Calico Cat – 10 Fun Facts about Calico Cats

Calico cats are a curiosity. Their patterned colored coats, interesting genetics and friendly nature make calico cats a favorite choice for prospective cat owners. In this article we will delve into some interesting fun facts about calico cats.

Questions about Calico Cats Answered!

 

Are Calico Cats a Breed in Themselves?

There is no single calico breed. Rather, calico is in reference to the color variations in a cat’s coat. Although black, orange, and white are the most common calico colors, some cats may have bluish-black, cream, red, or chocolate brown in their coats.

The calico cat coat coloring can occur in any cat breed, whether a Persian, Manx or Japanese Bobtail. Calico coat coloring is unique to domesticated cats, and haven’t been seen in wild pure strain cats.

 

Calico Cats

What’s Difference Between Calico and Tortoiseshell Cats?

As with calico cats, tortoise shell cats are not a specific cat breed. The difference between the two comes down to their color. Calico cats have three colors, whilst tortoise shell cats have two colors in their coat. Calico will have white fur patches in the mix.

Why are Calico Cats Mostly Female?

Now this fact will astound you! I would say it is definitely the most interesting of the fun facts about calico cats. The calico cat color is determined at their conception. Only if the embryo receives one orange-coded X chromosome and one black-coded X chromosome will it be calico, thus expressing both black and orange coloration. A cat must receive both of these genes for color, one from each parent, in order to have fur with orange and black patches.

When this pairing of chromosomes occurs, the female embryo will shut down one X chromosome in each cell, resulting in the black and orange variations in a calico’s coat.

Calicoes are almost always female because their coloring is related to the X chromosome. Two X chromosomes are required for a kitty to have that distinctive tri-color coat. If a cat has an XX pair, she will always be female. Male cats have an XY chromosome pair, so they will never be Calicos (except in rare circumstances- see explanation later in the article).

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Calico Cats

Do Calico Cats Have a Friendly Personality?

Calicoes tend not to share the personality trait of tortoiseshell cats commonly described as “tortitude.” They are sassy, spirited and independent. On the other hand, calico cats are loving, sweet and loyal cats. If you yearn for unconditional love, a calico cat will gladly and enthusiastically fulfill that need.

Both Calicos and Tortoiseshells are commonly talkative. They make their presence and needs known with anything from a hiss to a meow to a strong purr. These traits tend to be stronger in tortoiseshell felines than in calicos– it seems as though these personality traits are somewhat diluted with the addition of more white in the cats coat!

Is There Any Such Thing as a Male Calico Cat?

For a tom cat to have a calico pattern, the feline must have three sex chromosomes- two Xs and a Y. This event can happen in both humans and animals and is, in either case, known as Klinefelter syndrome. It isn’t very common with calico cats, about 1 in every 3000.
As a result of having an XXY chromosome trio, the cat is not entirely male. It will have male sexual organs; however, they will not develop fully. All male calico cats will be sterile.

Calico Cats

How Long Do Calico Cats Live For?

The average, a Calico Cat will live twelve to fifteen years. However, some calicos have been known to live twenty years or more. When nutritional requirements are optimal and other cat needs are met, then calico cats’ lives will be greatly extended.

Due to the genetic disorder that the rare male calico cats have (Kylie-Filter syndrome), the male usually has a shorter life span. This is due to their genetic accompanying health problems.

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Do Calico Cats Have Any Major Health Issues?

Generally, calico cats are free from any major health dispositions. However, this isn’t the case for male calico cats. Due to their genetic disposition, they are fraught with health challenges. Klinefelter Syndrome can lead to several health problems such as the risk of fractures and diabetes. They tend to have cognitive and developmental issues that can lead to behavioral problems. In addition, increased body fat brings about conditions such as joint pain, heart disease, and diabetes. These health problems lead to a shorter lifespan.

With all calico cats, it can be difficult to spot skin conditions. This is because of their patchwork colors, making it difficult to see issues. The good news is, calicoes don’t tend to have many skin issues.

Regardless of whether your cat is a feline or tom, you can help them have a good quality of life by providing them with good shelter, feeding them a wholesome diet, and providing quality veterinary care when needed

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Are Calico Cats Rare?

Female calico cats are quite common. Calicoes are considered a good luck charm all over the world. In the United States, calico cats are sometimes referred to as “money cats” because they bring good fortune to their owners. In Germany, the word  “Glückskatze” or “lucky cat” is used for a cat with calico coloring is

Male Calico cats are rare. About 1 in every 3000 calico cats is a male.

Do Calico Cats Give Birth to Calico Kittens?

Due to their unique genetic makeup (and the fact that male calico cats are born sterile), calico cats cannot be bred. Rather, nature produces these colorful kitties randomly.

Where Did Calico Cats Originate?

While nobody knows for sure where Calico cats originated, it is thought that they originated in Egypt. From there, they may have been brought down along the Mediterranean to port cities in France, Spain and Italy.

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10 Fun Facts About Calico Cats

  • Calico cats have different names in different cultures. In the Holland they are called logjesket, which means “slap cat”, and in Japan – mi ki, which means “triple fur”.
  • Calico cats are regarded as being a symbol of good luck and fortune in many places in the world.
  • Calico Cats are Brave – The calico cat saved the Japanese railway station from shutting down. In 2007, Kanokawa Station was close to closing due to budget troubles. As a last resort, the city dispatched a domestic calico cat as the stationmaster, where she greeted passers-by. The calico cat became a celebrity, which led to a 17% increase in station attendance.
  • Sometimes referred to as Chintz- an archaic term for a tortoiseshell and white.
  • Calico cats are not a breed and cannot be specifically bred.
  • It is thought that calico cats treat warts. Wipe the wart on the calico cat’s tail in May and it will go away. We haven’t tested this notion!
  • Each calico is unique in color, and temperament, that you’re unlikely to encounter two of the same.
  • Female dominance is a unique inheritance of calicoes. Coat color means 0.999.9% of calico cats are female.
  • Male Calico cats are sterile and are burdened with health problems.
  • The coat color of calico cats is a mixture of black, orange and white.

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Calicoes are often referred to as the world’s most colorful cats. After all, they are one of the only cats to exhibit such a wide range of color variations in its coat. Their attractive coats, unusual genetics and friendly nature make them a wonderful pet choice- they may even bring you and your family good fortune! There are many more fun facts about calico cats which we will delve further in a later post.

Further information Wikipedia.org 

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