Why Are Calico Cats Always Female?


A lot of us have heard that calicos are always female, but not everyone says why they are. In this article, we talk about why they are and if all of them are female. The answer is unfortunately a tad bit complicated, so get your thinking caps on!

Are All Calico Cats Female?

Calico Cat - But Not a Male Calico Cat

The fact is, male calico cats are very rare. In fact, 99.9 (or 1 for every 3,000) of calico cats are female. So, technically they aren’t always female, but they are almost always female. However, there are a small number of male calico cats out there!

So, Why Are They Almost Always Female?

Calico Cat - But Not a Male Calico Cat

Now, why are they always female? Well, unfortunately, the answer is bit complicated. For sex chromosomes, there is battle for dominance, especially for the X chromosomes. If two X chromosomes are present (this determines the female sex), then one chromosome will be inactive sometime in the development of the fetus. All the cells that descend off of the activated X chromosome will have the same characteristics.

Males, on the other hand only have one X chromosome, which can never become inactive. Because of this, male calico and tortoiseshell cats are very rare. Only if a male is borned with two X chromosomes and one Y will a male cat be a calico or tortoiseshell. This genetic defect is very rare.


Male calico cats do exist, but they are very rare. So, consider yourself lucky if you find a male calico cat! Saying that males rarely have two X chromosomes, male calico (and tortoiseshell) cats are extremely rare. So, did you find this article helpful? Comment below!

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