Calico Cat: Breed, Characteristics, Care & Fun Facts

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Last Updated on March 2, 2024 by Aftab Tariq

Calico cats aren’t a special type of cat. They’re regular domestic cats that have a unique three-color coat called calico. One calico might have bright orange, black, and white colors, while another might have softer cream and blue colors. This is called a dilute calico.

No two calico cats look exactly the same. They have interesting personalities; they can be sassy and energetic, but they’re also loving and loyal pets for people of all ages.

Calico Cat

Interestingly, it’s very rare to find male calico cats. Almost all calico cats are female, and the few  male ones are sterile, meaning they can’t have babies. This rarity is part of why they’re considered lucky.

If you want to adopt a calico cat and know more about them, or if you want some cool facts to share with friends during trivia, let’s explore and discover about calico cats!

History of Calico Cat

Calico cats have a mysterious origin, but they probably came from Egypt long ago and traveled around the Mediterranean. People think calico cats bring good luck in many stories from different places.

Calico Cat

For example, in Japan, they have lucky cat statues called Maneki Neko, and sometimes these statues show calico cats. In the United States, they are occasionally referred to as money cats.

Scientists started studying calico cats seriously in the late 1940s. Two researchers named Murray Barr and E.G. Bertram found something interesting inside female cat cells but not in male cat cells.

They called these things Barr bodies and realized they were inactive parts of the X chromosome, which is a part of our cells that carries information. A scientist named Mary Lyon came up with the idea of X-inactivation in 1961.

This means that in female mammals, one of their X chromosomes turns off. She saw this happening in mice, which have fur patterns like calico cats.

In calico cats, the gene that controls fur color is on the X chromosome. If that chromosome turns off, a different fur color shows up. The chromosomes that turn off are chosen randomly, so each calico cat has a special pattern.

Appearance of Calico Cat

Calico cats are special because they have colorful patches on their fur. These patches can be orange, black, and white. The Cat Fanciers’ Association has rules for how calico cats should look. They say calico Persians should have three colors: black, red, and white. The cat’s feet, legs, belly, chest, and face should be white.

Calico Cat

The cat should also have some colored patches on its head and body. Calico cats can have different eye colors like copper, blue, green, or different colors in each eye.

Show-quality Persians with odd-colored eyes should have one blue and one copper eye that look the same. The vibrant Calico cat colors arise naturally, adding to their unique charm and rarity.

Personality and Behavior of Calico Cat

Calico cats do not belong to a specific cat breed. They come in many shapes and sizes, and each one has its own personality. Just like people, calico cats have different attitudes and behaviors. Some may be very relaxed and friendly, while others may be more aloof and demanding.

Calico Cat

Some people say that calico cats have a personality similar to tortoiseshell cats, which are known for being lively and independent. However, since calico cats come from different backgrounds and cannot be bred, it’s hard to predict what kind of personality they will have.

This makes getting a calico cat an exciting adventure! The Female calico cat personality combines playfulness and affection, making them great companions.

Characteristics of Calico Cat

Calico cats have some unique traits that make them stand out from other breeds.

  • Medium-sized pet cat with a lively personality
  • Has clear patches of solid colors in its fur
  • Acts confident and assertive, but also loving and faithful
  • Can become close to one person or enjoy being with a family
  • Known for its unique look and playful nature
  • Not the same as tortoiseshell cats, which have mixed red and black colors in their fur

Calico cat species display a captivating mix of colors, making them uniquely charming and distinctive.

Diet of Calico Cat

 Calico Cat

Good cat food that has everything your Calico Cat needs is a good choice. It can be dry or canned. But, it’s important to know if your cat’s breed needs any special food. You can find this out by researching or asking your vet for advice on what to feed your Calico Cat.

Health and Calico cat Lifespan

Calico cats usually live for about 12 to 16 years. Is this longer or shorter than other types of cats?

It depends on whether the calico cat is a boy or a girl.

Male calico cats are rare and often have an extra X chromosome, a condition known as Klinefelter’s Syndrome. However, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that they tend to live shorter lives than female calico cats.

Klinefelter’s Syndrome can cause lots of health issues, like broken bones, sore joints, and diabetes. These problems can make boy calico cats live for less time.

But whether your calico cat is a boy or a girl, you can help them have a good life by giving them a comfy home, feeding them good food, and taking them to the vet for check-ups with the help of pet health insurance.

Care of Calico Cat

Taking care of a calico cat depends on the kind of calico cat you have. If your calico cat has short hair, you won’t need to brush it as much as a calico cat with long hair.

Every cat needs to play and have fun. It’s important to take your cat to the vet sometimes and make sure they get their shots. And don’t forget to brush your cat’s teeth often.

Calico Cat Breed Overview 

Explore the unique qualities of Calico Cat breeds in our easy-to-understand overview.

  • Weight: Generally up to 12 pounds.
  • Length: About 18 inches long.
  • Coat Length: Can be either short hair or long hair.
  • Personality: Sassy, spunky, bold, affectionate, independent, and loyal.
  • Coat Colors: Comes in orange, black, blue, lilac, and cream.
  • Coat Patterns: Known for its tri-color pattern, also called calico.
  • Eye Color: Eyes can be yellow, green, or blue.
  • Hypoallergenic: Not hypoallergenic.
  • Origin: Possibly from Egypt and the Mediterranean coast.
  • Lifespan: Typically lives up to 15 years.


  • Striking color pattern that catches the eye.
  • Friendly and outgoing, making them good companions.
  • Considered lucky cats, bringing positivity to households.


  • Males are sterile, so they can’t be bred.
  • Male calico cats are rare and prone to health issues.
  • Finding a calico locally might be tricky.

Where to Buy or Adopt a Calico Cat

Calico cats aren’t very common, but it might be hard to find one at a nearby shelter. You can ask cat breeders nearby if they have any calico cats or check online adoption websites to find one near you.

Fun Facts

Sterile Males: Male Calico Cats are usually unable to have babies due to a condition called Klinefelter’s syndrome.

Girls Rule: Almost all Calico Cats are females because of their special genes related to coat color.

Many Names: Calico Cats are known by different names in different countries, like “lapjeskat” in the Netherlands and “mi-ke” in Japan.

State Symbol: In Maryland, Calico Cats are the official state cat since 2001, because their colors match the state bird, the Baltimore Oriole.

Inspiration for Icons: The famous Beckoning cat character is inspired by Calico Cats.

Heroes of Stations: A Calico Cat helped save a Japanese train station from closing down and became famous for boosting station traffic.

World Travelers: Despite originating in Egypt, Calico Cats have spread across Europe, Northern Africa, and other regions.

Bringers of Luck: Calico Cats are believed to bring good luck worldwide and were once considered symbols of fortune in Japan.

Chance Creations: Calico Cats are rare because their unique coat colors happen by chance, making them impossible to breed intentionally.

Wart Healers (Maybe): There’s a rumor that Calico Cats can cure warts by rubbing them against their tail, but it’s not confirmed, and it’s not very nice for the cats!

Note:Calico cats, with their striking tri-color coats, enchant with their unique beauty and playful personalities. Predominantly female, these rare felines are believed to bring good luck, captivating households worldwide. If anyone wants to learn about cats, visit our website harpersatelier. Rare calico cat for sale, ready to bring warmth and charm to your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does a Calico Cat Cost?

The Calico cat price for adoption is typically $75-$100, but from a breeder, especially for a rare male Calico, it can range from $1,000-$2,000.

What are the Health Issues With Calico Cats?

Every cat is different, but this idea doesn’t really apply to male Calico cats. Sadly, many of these cats have a condition called Klinefelter’s Syndrome because of their XXY chromosomes. This can make them unhealthy and not live as long.

Are All Calico Cats Female Only?

Actually, most calico and tortoiseshell cats are girls, but there are exceptions! A study from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine found that only about 1 in 3,000 calico cats are boys.

Why are Calico Cats so Special?

The calico cat is a medium-sized pet known for its lively and confident personality. It’s independent but also loving and loyal. It can bond closely with one person or enjoy being part of a family.

Are Calico Cats Rare?

Calico cats female are found everywhere, but male calicos are very rare because of their unique genetics. Also, calico cats can’t be bred on purpose because their coloring happens randomly. Calico cat males, though rare, boast unique and charming tri-color coats.

Are Calico Cats Autistic?

Cats and humans have different brain structures and ways of understanding the world. Autism is a condition that affects humans, not cats. So, Calico cats are not autistic.

Are Tabby Cats Friendly?

If your cat has tabby markings, it’s called a tabby cat, regardless of its breed or fur color. Tabby cats are usually friendly, smart, loving, talkative, active, and calm. Whether you live in a big house or a small one, you can enjoy a happy life with your tabby cat.

What Makes a Tuxedo Cat Different from a Tortie Cat?

Tuxedo cats are known for their black and white coat pattern resembling a tuxedo, while tortie cats have a unique coat with patches of red, black, and cream colors.

How Rare is a Calico Cat Patronus?

The rarity of a Calico Cat Patronus depends on the individual’s personal connection and representation within the magical world of Harry Potter.

What are Some Unique Calico Cat Names?

Some creative Calico cat names could be: Pixel, Patch, Marbles, Puzzle, Sunny, or Autumn. These names reflect the playful and colorful nature of Calico cats.


Aftab Tariq

I am a dedicated content writer with more than five years of experience, particularly skilled in the art of storytelling. My writing journey commenced during my college years, where I pursued journalism and unearthed my talent for creating captivating narratives. Protection Status