Rare Kitten is One in Three Thousand!

 

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Burrito, is a rare male tortoiseshell. (Photo: Animal Welfare Association)

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When a veterinarian was checking out kittens at the New Jersey Animal Welfare Association, she got an unexpected surprise.

“When I turned little Burrito over I was so surprised,” Dr. Erin Henry told CBSPhilly. “I’ve examined thousands of kittens while working at AWA and they are so rare that he may be the only male tortoiseshell I’ll ever see again.”

A 2012 study from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri determined only one in every 3,000 tortoiseshell cats are male.

A calico or tortoiseshell pattern, the orange and black fur, is set genetically by the X chromosome. A female cat has two X chromosomes and males have the XY combination. So female cats, with the XX, are highly more probable to have that color fur.  A male tortoiseshell cat, must have two X chromosomes and an additional Y chromosome. Because of the extra chromosome, male torties are often sterile.

 

As to little Burrito, when he hits the 8 week mark, he will  be ready for adoption.

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