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Why are red cats mostly male?


Does the sex of the house tigers depend on their fur color and are red cats therefore always male? A question that many cat lovers ask. Find out what is really behind the red fur and what else there is to know about the animals here. That red cats are male is not always true - Image: Shutterstock / Pavel Rumme

Over the years, the image of the cheeky, headstrong red hangover has established itself in many heads - but whether red cats are really all male is a completely different matter. It is true, however, that the male specimens outnumber the red house tigers, but why?

Red cats: excursion into the world of genetics

The secret of the red fur lies in the genetics, because the fur color is passed on from the parents to the children. The cat DNA contains 38 chromosomes, which are linked to 19 pairs. One chromosome of each pair comes from the mother, the other from the father.

As with humans, male fur noses have only one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. The females, however, have two X chromosomes. This is exactly where it is decided whether the cat gets a red coat or another. The coat color gene is located on the X chromosome. Red cats are mostly male because they only need the chromosome for the red coat color once in their DNA. Female cats, on the other hand, only have red fur when the corresponding gene is located on both X chromosomes.

Red tomcats and tricolor cats: coat color and gender

Hangovers usually only inherit the red or black coat color from their parents. They either have the red fur gene or not. Females, on the other hand, have several options thanks to the double X structure. You can have the gene either once, twice, or not at all. But only if it occurs twice in the DNA does the fur really turn red. Say: Female red cats must have both a red-haired mother and a red-haired father.

Otherwise, the gene for black fur is dominant and there may only be a few red spots in the fur - this is how tortoiseshell cats develop. Tricolor cats also have both the black and red fur genes, but are also spotted in white.

What fur colors and patterns are there in cats?

Cats come in all possible fur colors, with or without a pattern. The colors are mainly ...

Red cats are not a separate breed

In addition to the theory that red cats are always male, there is another claim that is not true. Red cats are said to be a breed of their own. In fact, however, the red fur coloring occurs in many breeds. Some examples are:

• European shorthair
• British shorthair
• Maine Coon and other forest cat breeds
• Persian cats
• Devon Rex
• Scottish Fold

Are red cats particularly susceptible to disease?

Red cats, whether male or female, should not only be striking in their appearance, but also in their behavior and their susceptibility to diseases. For example, they should suffer from tartar, kidney and urinary tract diseases and eye infections more often than other velvet paws.

They are also said to be more sensitive to pain and more prone to complications from anesthesia. However, there is only one scientific proof: Red cats are more prone to ear diseases and deafness.

Do red cats behave differently from their dark fur counterparts?

Behavioral disorders such as aggressiveness, jealousy and unpredictability are said to often occur in red cats. But according to a study by the Institute for Applied Ethology and Animal Psychology, there is no connection between coat color and character.