|colors||orange, black and white mixed|
Calico cats are not a breed but a color pattern that may occur in almost any type of domestic cat. The word "calico" describes the color pattern of a white cat with orange(or red or reddish-brown), and black patches on the coat. Because color is related to the x chromosome, well over 90% of cats with this color are female. Females have two x chromosomes, so in the case of a calico, one x chromosome will have the orange gene and the other will have the black. A seperate gene for piebald patches which is not related to the sex of the cat creates the white areas to make a calico. The male calico cat actually has a rare condition called Klinefelter's syndrome, which alters the chromosomes. Unfortunately, male calicos may have additional genetic changes besides coat color that could affect their health. 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. Calicos are considered lucky in many countries including Japan, where the color is referred to as "Mi-ke", and is regularly seen on the national cat of Japan, the Japanese bobtail. Calico cats are part of ancient folklore in many countries, and are always seen as peaceful, hopeful and lucky kitties.
Cool Cat Facts...
The Calico Cat is a color, not a breed!
Just like the calico cat, tortoiseshell refers to a
color, not a breed. The color "tortoiseshell" is a marbelized
black and brown (orange/red). Like the fellow with the red
True tortoiseshell cats have very little, if any, white markings, and no white in the body color at all. A tortie cat with white "points" or white on the nose, chest and/or feet is called "tortoiseshell and white". Again, no white in the body color, just on the nose, chest, feet and a little on the tummy like this . ...
Calico cats have lots of white, along with the black and brown
orange hues, and are often equal parts of the three colors. Calico cats
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
etc. like so...
or almost all white with just some black and tan/orange/brown
The Calico Cat is not a breed, and just describes a color
pattern that may occur among any number of breeds of purebred cats, and
of course, among mixed breeds and un-registered house cats as well. The
calico color does appear in some particular breeds quite often,
So, if you love the color pattern, and want to have some idea of the
likely size, temperament, and genetic tendencies your new kitten may
have, consider these: The Manx cat,
the Scottish Fold cat,
the Japanese bobtail
shorthair and British
shorthair cats, the Turkish
Van cat, the Oriental
shorthair cat, the Siberian
cat, the Exotic
shorthair cat, and the Persian
cat. Even exotic breeds like the LaPerm
cat, the Munchkin
curl, the Sphynx cat
and the Devon rex
and Cornish rex
cats have calico colored individuals on a regular basis, so with a
little effort, you could find a cat that is not only a perfect fit for
you, but also your favorite color!
Owners 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 "tortietude" they think is unique to
that color- a combination of devotion, spirit and a little bit of
hot-temper. Calico owners often say the colorful coat is just the icing
on the cake of a very sweet and endearing personality. Sometimes
described as "old souls" calicos are notoriously warm-hearted,
affectionate and intelligent. One famous calico rescued her entire
person and animal family from a burning house by scratching on each
bedroom door. Another calico seen recently in the news returned to a
burning shed four times to rescue each of her kittens. The kittens were
unharmed, but the mother cat received terrible burns that cost her her
ears 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!