Calico cats are amazing.
They are beautiful, they are unique, they are mischievous and they are oh so friendly.
All of these reasons and more is probably why cat lovers across the world are just crazy for calico cats.
So Why This Blog Post On Calico Cats ?
So I was browsing a very popular cat forum the other day, and saw a calico cat cat owner discussing how calico cats are considered “money cats” in cat lover community.
This intrigued me and started doing a little bit of research and I realized there are so many things about calico cats calico cats that I didn’t know.
And I kept on digging and found some amazing calico cat facts that left me in awe.
And I decided why not share it with you guys.
30 Amazing Calico Cats Facts That Every Cat Lover Must Know
In this blog post I am going to tell you 30 amazing calico cat facts that I am sure you didn’t know before.
I request you to read the complete blog post, it maybe a little bit long but it is totally worth it because it will leave you smiling, awwing and not to mention a bit emotional.
A pleasant reading experience in a nutshell.
1. Contrary To Popular Understanding Calico Cat Is Not A Breed.
When you see people referring to calico cats I want to do understand there is no such divisive breed as calico cats.
As In Maine Coon cats are an independent breed.
It’s not so with calicoes.
Calico is a name that is given to the pattern that these cats coat have.
So what makes a Calico Cat A Calico Cat is it’s color.
So calico cats are just domesticated cats that have a spotted or particolored coat. Check Out These
So for a cat to be considered calico the essential requirement is it has a white base coat with orange, black, cream, reddish brown or sometimes grey spots over that base white coat.
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Every calico cat is unique in personality and has a unique coat.
2. Calico Cats Are Known By A Variety Of Other Names
Calico cats to their names from North Americans.
But don’t think calico cat is the only name this beauties are known by.
For example, in a big part of the world these cats are also known as tortoise-shells or Tortoise-shell and white.
The other names by which calico cats are referred to as are brindle ,Tricolour cat, and tobi Mi-ke which translates into triple fur in Japanese language.
The Dutch call them as LAPJESKAT which translates into a cat with patch which is a way of describing these cats with their vibrant colors.
If tabby cat has cat coloration that is close to a calico cat it is also many times referred to as CALIBY.
Interesting isn’t it.
3. Almost All Calico Cats Are Females
Now this must be something very weird for you guys to know.
Although, almost all cat colors are evenly split between the males and females.
It is not the case with calico cats it seems.
99.99% of calico cats are females.
How is this possible !!, you might be thinking.
The reason behind this is genetics.
Let me explain it to you a little bit as to why this is so from a cat genetics perspective.
The chromosome in a cat’s body that determines the color of cat coat is the X chromosome.
Female cats like other female male mammals have two X chromosomes.
Male mammals or male cats on the other hand have just one X chromosome and one Y chromosome.
And what is important to know is that Y chromosome does not contribute anything to coloration.
So there is no chance that the male cat has a both non orange coloration and an orange coloration.
The exception to this case is when a male cat has XXY chromosomes.
Because of this rare combination you will find that male cats male calico cats are extremely rare but the problem of male calico cats doesn’t just stop there.
4. Most Male Calico Cats Are Sterile
On a rare occasion that you find a calico cat that is male what you will also find is most of these male calicoes are rather weak and more often than not sterile.
They suffer from a condition called klinefelter syndrome which means in most cases they will have health problems ranging from brain damage to genital deformities to organ failures.
This is because we of the reason with just talked about for a male cat to be a calico it needs to have two X and one Y chromosome.
It’s almost like nature doesn’t want them to exist and goes to great lengths to keep it that way.
If you find people being too much fascinated about male calico cats and referring to things like owning them is very lucky you will attract money owning them.
Such kind of talk is happening because of the rarity of male calico cats.
Anything that is rare tends to spark such beliefs. Calico cats are no exceptions you will see that.
But if you fall into one of those superstitious traps and get a male calico cat I want to know the extra luck or money the male calico cats will bring will eventually be used for frequent visits to the vet.
But if you adopt a male calico because you want to have the blessing to care for him.
All the Egyptian Gods Will Praise You. Talking of Egypt,
5. Origin Of Calico Cats Can Be Traced To Egypt
We have all seen those cryptographic images on Egyptian walls.
More often than not those walls had cats drawn on them.
Egyptians have historically been cat lovers.
I wonder what their facebook group would have been called. Egyptian Cat Cove maybe. Anyhoo,
Calico cats origin stories needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
Because everything is not black and white here black and white description of where calico cats have their origin.
But there have been studies that extrapolate origin of calico cats to Egypt.
certain evidence suggests that this kind of coloring or calico color appeared first in Egypt.
It was Neil Todd who was who while studying migration routes of domestic cats from Northern Africa to Europe traced the calico cat coloration origin to Egypt.
He discovered that the calico coloring gene probably originated in Egyptian cats.
And then these cats traveled to Mediterranean ports of in Italy, Greece and Spain.
Beyond which calico cats then spread further across Europe, Asia and North America
6. There Are 11+ Official Breeds That Allow Calico Coloration
There are precisely 11 + breeds that allow calico coloration in their breed standards.
Although, calico cats are cross breeds of two or more feline breeds but there are certain cat breeds that are allowed to have calico coloration in their breed standard.
These cat breeds are,
- Turkish angora
- Arabian Mau
- British shorthair
- The Norwegian forest cat
- The Japanese bobtail
- The Siberian
- American short hair
- Turkish Van
- Exotic shorthair and
- the persian cats
Calico cats may also happen as a result of cross breeding but official bodies have not recognized them specifically.
7. There Is a Sub Breed Of Calico Cats Called Dilute Calico
This kind of calico cats as the name suggest have their calico color which is relatively lighter than the the regular calico cats.
Dilute calicoes are not rare but it is true that they are not as predominant as the common normal calico cats.
Dilute calico cats differ from the regular calico cats in the fact their coat pattern is a lighter shade of their regular counterparts.
So if the regulars feature a sassy black, white and brown. The dilutes rock a grey silver and light gold.
Talk about style.
The other names with which dilute calicoes are referred to our CALIMANCO or the clouded tiger.
8. Many Cultures Think Calico Cats Bring Good Luck
Well, I don’t believe it’s just Calico Cats that bring luck. I think any cat that you adopt as your own is lucky for.
Calicoes or otherwise. Doesn’t matter.
But let’s have a look at what calico lovers say.
well we don’t know a lot about that but if there are calico CAT owners who are reading this post we would request you to to comment below how calico cats might have got good luck to them
Although, It is mostly Black Cats that are associated with luck.
Some cultures believe that when a black cat crosses your path it brings good luck.
There are also cultures that believe when a black cat crosses your path it brings bad luck.
But it is not just black Cats which are associated with luck.
Awesome people in United States believe that if they own calico cat, it will bring good financial fortune to them.
And for this precise reason calico cats are also referred to as money cats in the United States.
9. It Is Very Difficult To Clone Or Breed A Calico Cat
There have been many studies and attempts to clone calico cats.
However all the attempts at cloning a calico cat or a cat with calico coloration to be precise have been unsuccessful.
Penelope Tsernoglou explains the unsuccessful attempts are due to an effect called the X linked inactivation.
X-linked inactivation in noob terms mean a random inactivation of a mammals x-chromosome which makes it impossible to clone.
In her findings she also expressed her doubts to future cloning of calico cats since female mammals have 2 X chromosomes
She also expressed her observation on future of calico cats cloning as female calico cats have 2 X chromosomes.
10. Calico Cats Are Very Popular In Japan
Japanese hold calico cats in high esteem.
As we discussed, how people believe calico cats bring in good luck.
Japanese have been believing that calico cats bring good luck from long time.
They believe calico cats have the capacity to protect them from harm.
To this day Japanese see calico cats as a sign and symbol of protection.
There is a actually a real story they use to back their belief.
So the story goes like this, this pet calico cat sensed that there is fire in the house.
And as soon as she sensed it she went on to scratch the bedroom door of each family member till they woke up.
Actions like these have led people to believe calico cats bring good luck and owning them will protect their family from any kinds of harm.
Sweet isn’t it.
11. Artists Love Calico Cats
Everyone knows artists are drawn to colors and creativity.
Then why won’t they be attracted by calicoes.
Calico cats have been forming an incredible subjects for artwork.
Their incredible colors, their pattern and their friendly nature are some of the reasons why calico cats are so popular among artists.
One of the famous artist who painted calico cats in a lot of his artworks is
Calico cats find a place in large number of his works and depict their friendly, mysterious and mischievous nature.
Source : Wikiart
For example one of those paintings portray a cat trying to steal a fish from shop of a fisherman.
And another of his work display a calico cat reaching across a bed to pinch food on a plate that is kept on the bedside.
So cats have slowly finding their way everywhere.
Anyone willing to wager on when they are going to take over the government because,
12. Calico Cats Have Been And Are Celebrities
I am sure you might have seen many famous calico cats on Instagram and Facebook.
If you have not seen a famous calico cat don’t think famous calico cats don’t exist.
And one of these famous calico cats is Fudge The Cat you can visit pay her a visit at Pudge The Cat.
She will make you wanna own a calico like now.
Historically, there have been many famous calico cats.
An Australian calico called Marzipan lived in Astor theater in Melbourne.
She did one of the most cutest thing that a cat could possibly do.
She greeted the people who came to watch the movies for 21 years.
She would often sit on the lap of people left without their permission and purred while they were watching movies.
Awwwwww….. I know . I know.
Tell me right now won’t you pay a premium to watch movies in a theater riddled with cats.
I am telling you.
A mobile phone and a beautiful cat is all you need to be a millionaire.
I am not even kidding.
Funny times we are living in.
Marzipan the beauty decided to rest in peace at the age of 21. Lovely life she had.
I told you in the beginning, this post is gonna be filled with aww’s , what’s how’s and emotions.
Hope you are enjoying the ride.
13. Japanese Figurines Such As Maneko Niko are Based Calico Cats
Seen those one handed beckoning golden cats in restaurants ?.
Yeah those are calico cats.
Maneko Niko is a famous Japanese statue that is believed to bring good luck and good fortune.
Because of the sheer number of Chinese restaurants that display beckoning cats people have started believing that Maneko Niko is a trademark of Chinese.
Chinese have just adopted the tradition of having calico cats as good luck symbol in the entrance of their restaurants from Japanese.
Some think the origin of maneko niko figurines is in Tokyo while others believe very strongly that the figurines were first seen in Kyoto, Japan.
14. Maryland’s Official State Cat Is Guess What ?, Our Beautiful Calicoes.
This again has lot to do with the people of United States thinking calico cats are bring good luck and fortune.
Maryland is one of the four states that have actually declared an official state cat. Maryland also has a state bird called oriole.
And the fun fact is orioles and calico cats have same kind of coloration.
The other states that have declared state cats for their particular states are Arizona for which the ring-tailed cat is the state cat.
Maine has Maine coon as the official state cat and Massachusetts has Tabby as their feline king.
Fun country United States is. Full of cat lovers.
15. Calico Cats Cure Warts
Not gonna comment too much on this.
Anyone owning a calico cat can attest whether this is true or false.
I am just portraying what peeps out there are believing.
So according to Irish folklore if you rub a calico cat tail against your word you get rid of it but only if you do so in the month of May.
16. Interesting Genetics Of Calico Cats
Scientists found calico cats and their genetics so interesting that they have actually written book called – “Shrinking the Cat” – Genetic Engineering Before We Knew About Jeans.
The book is written by Sue Hubble.
The book describes in elaborate details how genetics affect the coloration in cats and as such calico cats and their study have been a big part of a book.
17. Japanese Sailor Love Calico Cats To This Day
The Fortune and safety aspect has found its way into sea as well.
I am telling you.
They are planning a coop.
It’s only a matter of time before cats take over the world.
I am smart I started kittycounty to get in their good books.
Join the community by subscribing and maybe I will put in a good word to our cat overlords about you.
Not a bad deal han ?.
Japanese sailors also believe that having a calico cat onboard will protect their ships from Storms and harm and will bring fortune over to the crew members.
18. Calico Cats Life Span
If we don’t include male calico cats.
Female calico cats are known to live a long and happy life between 15 to 21 years.
We just mentioned Marzipan lived to be around 21 years.
19. Why “Calico” ?
The name calico originated in India where calico is actually a kind of fabric that was created there.
And it’s pattern was quite similar to the coat pattern that calico cats have.
And hence the name.
Today calico fabric is a small floral pattern print often used by quilters.
20. Calico Cats Are Mysterious, Mischievous And Friendly.
Calico cat owners attest to the fact that calico cats are one of the most friendly beings that you can possibly adopt.
They are a puddle of awesomeness to have in your house.
Although, calico cats may take some time to become friendly with the homeowners and their surroundings, but once they get accustomed to the surroundings they are one of the most friendly beings that you will ever come across.
They are extremely loving as we have seen and absolutely fun being around.
21. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft Believed Calico Cats Are An Embodiment Of Devil
Mehh…..What does he know about cats.
John Ashcroft was afraid of calico cats to a point that rumour has it that he grew very nervous in an American Embassy in Holland when he came to realise that there were calico cats in the area.
He has denied all claims to the rumors but many people attest it to be true.
Not only him there are certain religious beliefs that regard calicoes as embodiment of devils.
If you find someone saying that please send him to me.
I need to have chat with him.
22. Most Calico Cats Front Paws Are Declawed
As if we needed more reasons to fall in love with these precious little beauties.
Apparently, they are very easy to groom.
The claws in their front paws their front pause don’t grow at the same rate as is the case with other regular cats and this makes it very easy for the cat owners to groom the.
I mean 50% of the task is already done.
So they are friendly they are mysterious their playful and they require less grooming than other cats do you think you need any other reasons to possibly own a calico cat.
23. Calico Cat Once Saved A Railway Station From Getting Closed Down
What happened was in 2007 a rural station in Kinokawa Japan was about to be closed down due to budget issues.
So that town appointed a local stray calico cat called Tama to be the station master of Konikawa station.
Tama was given her own office and she would great every passenger that would come to the station.
Introduction of Tama into the station and her greeting the passengers lead to a 17% increase in ridership and the station raised sufficient budget for the station to be saved once again.
It goes ahead to who concretize the belief that calico cats are indeed very lucky and they would bring financial luck for owners of calico cats.
Ahh. I am sold. That settles it, I am getting a Calico.
24. Tortoiseshell Cat and Calico Cats Are Not Entirely Same.
Most people think tortoiseshell cat and calico cats are the same breeds but that is not entirely true.
The reason why people think so is because the pattern on a calico cat is very similar to the pattern on a tortoise shell.
But there is a very distinct difference between a calico cat and and a tortoise shell.
Calico cats exude a white spot gene that is not present in Tortoiseshell whites.
But naked eyes won’t be able to tell the difference between the two unless you are an expert.
25. Calico Crabs Are Named After Calico Cats
Calico crabs feature large orange spots on their back.
And guess what because of their resemblance with their feline counter parents of the animal kingdom.
They were named as calico crabs.
I wonder if I can name my computer calico computer now.
Calico crabs are found in Atlantic ocean and at chisapeak bay.
26.Calico Beans Too derive Their Names From Calico Cats
Ohh Lordy !. It’s true.
Cat are taking over. I mean look at this celebrities, saviors, animals and now food items.
Cats are taking over the world and calico cats it seems are the generals.
Calico beans one of the most favourite recipes of elderly cooks.
The dish features a combination of tri-colored beans served with tomato based sauce with grounded meat.
27. They Even Have A Literary Poem After Them
Calico cats have found their way in animal kingdom.
All the way into recipes and the only place that was left it seems was in Literature.
And guess what,
There is a poem called gingham dog and the calico cat.
This 19th century poem was also known as the “Duel’ and was written by Eugene Field.
Field was a very famous American writer that wrote on children and had a tinge of humour in his writings.
Not only that this poem was an inspiration for chat Atkins and Amy Grant and in 1993, they released a track based on this poem and they named their album Gingham Dog And Calico Cat as well.
Why is nobody naming a album after me, I mean, damn.
The burn is too hot.
28. Calico Cat Personalities
Although calico cats are very friendly and playful.
But in general if you want to be very specific about what kind of calico cat you want you need to look into a very specific breed.
For example, pure breed Persian calico cats will have traits and characteristics very similar to her parents and grandparents.
And same can be said for American shorthair calico cat too.
Truth be told there can never be an exact personality in which you can fit a calico cat into.
And that is I think the beauty of owning cats.
Because we don’t want everything to be known everything about our fur baby.
We want her to evolve into her own personality and that is what we want to be a part of.
Best part about owning a cat is their uniqueness.
29. Muted Calico Cats
Calico cats with blue, cream and white fur are known as muted calicoes.
As I told you before that calico cat is not a breed.
So just like dilute calico cats there is another nomenclature that is given to the sub breeds that flair blue, cream and white furs.
Don’t start thinking muted calico cats are calico cats that can’t meow, if you here this name somewhere.
30. Calico Cats May Hold A Solution To Human Obesity.
Dr. Elizabeth Smith from the University of California San Francisco studied how genetic information is transferred down to generations.
Calico cat genetics study played a huge role in the study.
Smith studied the x chromosome inactivation in calico cats and charted down how this can be used to control the process of epigenetic control.
This could very well help the scientists to study how obesity traits gets transferred down to generations.
They could also provide answers to many other questions scientists have been pondering for years.
With this I am at the end of sharing everything that I found on calico cats.
And guys every cat is unique and every cat is beautiful and the most lucky, beautiful and special cat is the one you adopted.
I shared popular beliefs here just to let you know what is out there. In my heart, I have compassion for every cat and ever being that is part of this beautiful earth.
I wish you and your kitty well and hope to see you around again on my next post.