A calico cat is a domestic feline of any breed with a tri-color coat. The calico cat is typically white with large orange and black patches, or sometimes cream and grey patches. They are almost exclusively female except under rare genetic conditions.
Personality and Temperament Of Calico Cat
These cats are playful, affectionate and independent.
All calicos are unique because they are not a breed, some cats may have different types of temperament.. There are always other factors that come into play, such as their socialization and childhood environment.
But for the most part, they are loving and great additions to their families.
The coat pattern of calico cats does not define any breed, but it does occur incidentally in cats that have an extent of color patterns; consequently, the effect has no definitive historical background. However, Neil Todd determined in a study that the existence of patches in calico cats was due to the migration of domesticated cats along trade routes in Europe and North Africa.
Among the breed whose standards allow calico coloration are the American Shorthair, Maine Coons, British Shorthair, Persian, Bobtail, Siberian, Turkish Angora, and Norwegian Forest Cat, to name a few.
Are all calico cats female?
Almost all calico cats are female. This is because their tricolor coat is related to the X chromosome. Two X chromosomes are create the tricolor coat, and an XX pair also produce a female cat.
In very rare cases, about 1 calico cat in 3,000 may have an extra X chromosome, known as XXY Syndrome or Klinefelter Syndrome. These cats are male, but they are always sterile and unfortunately tend to have a number of health problems due to their genetic abnormalities.
- According to the ASPCA, problems associated with Klinefelter syndrome include:
- Cognitive and developmental problems that can lead to behavioral problems.
- Reduced bone mineral content which increases the risk of broken bones
- Increased body fat, which can lead to many obesity-related medical conditions.
In even rarer cases, a male calico can be a feline chimera, where two embryos fuse in the womb to form one animal and these male cats are fertile, which means that even if you have a male calico, he must be neutered.
How long can Calico Cat Live?
The average lifespan of a calico cat is 12 to 16 years, depending on the cat’s health and environment.
Male cats tend to live less because they suffer from diabetes or reduced bone mineral content.
- 99.9% of calico cats are female. Males are pretty rare.
- It is currently impossible to reproduce the fur patterns of calico cats. They are not genetically a breed.
- All male Calico cats are sterile.
- Males could suffer from Klinefelter’s syndrome and they have health issues which is why most calico male cats don’t live long.
- They are declared The Official State Cat of Maryland due to their color.
- Calico cats are believed to be lucky charms.
- In the United States, they are sometimes referred to as money cats.
- Japanese sailors often had a calico cat to protect against misfortune at sea.