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Tip 256

Don’t automatically assume your orange tabby kitten is male and arrange for him to be neutered. Be sure to check. Orange tabby cats are about 80/20 male to female. Here’s how it works. To have black and orange in the same cat, the cat needs two X chromosomes. Two X chromosomes mean the cat will be female. Male cats need a Y chromosome and are XY. Occasionally a mutation will arise during embryonic development and a kitten will be born with an extra chromosome: XXY. The two Xs allow for the cat to be black and orange. The Y makes it a male. This is how you get a tortoiseshell or a calico male cat. Tortoiseshell and calico male cats are uncommon (one out of 3000 are male).

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