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Everything You Need to Know About Calico Cats [2024]


Everything You Need to Know About Calico Cats [2024]


When it comes to calico cats many owners, and even those who don’t own cats, find calicos truly fascinating. These multicolored felines often look like someone took different parts for different cats and constructed one versicolor animal. Regardless of their aesthetics and beauty, it is hard to deny a calico cat‘s charming demeanor. This article is everything you want and need to know about calico cats.

Read on to learn:

  • What makes calico cats special?
  • Official state cat
  • Mistaken identity
  • Longevity
  • History and origin about calico cats
  • Grooming care
  • Costs associated with calico cats
  • Books about calico cats

What Does a Calico Cat Look Like?

Calico cats and kittens are known for their unique and beautiful tricolored coats, which consist of hues of orange, black, and white. These coats are found in various cat breeds, but most calicos are females. The genetics of calico cats have been studied extensively since the 1940s, making them an interesting subject for scientific research. Calicos are also revered in folklore around the world for bringing good luck. These cats are truly a sight to behold and are a wonderful addition to any family.

A Heart Warming Poem for Calico Cats: (great for gift ideas!)

In a land of whiskers, bright and bold,
A calico cat with stories untold,
Calico cat appearance, a sight so rare,
A blend of colors, beyond compare!

With tricolored cat breeds, she’s in a class,
Her orange black white coat, a work of art, alas,
Calico kittens, a playful crew,
Pouncing and purring, they’ll charm you too!

Female calico cats, queens of grace,
In their regal beauty, they find their place,
Calico cat genetics, a scientific quest,
Unlocking the secrets, they put to the test.

With patches of sunshine and shadows at play,
Her personality, a merry display,
A calico’s love, pure and true,
She’ll cuddle and snuggle the whole day through.

So if you meet a calico, don’t be shy,
With hearts aglow, let love fly,
For in those colors, a magic resides,
A calico’s spirit, forever abides!

Overview About Calico Cats

Calico cats and kittens are a unique type of feline, typically with a distinctive tri-color coat of black, white, and orange. They are not a specific breed, but rather an inherited color and pattern combination found in female cats. Calico cats are commonly found in cities along the Mediterranean and are favored for their beautiful coats.

RELEVANT: Do Female Cats Get Along with Other Female Cats?

Triple T Studios

The calico color and pattern is determined by the cat’s genetic makeup. Female cats must have two X chromosomes in order to produce the calico coat. This is because the orange and black coloration are both sex-linked traits and can only be produced by a female cat. Male cats only have one X chromosome, so they cannot produce the three-colored coat.

RELATED: Maine Coon Cat Calico: The Gorgeous Feline Breed with Unique Coat Colors

The calico cat‘s coat has a variety of patterns, including patches of black and orange, calico patches, and tabby stripes. The colors will often be in distinct patches and can vary in size, shape, and intensity.

Calico cats are known for their loving and loyal personalities and are often seen as a symbol of good luck. They are known to be quite vocal and playful, and enjoy cuddling and affection.

2023 Calico Cats Wall Calendar by Bright Day, 12x12 Inch, Cute Adorable Pet Kitten Photography
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DJ Rogers Fine Art Calico Cat - Set of 10 Note Cards With Envelopes
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What Makes Calico Cats so Special?

Let’s begin by unpacking the exquisitenesses their kaleidoscopic coats carry.

The array of colors a calico feline retains makes these kitties immensely valued in many parts of the world. In some countries, calico cats are believed to hold supernatural powers bringing special perks, even divine sanction, to their owners. Folklore aside, calico cats do come in different shapes, personalities, and even eye colors.


RELEVANT: Calico VS Chimera: Are They The Same?

What makes calico cats truly enchanting is the kaleidoscope of colors splashed randomly across their fur. Unlike other breeds where specific traits can be cultivated, each calico cat boasts a one-of-a-kind tapestry that defies replication. This rarity underscores their charm—no two calico cats share the same pattern, making every single one a unique masterpiece.

There are also some exciting things to know about calico cats that might draw you in even closer, as we continue our exploration her exclusive features.

Fun Facts: The charm of calico cats isn’t bound by breed. These independent felines won’t simply conform to please you; yet, in their own mysterious ways, they effortlessly enchant and captivate, always finding a way to wrap you around their colorful paws

RELEVANT: What Breed Are Tuxedo Cats?

A calico isn’t even a breed so much as a type of fur pattern. This means any cat can produce calico cats as you will find many of them come from different breeds.


Official State Cat

Fun Facts: The Calico Cat holds a special place in Maryland as the official state cat. Known for their distinctive tri-color coat—typically a vibrant blend of white, black, and orange—these domestic cats boast a fur pattern that strikingly resembles the plumage of a Baltimore Oriole bird, earning them the affectionate nickname, ‘the Baltimore Oriole’ of the cat world.

The Calico, official cat for the state of Maryland, is a unique type of cat. With its coat pattern being one of the most recognizable. The fur pattern of the Calico cat is composed of a combination of white and two other colors, usually black and orange. The combination of these three colors gives the Calico cat its unique look, which is why it is so popular.

In addition to its unique coat pattern, the ‘official cat’ also has a wide range of technically identifiable personality traits. They are known for being very friendly and loving, while also being quite independent. Calico cats tend to be easily trainable, and they enjoy playing with toys. They enjoy being around people, but they also appreciate their own space.

Overall, the Calico has a great reputation. This cat of Maryland tends to be a great choice as a companion, and great choice to be the cat of Maryland. With its unique fur pattern, its wide range of technically identifiable personality traits, and its loving and friendly nature, the Calico Cat is the perfect companion for anyone living in Maryland.

Calicos Mistaken Identity

Calico cats will often get confused with what is called a tortie or tortoiseshell cat. The specific pattern combines multiple colors. A calico cat has a particular type of tricolor pattern that includes white patches. With a calico, always look for the white patches along with black, brown, or ginger colors

Almost all calico cats are going to be female. This lies in their genetics regardless of the breed of cat they come from. When it comes to genetics, it does come down to their sex chromosomes. This calico pattern is locked within the X chromosome, which is the female gene. If you happen to see a calico, you can assume it is probably a female.

Calico coloration presents a stunning mosaic of hues, predominantly found in female cats due to their unique X chromosome configuration. This genetic quirk results in fur that is a vivid tapestry of black, orange, and white. Unlike females, male cats possess an XY chromosome pattern, making them rare carriers of this mesmerizing calico pattern.

Male calico cats are a rare genetic marvel. For a male to exhibit the classic calico pattern, he must inherit an unusual combination of two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome. Encountering a male calico is exceptionally rare, and breeding more is virtually impossible, as they are almost always sterile. This rarity not only makes them a genetic curiosity but also often increases their value, fetching a higher price tag than their female counterparts.


Calico cats have been around for a very long time. You can spot calico cats in Japanese paintings that date back to the early 1800s. You can also spot them in French art throughout the 1700s.

These beautiful feed lines we’ll have diverse personalities. Like most cats, they’ll have a sweet disposition. Others, however, may have a little bit more of that cat attitude that is quite popular. No matter their personality, if you purchase or rescue one from a shelter, you have a  companion for life.

Calico cats originate from domestic cats, with their distinct tri-color coat being their main defining feature. Calico cats have a unique pattern of white, black, and orange fur, and have been around for centuries. It is believed that the first calico cats were seen in Japan over 1000 years ago, and were bred for their beautiful coats. They were thought to be symbols of good luck, and were kept as prized pets.

RELEVANT: From Calico to Tabby to Tuxedo: A Guide to Cat Colours And Patterns

Calico cats are mostly white cats with patches of black and orange fur, although some cats may also have patches of grey or cream. This color pattern is the result of a genetic mutation known as the orange mutant gene.

A calico cat is often referred to as a breed, they are actually not a breed at all. They are simply cats with a specific phenotype, or appearance. A calico cat can come from any breed of cat, and they have no specific behavior or health traits associated with them.

Calico cats are beloved for their unique appearance, but they also have a long history as symbols of luck, fortune, and prosperity. For example, in Japan, it is believed that if a calico cat crosses your path, it will bring you great luck so they are sometimes nicknamed money cats.

Today, calico cats are very popular in the United States, and can be found in many households. They are known for being loving and loyal pets, and they often have a very unique personality. Although they are not a purebred cat, they are still considered to be a type of domestic cat, and they are often sought after for their distinct appearance. 

If you’re looking for a unique and beautiful pet, a calico cat might be the perfect choice for you. With their tri-color coat, loveable personality, and long history, these cats will make a wonderful addition to your home.

About Calico Cats Symbolic Charm

A calico cat is often considered a divine creature among many cultures. In Japan they are symbolic and thought to be lucky charms! Something that brings good fortune, health and happiness. Sailors kept kitties on their ships to manage rats, but with calicos also to ward off malignant spirits. If a male calico was present, it was thought to be especially auspicious, due to the rarity of such a being. They are also referred to as ‘money cats’ for bringing prosperity to their owners.

Japan is not the only culture to praise the calico. Americans have been known to refer to these multi-colored felines as prosperity kitties. And in Germany, the actual name for calico in German signifies wealth and can be translated to ’money cat’ in English.

Calico cats have a perfect set of eyes and are described as stunning. Their eyes come in many colors and shapes. You’ll see blue, almonds, black, green, or hazel are some of the most popular colors you’ll see in a Calico.

How Long Do Calico Cats Live?

You find calicos can live a long time. Some live up to 20 years, whereas others live up to 15 years. This is dependent on the breed your calico comes from. Keeping a cat indoors instead of outdoors also increases their longevity. Either way, you have a lifelong companion.

Consulting with a cat lifestyle expert can help your transition be smooth and flawless!

We recommend Ingrid King at Purrs of Wisdom.

Costs Associated With Calico Ownership

You can find a calico at a shelter, getting one from someone giving them away, or purchasing one. Depending on the breed of a calico, you could spend $100 to $1,500 for one of these tri-colored kitties. Keep in mind that if you do happen to come across a male calico, it will cost more than a female one due to its rarity. As a buying tip, avoid any overpriced breeders because many of them will use the term Calico because it sounds fancy. The Calico pattern will be a rarity and not something that’s going to be very common. Plus, it’s always best to rescue one from a shelter than to purchase one from a breeder.

If you do happen to have a calico cat, it is helpful for you to find out your kitten’s actual breed. This will allow you to find the best food available for that breed if there are any dietary requirements needed. If you know the breed, this will let you know what type of personality or health concerns you may need to consider. Never take a seller’s word for the breed alone. Look for a reputable vet who will help you find out the breed of your cat. It will allow you a better chance to take care of it properly.

If you know the breed of your calico cat you will be able to better care for it. Every breed has its specific health concerns to look out for. You’ll have a better chance of being a better owner and make sure your cat has the best life that she can have. 

Steps To Take In Bringing Home Your New Cat

Grooming: Calico Coat Challenges

Calicos are gorgeous, and their exotic fur pattern is almost like a double-edged sword. These colors will make it harder for you to spot any skin problems and any issues with fleas and even ticks.

Don’t skimp on everyday grooming practices.

Brushing this splendid life force can keep her fur and her skin in great condition. If you take great care of your cat, you won’t have to worry about any expensive vet visits down the road.

Grooming her daily will also strengthen the bond with her.

What is the plural spelling for calico?

It appears it can (and is) spelled both ways: calicos and calicoes. This post uses the calicos spelling to keep it simple.

Calico Cat Bookstore

The Ultimate Care Guide For Calico Cat Owners: Everything You Need To Know To Train, Protect & Keep Your Pet Healthy & Happy
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Just Calico Cats 2023 Wall Calendar
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Gift Ideas For Calico Cat Lovers

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the calico cat lover in your life, you can’t go wrong with these great ideas. 

2023 Calico Cats Wall Calendar by Bright Day, 12x12 Inch, Cute Adorable Pet Kitten Photography
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Foot Traffic, Calico Cat 3D Socks, Womens Shoe Size 4-10
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Cat calendar: An organization tool for a cat lover is always a great choice. Calico cats are known for their unique and beautiful coats, so why not give the gift of a full year of beautiful images of calico cats? You can find a wide variety of calico cat calendars to fit any budget.

Reference book: Studying calico cats is a great way to learn more about the breed and their unique traits. Consider gifting the calico cat lover in your life with a book or a set of DVDs that cover the history of calico cats and their personality traits.

Cat Food: Every cat needs a variety of cat food to stay healthy and happy. Consider gifting the calico cat lover with a selection of high-quality wet and dry cat food to keep their pet well-nourished.

Cat Socks: Super cute and fun are calico socks. They are simply the easiest, yet very thoughtful gift idea for a cat lover! Purrfect for stocking stuffers or include them in a gift box or basket.

Cat Toys: Most calico cats love to play, so why not give a gift that allows the calico cat to play in style? Look for toys that are designed specifically for cats and are designed to engage and amuse. You can find a variety of cat toys that are sure to make the calico cat lover and their cat happy. 

RELEVANT: Cat Essentials List


Calico cats have a typical lifespan of 15 years, and their size can vary from 4 to 12 pounds as they do not belong to a specific breed.

Their value can vary depending on whether they are mixed breed or pedigreed, but adopting a calico cat from a local animal shelter is a great option.

Calico cats are amazing felines to have by your side. It is always helpful if you can gather all the information you can before adoption.

Once you have done your research, a checklist of cat items you need to purchase prior to bring her home can be a very helpful activity for a smooth transition.

Adopting a calico cat is a gift to both you and your feline.

There are lots of steps you can take to build a strong bond between you and your calico that will make for a lifelong companion. Your cat will bring you happiness for years to come. 

🐾 Lisa Illman is the Founder of Kritter Kommunity, LLC! 🏡 She’s got a dapper tuxedo cat who’s been her sidekick since he was a tiny furball. 🐱 Before Finnegan came along, Lisa cared for two FIV-positive cats for over ten years! 🌟 Their love inspired her to create a cat enclosure and a portable catio, giving kitties the purrfect spot to bask in the sun and feel the breeze. ☀️🌿

As a kid, Lisa shared her home with a Poodle and a chirpy parakeet! 🐩🐦

Why Is Kritter Kommunity Your Trusted Pet Partner?

Lisa Illman is the Founder of Kritter Kommunity, LLC. Not only does she have one tuxedo male adult cat currently, she has had him since he was a baby kitten; so she knows well the kitten lifecycle, the teenage cat lifecycle and the adult cat lifecycle (he is currently 11 years old). Prior to her cat Finnegan, Lisa had two FIV positive cats for over a decade. Lisa’s love for animals her entire life (she also had a poodle and parakeet growing up plus was a caretaker for her roommate’s 3 pets during college) and networking with the pet community for over a decade, enable her to find top content for her readers.

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