Rare Male Tortoiseshell Cat Adopted from Las Vegas Shelter: 'The Unicorn of Cats'

Only about 1 in 3,000 tortoiseshell cats are male

Rare kitten, the ‘unicorn of cats,’ is adopted from Las Vegas animal shelter, staff says;
Photo: The Animal Foundation/Instagram

A rare kitten has found a forever home thanks to a Las Vegas animal shelter.

On Friday, The Animal Foundation announced that its "super rare" male tortoiseshell kitten, named Comet, got adopted. Most tortoiseshell cats — a type of cat with a bicolored coat — are females, with only 1 in 3,000 tortoiseshell cats born male.

According to The News & Observer, tortoiseshell cats are predominantly female because two X chromosomes are needed to produce the black and brown tortoiseshell pattern that gives the felines their name. Male tortoiseshell cats are born with an extra X chromosome.

"Male calicos and torties are so rare that they are sometimes called the 'unicorn' of cats," The Animal Foundation wrote on social media alongside a sweet photo of the kitten. "Those in veterinary medicine work years or even decades without ever seeing one in person."

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"Comet is certainly one of the most unique cats we have ever seen at The Animal Foundation. So cool!" the rescue Facebook post added.

Kelsey Pizzi, an employee at The Animal Foundation, told McClatchy News that Comet is eight weeks old and arrived at the facility as a stray. He was neutered on June 3 before being taken to his new home the following day.

"[Comet] "spent about a month in a foster home before he was big enough and old enough to be adopted," Pizzi added.

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