Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cat myths and facts

Common myths and facts about cats include (but not limited to) the following

- are all white cats deaf?

Researchers found that only 17 to 22 percent of white cats with non-blue eyes are born deaf. The percentage rises to 40 percent if the cat has one blue eye, while upwards of 65 to 85 percent of all-white cats with both eyes blue are deaf. Some of these cats are deaf in only one ear. Interestingly, if a white cat with one blue eye is deaf in only one ear, that ear will invariably be on the same side of the head as the blue eye.

- are all tricolor cats female?

The genes for the colors black/gray and brown/orange/red live on the X chromosome only. They do not live on the Y one. A female cat has 2 X's so she can therefore inherit a gene for black on of her X's and for brown on her other X. She can receive both colors. However, a male only has one X and can therefore only inherit one color (either black or brown, but not both).
Since the color white does not exist on the X and Y gender chromosomes, all cats can inherit white.
There are male kitties with all 3 colors. It's not a magic trick, just a genetics "mishap". What happens is these male cats have 3 gender chromosomes: two X's and one Y. He's a white cat who received brown on one of his X's and black on the other X. This is rare but does happen every once in awhile.


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