Calico cats draw a lot of intrigue due to their rare and colorful nature. However, aside from their colors, most do not understand why calico cats are the way they are. If you want to learn more about calico cats, read on~
What are Calico Cats?
Calico cats are not a breed. Their name solely describes their color pattern, which typically consists of three different colors: predominantly white with a mixture of two other colors (black, orange, sometimes gray, etc.). Since they are not a breed, every calico cat comes with its own unique personality and behaviors. However, you can find a calico in any domestic cat breed.
Are Calico Cats All Females?
Sort of... Calico cats are almost always females. This is because the genes that determine fur color are on the X chromosome. To present with a tri-color fur pattern, a cat must have two X chromosomes. Since females have two X chromosomes, Calico cats are typically females.
Males have a XY genetic pattern. So, for a male cat to have a tri-color fur pattern, it must have a "XXY" genetic pattern. Male calico cats are are crazy rare... like bigfoot! The chances of finding a male calico are 1 in 3,000 (0.1%)!
Sadly, this genetic discrepancy, aka Klinefelter’s Syndrome, typically leaves these male calico cats sterile and at times with several health concerns. Not only are male calicos especially rare, this is the reason why you can't breed calico cats. They are 100% due to chance!
What about tortoiseshell cats then?
Tortoiseshell Cats, like Calicos, describe the fur pattern, not a breed. Unlike Calicos who are predominantly white with mixed orange and black patterns, Tortoiseshell cats lack the white.
Want to know some crazy calico cat facts?
- Calico Cats are the Official State Cat of Maryland & only two other states have state cats. I think we need more, don't you agree?
- They are lucky! Due to their rare nature, calico cats are lucky charms around the world and adopting one can bring good fortune. For example, Calico Cats are the official symbol of fortune in Japan. Have you walked into a Japanese or Chinese restaurant and seen a statue of a cat holding a coin with the other arm up? That is a calico cat! Or as they call it in Japan, a Maneki Neko or "beckoning cat".
- Calico Cats are also known as money cats in the United States! Why look for a four leaf clover for luck when you can have an adorable feline friend instead?!
- You can find them all around the world! Though their origins go back to ancient Egypt, they have migrated all around the world and ended up in your home as your best friends.
- They live ~12-17 years.
- Can't decide what color or type of cat to get? Adopt a calico! It is like having 3 cats in 1.
- They're magical! Don't believe me? Well, in Japan in the olden days, they were brought on board ships for protection against the ghosts of angry ancestors.
- They are known to be affectionate, wise, and warm-hearted while some are are sly and myschevious and yet others are brave. Check out the story of Gizmo, the Calico cat that saved its human family of 5 from a fire! Which harry potter house would you sort your calico into?
Do you have a magical calico kitty of your own? Let us know in the comments below! The CatifyCo community would love to hear more & see pictures of your beautiful bestie!
Plus, to celebrate all our fellow calico lovers, use the code "CALICOLOVERS" on your next purrchase for 10% off!