One of The World’s Rarest Cats

Meet Harry, a cat in Scotland who has defied genetics (leave it up to a cat to defy DNA). He is a “400,000-to-one shot thought to be one of Scotland’s rarest moggies.” The unwanted 12-week-old kitten was handed into Lothian Cat Rescue in Bonnyrigg Scotland after his owners ­discovered they were allergic to his fur.

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Harry the kitten – a rare feline gem

99.96 per cent of Tortoiseshell cats born are female due to the way genes dictating coat color are passed down. Harry’s dapper looks will mean he is sterile, however, should the vets discover he isn’t, it would make this little feline very valuable.

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Harry looking adorable and handsome

The vast majority of tortoiseshell cats are female, because two X chromosomes are required to produce black, gold and orange coloring. Male cats only have one X and one Y chromosome, so technically it’s genetically almost impossible for a male to inherit the tortoiseshell coloring. A male tortoiseshell has an extra X chromosome, making it an XXY.

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Harry will be neutered when he is old enough and then adopted out.

Photo’s source – Edinburgh News, Press and Journal

Most people will never encounter a male Tortoiseshell cat and, in all my years volunteering at an animal shelter I believe I have only ever seen one come in.

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5 thoughts on “One of The World’s Rarest Cats

  1. The 1 in 400,000 statistic mentioned in the source article is probably exxaggerated. According to a study done at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri showed that 1 in 3000 tortoiseshell cats is male. Still rare, but not quite that rare!

    • I figured it could be when I read both but thought it was fun to leave the number in. I wonder if the odds change by geographic location? Thanks for commenting! I really loved your book Buckley’s story 🙂

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