The Calico Cat

Calico cat portrait

 -CatStats-           Calico 
size any weight any
vocal? maybe active? maybe
coat any family? probably
shed maybe children? probably
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.

Calico cat portrait
All domestic cat breeds were developed with a certain look and personality in mind.
But naturally, breed descriptions are general and will not apply to all individuals.
Learn about your potential new best friend and research breeders thoroughly!

 Cool Cat Facts... cool cat
                                                                                               The Calico Cat is a color, not a breed!                                                                        

What is a Tortoiseshell Cat?

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 collar...tortoiseshell cat

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 . ...tortoiseshell and white cat

Calico cats have lots of white, along with the black and brown or 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...  calico persian
or almost all white with just some black and tan/orange/brown
 like so....   calico                   calico exotic shorthair                                                

Is A Calico Cat Right For You?

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 calico cat closeupparticular breeds quite often, though. 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 cat, American 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 cat,  American 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!

cat facts

Calico Cat Traits

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!

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Inside Cat or Outside Cat?

Wondering if you should allow your cat to go outside unsupervised? Well there are definitely some pure breeds that should never be outside cats. Hairless breeds like the Sphynx are extremely vulnerable and should always be supervised outdoors. Docile breeds like the Burmese may not be able to defend themselves. All cats allowed outdoors are exposed to diseases and parasites that they would not otherwise encounter. Fred Flintstone put his saber-tooth out every night, but the cat jumped right back in the window - and he was a saber-tooth! Still, most of us feel a little envy when we see our domestic companion out on some high perch, sniffing the breeze of liberty, and there is no doubt that cats love their freedom. So what do YOU think ....Inside Cat or Outside Cat? Comment Here...

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