Tricolor cats. 99.9% are Females

Photo of a tricolor cat. Image for the tricolor cats.

Tricolor cats have a coat with the colors white, black and orange or their dilutions, white with gray and yellow. It can appear in all cat breeds, both short-haired and long-haired cats, since it is a coat pattern and is not exclusive to any particular breed.

Genetics of the tricolor coat in cats

The orange color is related to the X chromosome. This chromosome contains a gene that determines if its fur is orange or if it is not, in which case it would be black.

♦ Males have XY chromosomes, therefore, they only have one X chromosome and a single gene that determines whether it will be orange or not.

♦ Female cats, having two XX chromosomes, are more likely to have the color orange and black. This is possible because one X chromosome would determine the color orange and the other X chromosome would define the color black. In that case it would have two colors: orange and black. This combination is only possible in females.

But for the white spots to develop, and to have a tricolor cat, it is necessary that she also have another different gene, which is called the "S gene" (partial white). The extension of the white color will vary in each specimen, being able to cover little or a large extension of its fur.

Kitten of three colors. Photograph of a tricolor baby kitten.

tricolor cats

The probability that it is female is 99,96%. There is a slight chance that it is male and it is 1 in 3000 cases. This is the product of a genetic anomaly that would consist of the contribution of more than two sex chromosomes (XXY) in male tricolor cats.

This genetic abnormality is known as Klinefelter syndrome. Another interesting fact is that because of this anomaly these males would be mostly sterile. The probability that it is fertile is very small, only 1 cat in 10,000 will be fertile.

Tricolor Coat Types

We can find three variants of tricolor fur:

Photo of tricolor cats. From left to right, (Callic, Carey and Brindle).

♦ Calico: It has the three colors white, orange and black, but they are differentiated and separated. Being the most predominant white color.

♦ Carey: It is when they are mixed and white has less preponderance, almost invisible. Hawksbill in English means turtle shell and it has that name because of the resemblance to them in its color.

♦ Brindles: It has all three colors, but with a brindle pattern on the orange and black stripes.

Did you know the Legend that explains the meaning of fur in tricolor cats?

There is a beautiful and interesting legend that gives meaning to the tricolor of the coat of these beautiful cats.

In a monastery in Tibet in the 12th century, monks argued over differences in their theological beliefs. So they decided to fast for a few days. At the end of the fast, they had not reached any agreement. At that moment, a tricolor cat with her young appeared at the door of the monastery. The monks considered them an offering and adopted them.

Photo of a cat, nursing her young. tricolor cats.

They took care of them, putting aside misunderstandings and discussions. One of them reflected on the well-being that the cats had caused in the monastery and attached a divine meaning to the tricolor pattern.

He believed that black and white represented yin and yang, a sign of two opposite parts, and that orange represented the color of the earth. The reflection he came to is that human beings could be tolerant of differences and instead of arguing, they should live in harmony. Also, being all female, it represented that they could give life. And they related that as a sign of change and regeneration.

It is because of this legend that tricolor cats are considered a sign of harmony and tolerance in homes. Another of the many benefits of adopting a cat as a pet.

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