
Recommended Reading: Do Cats And Dogs See Color
How Long Do Male Calico Cats Live
Female calico cats have the same life expectancy as other cats of the same breed. Its just the color of their coat that is different, there arent any physical differences that would cause them to live either longer or shorter lives.
So generally speaking you can expect a female calico cat to live to around 15 years old if theyve had a healthy and happy life.
Male calico cats on the other hand do not have a regular life expectancy. There isnt enough information and research to put a number on how long they are expected to live, but its considerably shorter than females.
They often suffer from a range of health conditions, such as insulin resistance, cognitive issues, increased body fat mass, and mineral deficiencies to name just a few of their common health complications.
Genetics Of A Calico Cat
If the overwhelming majority of calico cats are female, this must mean a very small minority are male. To answer the article question, there are indeed male calico cats. But why are there so few? The answer is in the genes.
All cells in the body of a cat will have two chromosomes, one which is dominant and one which is recessive. The gene which controls the color of the cat’s body is in one of these genes. If the dominant chromosome is the one with, for example, black pigmentation, then the cat will be black. All the different cells in the body will lead to the color of the cat, but only in the area where those cells operate. This is how there come to be patches of color on a cat’s coat. A male cat can have dominant black color in one area and dominant white in another, leading to patches of color. One of these patches, however, cannot be orange.
The lack of orange is because, if you are a female cat, you will have two X chromosomes. Having two X chromosomes which are active in the cell of a cat can be potentially dangerous. This is why female cat cells go through a process of X inactivation, also known as lyonization. This is when one of the X chromosomes is deactivated and the determining genes are found in the other.
You May Like: How Much Is A Norwegian Forest Cat
More Information On Calicos
The origin of the Calico cat is unknown, but most think that they originated in Egypt. From there they may have been brought down the Mediterranean to Italy, Spain and France. Today, Calico cats can be found all around the globe.
Hereâs another interesting fact about Calico cats female Calicos vastly outnumber male ones. In fact, nearly all Calico cats are female. Hereâs why. Males have one X and one Y chromosome while females have two X chromosomes. In cats, the gene that determines fur color is located on the X sex chromosome. While both male and female cats can get the orange gene from just one chromosome, it requires two X chromosomes for a cat to be Calico or Tortoiseshell cat. That almost always means that Calico cats are female.
How rare are male Calico cats? Just 1 in every 3,000 Calico cats is male. These male Calico cats have an extra X chromosome , which differs from the usual XY chromosomes of the normal male and the XX chromosome pair found in a female cat.
Most of those male Calico cats is born sterile. You canât breed Calicos. The Calico hair color happens by chance they are not a genetically engineered breed.
Do Calico Cats Make Good Pets
There is something special about calico cats. Maybe its because each and every one has their own unique markings, or because they are just loving and affectionate cats. Whatever the reason anyone who owns one will tell you how awesome they are.
Like I said, Ive owned one from a kitten so I have a special place in my heart for calico cats. If youre looking to adopt a cat check out the calico coats available, they are genetic wonders and truly special cats!
You May Like: What Is The Movie Cats About
How Do I Care For A Calico Cat
If you have a healthy female cat without Klinefelters Syndrome, you can care for her like you would any cat. For instance, brush her regularly to keep her colorful coat in great shape and take her to the veterinarian for yearly check-ups and routine preventive care, like vaccinations.
You might also want to consider a cat insurance plan for your Calico friend. Cat insurance can help you cover the expense of the wellness treatments your kitty will need over her life. It can also help you manage the costs of care in case of an accident or illness. Keep in mind that even cats who are kept inside can get hurt or sick.
How Long Do Calico Cats Live In Human Years
Calico catA calico cat is a domestic cat of any breed with a tri-color coat. The calico cat is most commonly thought of as being typically 25% to 75% white with large orange and black patches; however, the calico cat can have any three colors in its pattern. Wikipedia
Persian cat: 10 17;years, Turkish Angora: 12 18;years
Read Also: Can Cats Eat Mayonnaise With Tuna
How Much Is A Male Calico Cat Worth Some Clues May Tell You That
Male Calico Cats or Calico Cats have been well known as the beautiful cats regardless of their ages or their breeds. With this remarkable rare and color, male calico cats are hunted and purchased at extremely high price from countries around the world.;
In fact, the distinctive color pattern is the most;virtuous trading worth for this cat species, but a shortage of masculine gender boosts the value in the highest price from $1000 to $2000 for one male calico cat at average. So, we are here to help you know;how much a male Calico cat worth is;right now.
Calico Cat Genetic Facts
Here are some awesome genetic facts about calico cats. Discover facts about the genetic makeup of calicos and why there are more female calico cats than male calico cats with these cool facts!
14. Just one in 3,000 calico cats are male.
15. 99.8% of calico cats are female.
16. Cats get their color from the X chromosome. Female cats have two X chromosomes, receiving an X chromosome from each of their parents. Male cats get one X chromosome and one Y chromosome, which makes them an XY. There have to be two X chromosomes in order for the cat to be a calico, so hardly any male cats are born calico.
17. Sometimes, however, a cat can have an extra X chromosome. Very rarely, a cat inherits two X chromosomes and an XXY cat is born, resulting in a male calico. Most male cats are XY and this is the reason why male calico cats are almost always sterile and suffer a variety of health problems, their coloring is as a result of a genetic mutation. This means that a female calico and a male calico can’t mate and have a calico kitten together.
18. Calico cats have one X chromosome and another X chromosome. One of these two chromosomes inactivates in every cell some time during the development of the embryo. This is a totally random process known as lyonization, and this is what makes calico cats all look so very unique.
Don’t Miss: What Color Is Pete The Cat
Male Calico And Tortie Cats
Also known as XXY syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome occurs when the male is born with an extra X chromosome, so instead of being XY, he is XXY.
The disorder occurs due to a random error in cell division that happens during meiosis which is the division of parent cells to produce gametes . The cells destined to be sperm or an egg undergo meiosis, in which the 38 chromosomes in the cell separate, and produce two new cells with 19 chromosomes each. Why 19 and not 38? Gametes only contain 19 chromosomes so that when during fertilisation, the two cells combine to make the correct 38 chromosomes. In some cases, the paired chromosomes fail to separate as they should and instead of each daughter cell receiving 19 chromosomes, it receives 38.
Instead of the sex cell being X or Y, it is XY or XX , if the defective sex cell contributes to a cat pregnancy, the resulting male offspring will be XXY instead of XY, having received an additional X chromosome.
- Sperm cell: Y fertilises an XX egg = XXY
- Sperm cell: XY fertilises an X egg = XXY
- Sperm cell: Y fertilises an X egg = XY
- Sperm cell: X fertilises an X egg = XX
The addition of the extra chromosome usually results in infertility in the male.
Another less common type of mosaicism occurs with somebody who has undergone a bone marrow transplant. The donor bone marrow produces blood cells which are a different cell line to the rest of the recipients body.
Expression Of Coat Color In Females
At a certain point in the embryonic development of every female mammal , one of the two X chromosomes in each cell inactivates by supercoiling into a structure known as a Barr Body. This irreversible process is known as Lyonization; it leaves only ONE active X chromosome in each cell of the female embryo. Only the alleles on the active X chromosome are expressed.
Lyonization is random in each cell: there’s no way to predict which of the two X chromosomes will become inactivated. Hence, any given cell of a heterozygous female could end up as either of the following:In the diagram on the left, the orange allele is inactivated. In the one on the right, the black allele is inactivated.
A heterozygous cat will be a patchwork of these two types of cells. Lyonization takes place relatively early in development, when the cat is still a blastula, and all the cells descended from a blastomere with a particular X chromosome inactivated as a Barr Body will also have the same Barr Body inactivated. That means that all the skin tissues that arise from a cell like the left one will express black fur, and all the skin tissue that arise from a cell like the right one will express orange fur.Hence:
- In a patch of skin in which the X chromosome carrying the B allele is inactivated, that patch of skin will express only the b allele .
Here’s an overview:
This is why calico cats are almost invariably female.
Don’t Miss: How Long Can A Cat Live With Pectus Excavatum