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Samantha? WellingtonCats? Truly fertile calico?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hello , nice to meet you sam! I Am glad to finally meet someone close to my age here. I read a post about male calico cats where you wrote that you had a couple of fertile calico males, one of which you said was incorporated into your breeding program. I was under the impression that all male calicos either had Klinefelter syndrome (xxy chromosomes instead of normal xx,male or xy, female) and were sterile, or were chimeras ( embryos that fused in the womb to form one organism, with different parts of the body showing different DNA and characteristics, essentially bodyparts from two animals of the same species stuck together to make one animal) and therefore only bred for (in this case) orange and white or black and white, not both. In other words, it could breed for the part of the body on which the reproductive organs were placed, or whichever original embryo created that part of the body.
In short, i wondered if when you bred your male calico it bred true, or produced a calico kitten, male or female. A fertile Klinefelter syndrome cat is the only time this could happen, and carrying the fertile gene for calico, even for female cats, would be a vetrinary miracle. but maybe it is simply a healthy chimera. I apologise for being so long-winded. Thanks for your time.
post #2 of 22
She's on vacation right now....so it may be a few days before she replies here just so ya know......
post #3 of 22
I am not an expert but I do not see how it would be possible for a calico to consistently breed true even if the male were fertile. Some humans with Klinefelter's are fertile, become fertile with hormone replacement, or have children through IVF (low sperm count is the main cause of the infertility), and their offspring are genetically normal. So unless another random nondisjunction caused a Klinefelter male to be born, you would presumably have normal male offspring who would not be calicos.

As for the females, the offspring would have to obtain the gene for orange from one parent and the gene for black from the other. Statistically the odds of this should be 50-50, with a 25% chance of two genes for orange and a 25% chance for two genes for black.

So again, I am not an expert! But I think that while it would be possible for calicos to consistently breed true, it would have to be by random chance and would statistically be very unlikely.
post #4 of 22
Since I bred rexes I got into genetics. I know of a fertile calico male rex (not sure if he's still living) but a male calico will only have one color to pass on - either the red or the black. Not both like a female even tho he shows the color.

This was explained to me by other genetic breeders. So if he was a "black" the only way you get calicos would be to breed to a red female. And same thing for red - he'd have to be bred to a black. I guess in a way you could say he produced calico that way.

I'm guessing 99% of male calicos are sterile anyway. They may have other problems genetically so its not a good idea to be breeding them IMO.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
I had not known that klinefelter's male humans were sometimes fertile, But i think that most if not all fertile male calico cats are, not klinefelter's, but chimeras, and that is why they only breed for one color, because the reproductive organs are on one side of the body, therefore only breeding for one of the original embryos' traits. However, any genetic mutations are possible, and it was my thought that maybe, possibly but unlikely, a gene could have surfaced that treated black and red as one color. It is one in a million, but i have never encountered a male calico in person before, and Sam's seems as good as any to check. Thanks,
Joecool
post #6 of 22
According to Robinson's cat genetic book, about 1 in 3000 male births are tortoiseshells, and of course the frequency of fertile males with black and red (or blue and creme) is very very much lower, and there are several theories on how this occurs. I suggest you get a copy of the book and read page 144-5.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
You misunderstood me. I meant one in a million as in the possibility of a new gene mutation, not the rarity of male calicos. They are pretty rare and i have never seen on personally, but i know they are fairly common, as rarities go. Thanks
Joecool
Ps- Anyone know when samantha/wellingtoncats gets back from vacation? I wanted info on her male calico that happens to be fertile. It was the reason for the post.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebula11
She's on vacation right now....so it may be a few days before she replies here just so ya know......
I was wondering what happened to her!
post #9 of 22
Do you understand how the genes for calico coloring work ? There is no "calico-gene" a cat can pass on. A calico is a cat who has one or two genes for black "B?" or "BB", then the cat needs one gene for red, "Oo". If a cat has two genes for red "OO" (or "O-") it will be entirely red. Red is a sex linked gene, linked to the X-chromosome. Females have XX, males have XY, a male needs only for his one X to be red, "OY" That's why normal males can't be calico, whether they have one or two red genes, they are entirely red, not "half-red" as a female with calico coloring is.

When two cats make babies, for each chromosome pair the kittens get one from their mother and one from their father. If you happen to have a fertile male calico, he can only pass one of his X or his Y chromosomes. If a male passes on an X-chromosome the kitten will be a female (she gets X from her mother too, so XX), if he passes on a Y the kitten will be a male (he gets an X from his mother too, so XY) As I have understood the Y gene doesn't play a role in the coloring, so the male calico can't have an influence on the males he sires so that they become calicos. He can pass an X to a daughter, that X can have the red gene on it (XO), if the mother's X doesn't have red the daughter will be a calico. (XOXo) If the mother does have red on her X too, the daughter will be red (XOXO)

I hope this was understandable, English is not my native language. Furthermore, I hope it all works this way with male calico's (Kleinfelter ?) too, if not, I'm interested to hear how it does work. (and I hope I didn't make any booboo's)
post #10 of 22
I was under the impression male calicos were genetically XXY. Am I wrong?
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45
I was under the impression male calicos were genetically XXY. Am I wrong?
You are both right in a way(and yes I do understand it by the way. They need a red AND black gene to be calico), because MOST male calicos have klinefelter's syndrome,or XXY, however, SOME are actually Chimeras, or embryos that fused in the womb to form one animal. The orange and black parts, if they had developed, would have different DNA profile, because they are essentially a black and white cat's parts and a white and orange cat's parts stuck together to make one animal(white in both unneccessary. These are the ones that are sometimes fertile. However, it is possible, but very unlikely, that a new gene could develop in a "normally" developed cat, treating red and black as ONE COLOR. This cat would be a calico in appearance, but not a true bicolor as the two colors would be from the same gene. Again, it probably hasn't ever happened, but ANYTHING is possible. I hope I made sense.
Again, does anyone know when Sam gets back? I wanted to ask her about her male calico. Thanks for your replies,
Joecool
post #12 of 22
Hi there,

Sorry for the late reply. I was on vacation.

We do have a male tortoishell bicolour his name is Sapan, and we bred a male tortoishell, too who is successfully breeding in Australia.

Sam
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45
I was under the impression male calicos were genetically XXY. Am I wrong?
Yes, they would have to be most of the time, (barring chimaeras) because in order to have both red and "non-red" (black) on their X-chromosomes they need two X-es. (XOXoY)


Quote:
Joecool wrote:
In short, i wondered if when you bred your male calico it bred true, or produced a calico kitten, male or female. A fertile Klinefelter syndrome cat is the only time this could happen, and carrying the fertile gene for calico, even for female cats, would be a vetrinary miracle.
This was what I initially reacted to, because calico offspring from a male calico could happen without a "calico gene", but just by the calico male passing on his red X-chromosome (XO) to a daughter, with a non-red X-chromosome from her mother (Xo), et voila ! The daughter would be calico (XOXo) A female calico kitten wouldn't be so miraculous then. For males, you did have a good point, why/how would that happen, but when I saw the words "calico gene" I kinda missed that you said both male and femal calico offspring. It's such an interesting topic you brought up !

I just looked at a site about Klinefelters, there is also a condition called the XY mosaic, some cells in an individual are XXY and others XY.That's interesting, could that be part of an explanation ? If Sapan indeed has XXY, that is. Has he ever been tested for something like that ?
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
You are totally right. I was speaking of a HYPOTHETICAL gene that treated orange and black as ONE COLOR. i made an error when i put "klinefelter's" and "gene for calico" in the same sentence. Again, i was speaking of the hypothetical gene containing red and black. the existence of such a gene is infinitely unlikely, but so is winning the lottery, and people do that all the time. Any kind of mutation is possible, this idea is just not very likely. It's a theory, nothing more. I will have to read about that xy Mosaic. Thanks,
Joecool
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for replying. I would love to see a picture of Sapan. I love calico cats and orange cats. It is interesting that you had a male calico pop up in your gene pool. Did you say at another time that you also bred Sapan? Next question.

As you are the persian expert, this question is mainly directed at you, but if other people have the answer please respond. A family who are a friend of ours live on a farm. They have seven barn cats, all of which are spayed and neutered. They are all domestic shorthairs. There is one, however, that has a strange face . Her name is Patty, she is a dilute calico, and she has a very flat face(not nearly as flat as the one on your signature, but still flat). It seems that she must have had a persian or exotic ancestor. I will try top acquire a photo to post from them. They acquire most of their cats from free kittens, generally accidental litters. I can't believe a person with a purebred exotic or persian would be so irresponsible to let their un-neutered cat roam outdoors. Do you ever see this happen?
Also, are exotics common enough for an exotic to be the ancestor, or is it probably a persian?
Thirdly and least related to previous, do you (Sam) work with any other breeds besides persians and exotics?
Joecool
post #16 of 22
If you will pardon a complete idiot, is the calico male fertile?
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
My original post was asking that question. Apparently she owns a fertile calico male and her cattery produced another.
Joecool
post #18 of 22
Sapan!



There's Sapan, I think
post #19 of 22
Hummmmm, he is an orange/white, but where is the black?
post #20 of 22
*shrugs* I know Sam's right .. but maybe I've grabbed an elmo pic? or mebbe it's on his bum or something
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimosa
That's why normal males can't be calico, whether they have one or two red genes, they are entirely red,
Since the gene for red is found on the X chromosome and a normal male cat has only one X, he cannot have two copies of the red gene. All he needs is one copy and this makes him a red. I breed Persians and my red tabby female when bred to my brown tabby male, produced only tortie or torbie females, and red tabby males. It's interesting how that works.
post #22 of 22
A male cat can very rarely have two X chromosomes. If one is red and one is black, he will be a calico (that is if he also has the gene for white spotting.) With two X chromosomes the male will usually not be fertile.
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