Picture of a veterinarian showing off an exceedingly rare male calico cat’s private parts

This is the tweet (plus my comment) accompanying a photo of a Philippine veterinarian proudly showing off a male calico cat’s private parts. Not so private. A bit undignified but I guess he felt it necessary to prove that he had come across a rare male calico cat. They are as rare as tortoiseshell cats which are as rare as 1 in 3000. Although Dr Desmond Morris in his book Cat World says that the odds are 1 in 200. ‘Calico’ is an Americanism for tortoiseshell-and-white.

1 in 3000 rare male calico cat in the hands of an Asian vet
1 in 3000 rare male calico cat in the hands of an Asian vet (believed Philippines). Image: Twitter.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Tweet

‘VERY RARE CAT’

A photo of a male cat went viral on social media Friday because of its exceedingly rare coat.

“Finally! After years of searching for a male calico patient, we found one, today!” wrote veterinarian Doc Glenn “Gab” Albert Almera on the caption.

Calico cats are cats with tri-color coats. A large number of them are white with orange and black patterns. They are almost always female.

“Did you know that a male calico is like a five-leaf clover or a ‘unicorn’in cats? It is very rare and for the longest time that we have been doing outreach events, this is the first time we found one,” continued Almera.

In an interview with GMA Integrated News, Almera said that the photo of the cat was taken during a low-cost community “kapon” or neutering outreach in Alabang earlier today.

Almera said he and his team are under Pet Partner Philippines Inc., which regularly conducts kapon events.

He also shared that they are always open to partner with organizations and other animal welfare advocates to make more events under their #KaponAngSolusyonHindiTapon campaign, and that interested partners and donors may get in touch with them via petpartnerphippines@gmail.com.

Why are they rare?

Do you want to know why they are so rare!! It is because normally only a female kitten can display black patches inherited from one parent and red tabby patches inherited from the other. This is because the genes controlling these colours are both carried on the X chromosomes, the red gene on one and the non-red on the other. The problem is that only the female has two X-chromosome so only females can display the red and non-red tortie coat. Males have one X-chromosome and one small Y-chromosome. On their X-chromosome they can have either red or the non-red gene but not both. They are therefore a red tabby or black. Complicated, I know. There is another explanation below along the same lines.

Strange and rare behavior

Dr Morris goes on to state that the male calico or tortie is like a ‘masculinized female’. They behave in an odd way and they are sterile. They don’t behave like male domestic cats as they are neither fully male nor fully female. Click on the link below to read more on the masculinized tricolor cat aka Calico cat.

Male Tortoiseshell Cat Acts like a Masculinized Female Rather Than a true Male

Why are tortoiseshell cats nearly always female?

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