Thousands of kittens are taken into shelters and rescues every year, but this particular litter of calico kittens has The Cat House on the Kings surprised. The litter of five babies came to the rescue in Parlier, California just last month and the cat lovers taking care of them soon discovered that two out of the five calico kittens were males. This might not sound that interesting, but the science behind it is pretty impressive.
Love Meow reports it’s estimated that only 1 in every 3,000 calico cats is male, and here we have two males in one litter. Genetically speaking, the coloration for calico is attached to the X chromosome. Because it’s a recessive gene, cats must have two X chromosomes to express the phenotype (ie. they need two X chromosomes to have the calico color and pattern). Just like humans, cats have two chromosomes – females are XX, and males are XY. So how do we get two males that are calico? Well, they have an additional X chromosome – XXY. This is a unique occurrence called Klinefelter Syndrome in humans.
Regardless of the science, these five kittens are some of the cutest we’ve ever seen. There’s no information on their parents, but they are certain to make excellent companions to those who adopt them. The two males have already been placed together, but some of the sisters still need homes. You can visit The Cat House on the Kings to learn more about them!