cat is not
a breed but a color pattern that may occur
in almost any type of domestic cat.
Since "calico" is a color
and not a breed, these
cats may be large, small, long-haired, short-haired and even hairless
if the cat happens to be one of the breeds with any of these
distinct colors must be present for a cat to be considered a calico.
color is related to the x
chromosome, well over
95% of cats with this color pattern turn out to
have two x chromosomes, so in this case, one x chromosome
will have the orange gene and the other will have the black.
Then a seperate
gene for piebald patches which is not related to the sex
of the cat
creates the white areas to make -viola!
The male calico cat
has a rare condition called Klinefelter's
syndrome, which alters the chromosomes, and, unfortunately, males with
this coat pattern may
have additional genetic changes besides color that could
The color "tortoiseshell", which is the mix of the red, orange or brownish color and black, without the white, or with only a small amount of white, is also predominately seen on female cats.
These special cats have
for centuries and the
coat color is considered to be quite lucky in
many countries, particularly Japan. The color is
referred to as "Mi-ke", and is regularly seen on the national
Japan, the Japanese
bobtail. The famous "Beckoning Cat"
is almost always
portrayed as having this color.
Playing a big part in the ancient folklore and history of many cultures, Calico cats are always seen as peaceful, hopeful and lucky kitties.
|colors||coat has 3 colors - white - black, grey or blue- and orange/red|
any size manybreedssweet
always femaleany coat any shedding special care may be required
of both calicos and tortoiseshell cats believe that
there is more
than just the color of their cat that is special.
Tortoiseshell owners describe the "tortitude"
they think is unique to
that color. Tortitude is a combination of devotion, spirit and a
little bit of
Calico owners often say the colorful coat is just the icing
on the cake of a very sweet and endearing personality.
described as "old souls". Calico cats are notoriously
affectionate and wise.
One famous calico
rescued her entire
person and animal family from a burning house by scratching on each
Another incredible mamma cat named Scarlett seen in the
news in 1996
returned to a
burning shed five times to rescue each of her kittens.
The kittens were
unharmed, but the mother cat received terrible
burns that cost her her
eyelids and whiskers!
Still, she happily cleaned and fussed over her kittens as hundreds of folks gathered to see her recovering in the animal hospital. - Amazing!
kittens are often very active and are
notorious for literally "bouncing off the walls". Watching them is
are so bold
and busy they may put themselves in precarious
situations until they learn their own limitations.
is definitely recommended for anyone considering adopting or purchasing
High furniture should be off limits, caution should be taken
when holding these wriggly little youngsters, particularly when
carrying them across hard wood or tile floors, and spaces under
counters and doors should be blocked off as they have a very strong
urge to explore.
Appearance, the Calico kitten is basically a
miniature adult. They tend to grow at an average rate and
reach mature height at about 6 months, filling out and maturing to full
size and weight at about one year old.
Because they may be any of dozens of pure-bred cats there are many to choose from, and calico kittens are regularly available for adoption at local shelters..
Just like with a calico cat, the name of a tortoiseshell cat
refers to the cats
color, not a breed. The color "tortoiseshell" is a marbelized
black and brown (orange/red). Like the young lady in the
True tortoiseshell cats have no white markings, and no white in the body color at all.
A mostly tortie cat with white "points" or
white on the nose, chest and/or feet
is considered a calico because there are three distinct colors, but is
often refferred to as "tortoiseshell
You may also find situations where the black or orange
sections have tiger or tabby characteristics like this. Tiger and tabby coloration is very common
and the same rule applies as long as there are at least three distinct
colors it's a calico
And "Dilute" calicos have the three colors required in a sort of pastel tone like the earnest little person at right....
"Classic" Calico cats have lots of white, along with the black
orange hues, and are often equal parts of the three colors. Classics
don't always have white on the back and torso area, but the white on
the points will extend well up the thighs and around the neck and belly
or almost all white with just some black and tan/orange/brown ...