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Archive for May 17th, 2010

Are calico cats always female?

Monday, May 17, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

calico-catA calico cat has large blocks of three colors, usually black, white and orange. Calico cats are nearly always female because  the coat color in cats is a sex linked trait. It’s a physical characteristic that is related to gender. Female animals have two X chromosomes (XX). Males have an X chromosome and a Y chromosome. (XY)  The genetic coding that is found in black or orange color is found on the X chromosome. The coding for white coloring is a completely different gene. Since females have two X chromosomes, they are able to display two colors, orange and black as well as white.  This creates a three color calico mix. Since males have only one X chromosome, they can only be either orange or black.

Can a calico cat ever be male?  The answer is yes but in very rare cases.  In this case the cat has two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome. (XXY)  These male cats are usually sterile.

Calico cats do not behave any differently that regular cats. They make great pets, love treats, catnip, cat toys and lots of attention!