It’s easy to spot calico cats due to their tricolored coats. The most common combination for calico fur are white, orange and black. But it isn’t only their multi-colored furs that make calicos interesting; here are five facts about calico cats.
The term “calico” is not a cat breed. It refers to a kitty’s coat. Different cat breeds can become a calico depending on their genetic makeup. Notably, there are distinct breeds that can be calicos like Persian, Turkish Angora, Maine Coon, American Shorthair, among others.
99% of calico cats are female or in another figure, only one in every 3,000 calicos is born male. This is due to the genetic makeup of female cats which have double X chromosomes that carry codes for black and orange coats. The only exception for male cats to become a calico is if they have genetic anomaly called XXY syndrome. But due to this abnormality, male calicos are sterile and can have a lot of health problems.
As mentioned, the usual distinction with calicos are their colors. The most common coat color combination are black, white and orange. However, there are colors like gray or bluish and light orange or cream-like that replaces the bright colors. In this case, the usual term for cats that come in this color are dilute calicos.
Calico Cats Can’t Be Bred
This fact makes calicos quite special. Due to genetics and because male calicos are sterile, these tricolored cats can’t be bred. Instead, it will depend with the parent cats and the magic of genetic play that randomly creates these unique patterns of patches on a kitty’s coat.
There is a stereotype that labels calico cats with strong personalities. Purportedly, they’re feisty, independent and very vocal. This strong character is also associated with tortoiseshell cats and orange tabbies. It seems that cats with the color orange can carry an attitude. However, like all stereotypes, it should be taken with a grain of salt. As we’ve always stated, each cat is unique.