Is it True That All Calico Cats Are Female?

are calico cats female

To find out if all calico cats are female it’s best to consult with someone who knows about cat genetics.  Simply put, there are some male calico cats, but most often calico cats are female.  Why it’s this way is purely about numbers and how cat genes get passed down.

Are all calico cats female?

No.  There are male calico cats but they are unusual.  According to the founder of the Calico Cat Registry International, 1 out of every 3,000 calico kittens are male.  So why do people believe that all calico cats are female?  According to veterinarians, it’s likely because male calico cats technically aren’t possible without a genetic mutation, so to speak. In fact, because of the way genetics work in cats – male calico cats usually have an extra pair of chromosomes.  This could also be the reason why most male calico cats are sterile.  Even though most calico cats are female, those born male typically have average and healthy lives – aside from not being able to reproduce.

Even though there are not many males, not all calico cats are female.  Due to the mutation and the extra chromosome, it’s been said that most male calico cats also have malformed genitals.  Even with genetic mutations and malformed genitals, the cats are still considered male by binary standards, which means that not all calico cats are female.

What makes calico cats female?

It’s actually the other way around.  The fact that the cat is female is why it can be calico.  Cat genetics aren’t simple but how a calico kitten is created isn’t that hard to understand.  Cats get their color from the X chromosome only.  Male cats typically have a chromosomal makeup of XY and female cats have XX.  Calico cats are produced when both the genes for black and orange fur are passed down.  Since the fur color only comes from the X chromosome, female cats are the only cats capable of having both of these colors passed down genetically.

Male cats generally get their coloring from their mother since they have one X chromosome. In cases where male cats turn out to be calico they would still need two X chromosomes to be able to have both black and orange genes.  Scientifically speaking, this means that all calico cats are female or have an extra chromosome.  Calico cats considered to be male must have a chromosomal makeup of XXY.  Technically, this means they are not actually male but outside of the binary entirely.

Does that mean all calico cats are female? 

No.  Some are still male, even though they are usually sterile and contain an extra chromosome. Until standards of biological sex catch up with adaption and evolution, it will still be said that some calico cats are male.  Although unusual, they aren’t considered rare.  Calico cats are most often female but the mutation of the genes seem to happen more frequently than most mutations.

Does this mean that male calico cats are special?  Some cat enthusiast believe so and some still think that all calico cats are female.

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