Is there such a thing as a male calico cat?

United States
October 4, 2008 5:45pm CST
We have a female calico cat. She's got the typical calico coat. My friend says there is no such thing as a male calico cat. I'm not sure if that's true. Have you ever seen a male calico cat?
4 people like this
6 responses
@Aurone (4758)
• United States
4 Oct 08
I have seen a picture of one. They occur very rarely as the coloring for a calico happens because of X-chromosome inactivation. The colors orange and black genes are found on the X chromosome or the female chromosome in cats. Every female has 2 but we only need 1 to function so our body shuts the other down. This is done randomly when we are in our bunch of cells only phase and then every cell that is created afterwards follows the inactivation pattern of its parent cell. This leads to different cells using different X chromosomes and if the genes on that chromosome differ from one another you get such things as calicos. For if one set of cells uses the X chromosome with the black color and the other uses the one with orange color then you get those patches of calico color. The only way a male cat can be a calico is if he has 2 X chromosomes which would make him XXY instead of the normal XY. This is called Klinefelters syndrome and can actually happen in human males (without the fur colors of course). This is a chromosome abnormality and happens very rarely, and the abnormality makes the male cat sterile.
• United States
5 Oct 08
Could not have said that better myself.
2 people like this
@Aurone (4758)
• United States
5 Oct 08
I have had a lot of opportunity to practice this response. I am a biology instructor for community college and chromosome inactivation and what happens when chromosomes don't behave properly is one of my lectures for non-majors biology.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Oct 08
Isn't it funny to think how a "mistake" on nature's part (genetic abnormality) produces such beauty! Thanks. More info than I could have ever hoped for.
1 person likes this
@katsmeow1213 (24578)
• United States
5 Oct 08
My mother was the encyclopedia on cats. Anything you ever wanted to know about cats, she knew it. We always had a large bunch of cats while I was growing up... and sadly I have 5 now, lol. According to her, calico cats could only be female. I always tried to prove that theory wrong by looking for a male calico... but never found one.
2 people like this
@Aurone (4758)
• United States
5 Oct 08
She is wrong or her encyclopedia was wrong. They do exist only they are rare, since it takes a specific chromosome disorder for there to be a male calico cat.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Oct 08
they're rare,but they do exist-i used to own one. i couldn't tell you if he was one of those XXY calicos,but on the surface he was definetly a male.
@williamjisir (22913)
• China
5 Oct 08
calico cat - Can a calico cat ever be male? Yes, in rare instances. In this situation, the cat has two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome (XXY). Cats with this chromosomal configuration are usually sterile (not able to breed). This is similar to a condition in humans called Klinefelter's syndrome, or XXY Syndrome.
Hello beauty queen. I read this discussion of yours and searched online for some information about this issue to find the following quoted for you to read and the link as well for detailed information. "Can a calico cat ever be male? Yes, in rare instances. In this situation, the cat has two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome (XXY). Cats with this chromosomal configuration are usually sterile (not able to breed). This is similar to a condition in humans called Klinefelter's syndrome, or XXY Syndrome." http://results.myhpf.co.uk/framedresults.asp?Keyword=calico+cat
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Oct 08
That's amazing! I had no idea there was so much info about calicos! Thanks.
1 person likes this
@philjas (1134)
• United States
6 Oct 08
I'd like to expand on this question a little: when a calico has kittens, will they all look like her, all be female (unless there's one or more of those rare males) -or is it possible that some of the litter, male or female, will come out looking the like the father?
1 person likes this
• Canada
28 Nov 09
My husband has told me a few times that there is no such thing as a male calico cat, that all calicos are female. Just like the fact that there's no such thing as a female mule. LOL