If you love cats you have probably heard about Calico cats. But, do you really know what type of cats are they? There are many interesting facts about them, one of which is that most of them are female. So, we’ve decided to do a short research and answer a few common questions. For example, are all Calico cats female? Are they a specific cat breed? What is the difference between them and tortoiseshell cats? What kind of personality do they have?
Stay tuned and find out all the answers.
What Are the Main Characteristics of Calico Cats?
First things first, how to recognize a calico cat? Mainly these cats are defined by having three colors of their fur. Most of the time they have white, black, and red or orange colors. Due to the fact that calicos have three colors often they are also called tri-color cats.
These cats are hard to ignore because each and every one of them is different. There aren’t two calico cats with the same fur pattern. They can also have a long or short coat.
Are All Calico Cats Female?
Anyone who is familiar with this type of cat has probably noticed that most Calico cats are female. However, we wanted to find out whether this is a rule of thumb and are all calico cats female? It turns out that not all of them are, but male calicos are very rare. The reason for this fact is genetics. To be more precise according to Dr. Gibbons “the traditional characteristics for a calico cat are carried on the chromosomes that make cats female”. Hence the majority of calico cats are female.
Another interesting fact is that if you do come across a male calico chances are it is sterile. Also, one in 3000 calicos is male. To sum up, it is a very similar case with the orange tabby cats which are mostly male.
Types of Calico Cats
Even though they all have three different colors, there are some differences between the calicos.
- Standard Calico – a white cat with large spots of black and orange colors.
- Calibby – this is a mix of calico and a tabby cat where the orange and black spots have tabby pattern markings.
- Dilute Calico – a cat with lighter colorations that has a white coat and large patches of smoky gray and light blonde color.
Difference between Calicos and Tortoiseshell Cats
There is one similar cat that is often confused with calico and that is the tortoiseshell cat. To better understand the difference between these two we’ll try to explain it as simply as possible. Calicos have a white base with large spots and patches of black and red. The tortoiseshell cats, on the other hand, don’t have a white base which leaves a tightly-knit mix of black and red colors. So, that is the known tortoiseshell pattern.
In reality, in tortoiseshell cats, you can see only two colors even though they fall into the category of tri-colored cats. They are also called torties.
Personality and Behavior
Above all, the calico cat is not a specific cat breed. For that reason, it’s hard to firmly determine their personality and behavior as it can be influenced by their breed. There are however certain specific and unique characteristics that can be prescribed to calico cats. For instance, they can be feisty, sassy, distinctively independent, possessive, very vocal, and strong-willed. In one word, they certainly have a “Cattitude”.
What Does the Name Calico Mean?
You are probably wondering how did these cats get the name. It’s actually a very logical nomenclature as the origin of the name comes from a specific fabric. Calico is a fabric with a pattern of white combined with patches of different colors. Pretty much the same as the fur pattern of these cats.
What Cat Breeds Can Have the Calico Pattern?
Finally, as we already mentioned, calico is not a cat breed, so there are many different cats that can have this pattern. The most popular cat breeds with this pattern are:
- American Shorthair
- Persian Cat
- Oriental Shorthair cat
- Scottish Fold
- Sphynx cat
- Maine Coon
And mainly any other cat breed can be a calico cat.
All in all, without a doubt these cats are special and cannot be easily ignored. Anyone who has ever owned a calico cat can confirm this and would probably choose it any time. Not to mention that some believe that calico cats bring luck. Many cultures consider them to be lucky charms, so you should feel blessed to have one in your home!