Wales

Rare kitten: Male tortoiseshell found at shelter

Cresta Image copyright Cats Protection
Image caption Cresta was a stray found in Colwyn Bay

A genetically rare kitten which has only a one in 3,000 chance of being born has been discovered on the streets of Colwyn Bay.

Cresta is a male tortoiseshell and is one of only a handful of such male cats born in the UK each year.

Tortoiseshells are almost always females.

The five-month-old kitten was found by the RSPCA and is now being cared for at the Cats Protection centre in Wrexham.

Image copyright Cats Protection
Image caption Tortoiseshell coats are any two or more colours but with no white

Staff there had never seen a male tortoiseshell - a colouring where the cat's fur combines two or more colours with no white present - and said it had been years since a male tortoiseshell had been cared for at its centres, despite helping 200,000 cats a year.

Manager Suzan Kennedy said: "We couldn't believe it when we discovered Cresta was a boy.

"It wasn't difficult to find Cresta a home, and his new owners realise how special he is and are looking forward to him becoming part of the family."

Male tortoiseshells are usually conceived as a result of an extra chromosome being present, and are usually sterile as a result.

Ms Kennedy said he was unlikely to have any health problems as a result of his unusual genetics but had been neutered "to be on the safe side".

The centre is shortly moving to new £2m premises in Bradley Road, Wrexham, and said Cresta was one of the last kittens to be cared for at its present site in Madeira Hill.

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