Calico cats are domestic cats of any breed with a tri-color coat, or a variety of cat colors like vibrant orange, white and black, blue-grey, and white. Calicoes are usually about 25% to 75% white, sporting large black and orange patches.

The beautiful calico cats ‘BREED’ are mostly females, except in rare cases of genetic conditions.  The cat is usually confused with a tortoiseshell cat because of its similar coat. There’s a couple of interesting things to learn about the calico cats, and we will be talking about all there is to know shortly. Stick with us.

What are Calico cats?

Put simply, Calico cats are rare, colorfully coated cats of any breed, which means that different types of calico cats are just different breeds with calico coats. They are mostly female, and in rare cases of a male, he is usually sterile. Calicos are often mistaken to be an entire breed of cat, and people think they are ‘special’ good luck charms.


Calico cats are a mysterious bunch. They have a rich history and many other interesting characteristics. One thing that makes calico cats unique is their colors. Although over 25% of their coats are white, they also have large patches that are usually orange, black, cream, or grey. The patches come together to form a beautiful tri-color coat.

Calico cats get the name ‘Calico’ because it refers to the fur’s color pattern. That means that Calico cats ‘breeds’ are not a breed of cats. If you think of different calico cats, you should know that the name simply refers to cats with a different fur color pattern.



Like most cats, the average lifespan of a calico cat is 12 to 17 years. However, female calicoes tend to have a longer life than male calicoes. This is because the male calicoes are prone to a genetic condition called Klinefelter’s Syndrome. The syndrome means that there is a presence of two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome.

Klinefelter’s syndrome could cause health issues such as diabetes, joint pain, and the increased risk of broken bones. As a result of these, male calicoes tend to have a shorter lifespan.

Calico Cats Personality

As Calico cats aren’t a breed of cats, it would be difficult to assign breed-specific behavior or personality traits. Just like many other cats, Calicoes form their personalities based on life experiences, environment, and other factors, because calico cats could be any breed, they are different from one another.

Getting one as a pet could be an exciting or even surprising experience. You could find yourself with a laid back, mellow cat that loves your attention and cuddles, or you could get a cat with high levels of energy and an attitude to follow.

However, Calicoes are said to share the same personality trait with tortoiseshell cats, commonly referred to as ‘tortitude.’ That means, on the one hand, they can be spunky, very independent, and sassy, and on the other hand, they can be loving, sweet, loyal cats.


Calico Cats Facts

●     Feminine Domination:

Calicoes are almost all female. The cats’ unique genetics is mostly found in females, about 99.9% of the calico cat population is female.

●     Males are rare and sterile:

Male calicoes are a rare sight, and they often have the genetic condition called Klinefelter’s syndrome. The condition means there are 2 X chromosomes and one Y chromosome present in the cat, and in turn, causes sterility and other serious health issues.

●     They represent a state:

In October 2001, the State of Maryland named the calico cat as its official ‘State Cat.’ The calico cat’s fur colors white, black, and orange, are the same as the feather colors of Maryland’s State Bird, the Baltimore Oriole, and its State Insect, the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly.

●     Book Character:

In the late 1800s, Eugene Fields wrote a popular children’s poem, ‘The Duel,’ which featured ‘the gingham pup and the calico cat.’ Also, the famous Beckoning cat character is based on a calico cat.

●     Lucky Charm:

Given their rarity, Calico cats are believed to be lucky charms and signs of good luck in many folklores across the world. Some people believe that adopting a calico cat would bring good luck to their homes.

In the United States, they are referred to as money cats. The Maneki-Neko figures in Japan depict Calico cats, bringing good luck. Interestingly, in the 1870s, calicoes were officially declared as the official symbol of fortune in Japan.

●     Calicoes cannot be bred:

A calico cat happens by random chance, so it is impossible to breed one. Because of how random they occur, they are so rare and considered a good luck charm.

●     Wart cure:

Rumour has it that calico cats are can cure warts. According to this belief, all you have to do is to rub warts against the tail of a calico cat, and you get cured. This might just be a myth, but one sure thing is that the cats will probably get uncomfortable or even agitated if you go around disturbing their tails.

●     Calicoes can be found everywhere:

Calicos are rare cats, but they have been able to spread around the world. Even though they are said to have originated in Egypt, they are found in France, Italy, Spain, and the Mediterranean. Calico cats are also traced migrating in Europe and Northern Africa.

Final remarks

Calico cats are unique cats. Their tri-color coats are something that many cat lovers or owners may have never paid attention. They usually have a coat with plenty of white and patches of colors like white, orange and black. Calicoes can be easily mistaken for tortoiseshells. Most calicoes are female, while the rare males might be sterile.

In general, they are just like every other cat, but they just have a beautiful and unique fur. So, do you have a calico cat? Do you know someone that owns one? Or are you planning on adopting one yourself? Tell us all about it and also ask your questions in the comment section.