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Fact or Fiction?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I was reading a few facts about calico males, and I wanted to know if their true.

#1-Male calicos tend to have severe health issues ranging from kidney malfunction, brain damage, hyperthyroid (which sometimes causes aggression) bone weakness, genital deformities, cancer, chest deformities, diabetes. Basically they're not supposed to exist and nature takes lengths to keep it that way.
#2-They are almost always infertile (but still should be neutered if you try to keep it as a pet, otherwise it has a 70-80 percent chance of testicle cancer and will urine mark all over house and have aggressive tendencies)
#3- They rarely live past 6 months of age.
#4- None make it past 2-3 years, and despite popular urban myth they are not worth any money.
#5-People wont adopt a male calico for free because they're short lived and often cost a lot in vet bills.
post #2 of 12
I've never heard of male calicos having any more problems then a normal cat.

I do know of THREE male calicos - 2 were cornish rexes, one was a bluecream male in the household pet class - met the breeder of the 2nd rex this past show - and he's a FERTILE male (like the other one) - he's also produced some really weird colored kittens

Most male calicos are infertile - but I agree, should be neutered if they are. This one I got to sorta meet is an excellant example of the breed, but can't be shown as there is no catagory for a male calico

And no, they are not worth more/less then any other cat.

Now in both cases of the breeding males - they are genetically black/white - they only show the red color but cannot produce it.
post #3 of 12
My current vet sees 2 calico males and says both are infertile, but otherwise have normal lives/ health.
post #4 of 12
I just did a quick bit of research and found there are two main ways male calicos can result. The first is purely genetic--the cat has an extra X chromosome. As a result, he is XXY instead of XY. The condition, which is also found in people, is called Klinefelter's syndrome (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XXY).

The other way is chimerism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_%28genetics%29). Very early in the development process two blastocysts or zygotes (fertilized eggs) fuse and become one. Some of the cat's characteristics come from one zygote, and some come from the other. As a result, the cat's apparent gender may be male, but some of their color patterns arise from female cell.

Most cats with Klinefelter's are sterile, but the chimeras may be fertile. There's more information in these articles:

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I figured the short life span was false.
post #6 of 12
We had a male calico persian which is a rarity in itself. He was over a year when we had to find a good home for him. He was the sweetest boy ever, but we already had a male and they just fought too much and they were going to hurt each other if I didn't.
We found a very good home. He was at least 4-5 years old the last time I heard from him. But other than that. He was healthy.
post #7 of 12
Actully MOST of the statements are false

Where are you reading these statements about male calicos - I've never seen anything like that. And also any unneutered male if not bred, has a higher rate of cancer and most times will spray - that's typical male cat behavior.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Would you believe these statements were from a vet! A guy said his cat had a male calico, and he was told those facts from a person married to a vet, I hope I corrected the "vet" in time so the boy wont put the cat to sleep because of false info.

I dont think he will, but he wont be keeping it he's giving it away.
post #9 of 12
Geezzz I don't think I'd be using that vet! Who gave him his license?????
post #10 of 12
The fact is that in humans, klinefelter syndrome can and does cause health issues (ie. osteoporosis), learning/developmental problems, motor skill issues, and autoimmune disorders.

So I find it hard to believe that klinefelter in cats causes no differences at all - however most of the things that are issues for humans would not be noticed in a non-human - impaired communication development and emotional/learning difficulties do not have the same relevance to cat health!
post #11 of 12
Since male calicoism usually arises from a genetic defect - i.e. an extra X chromosome, i have a hard time beleiving that it wouldn't effect the lifespan. Even if an individual cat is long-lived, that doesn't mean that the group as a whole is.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
I think that vet must have seen an exotic breed that was a male calico cat, and as we all know, exotic breeds are prone to so many defects,illnesses. So the sick cat was probably sick because of breed related health problems, not because it was a male calico.
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