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So the answer to your question is that your observation is, as a rule of thumb, spot on as far as tortoiseshell's are concerned, although female gingers are fairly common.All tortoiseshell and tortoiseshell and white (Calico) cats are female. The reason is that in cats the colour gene is carried on the X chromosome.(Colour blindness in humans works the same way) As a child I had a ginger cat called Sadie.She had a litter of 5 kitten, all contained within the same birth sack and all female (identical quintuplets).A tabby pattern of stripes can also be inherited separately, resulting in a cat known as a "torby" (Tabby-tortoiseshell).When I was a student our house was adopted by a beautiful female ginger cat.BIRDS AND THE BEESIt has been my observation that in the cat world tortoiseshell (known in the US as "calico") cats are always female, while all ginger cats are male. As a cat lover myself I always considered the above assertion to be true.
Female ginger cats inherit the recessive ginger allele from both parents.
I believe there was a case of an apparently male calico cat but it was found to have a mutation giving an XXY chromosome set-up, and was sterile.
For a female to be ginger she would have to inherit red from both parents.
As females have two Xs they can express two colours in the coat, and if black is inherited from one parent and ginger (red) from the other, the result is a calico cat.
The calico's brother, having only one X chromosome, would be either ginger or black, depending on the colour of the mother.
This weekend we found one - at a flea market - she is gorgeous - our vet could not believe she was female until he had checked it out for himself. Last Christmas we wanted to gift ourselves a ginger Tom.