Good Samaritans in the local Voorhees, New Jersey area, dropped off a litter of abandoned kittens to Animal Welfare Association and what the veterinarian discovered when she examined the litter, was surprising. The litter contained one male, now known s Burrito, who happened to be very different. He is a tortoiseshell kitten.
A male tortoiseshell cat, which is the name for a cat born with brown and orange fur, only occurs in 1 in 3,000 births, according to many animal experts. The reason is, because brown and orange fur coloring in cats is typically determined by the pair of female X Chromosomes. So a male “tortie” is a cat that essentially have both male and female chromosomes. They will have both X chromosomes that a female has, plus a Y chromosome of a male. Because both male and female chromosomes are present, this renders the cat unable to reproduce. “It is a genetic anomaly,” said the doctor.
Veterinarian, Dr. Erin Henry, of the Animal Welfare Association said that when turned the kitten over for his examination, she was shocked. She explained how she’s examined thousands of kittens over the years in practice at the AWA and that this will probably be the only “tortie” she will ever see again.
A regular person probably would not be able to detect the difference in this kitten compared to any other, however, experts in the field could definitely spot one and they would know the rarity of these types of cats. The doctor also said that the rare condition and its interesting story, will surely help Burrito to get adopted much quicker. Maya Richmond, the executive director of the AWA explained that unique stories usually attract more adoption interests, and fast.
The adoption fee will not go up just because Burrito is unusual and rare, Richmond went on to explain that the standard fee of $95 will still apply to Burrito. The fee includes the kitten getting his vaccinations and being neutered. While talking about Burrito, Richmond also talked about Burrito’s other siblings in hopes of bringing attention to them too, so that people know there are more to adopt along with Burrito.
There is another name for Tortoiseshell cats, they are also referred to as Calico cats, and they can also have white fur along with some black and orange mixed in. The genetic disorder is what gives this color combination and not the type, or breed of cat.
Burrito and his siblings are 4 weeks old now, and they all live with a foster family, where they will remain until they get their forever family, which can happen when they turn 8 weeks old.