Calico cat

Summary

A calico cat is a domestic cat with a coat that is typically 25% to 75% white with large orange and black patches (or sometimes cream and grey patches). They are the Maryland State cat. They are exclusively female except under rare genetic conditions. A calico is not to be confused with a tortoiseshell, which has a mostly mottled coat of black/orange or grey/cream with relatively few to no white markings. However, outside North America, the calico pattern is more usually called tortoiseshell and white. In the province of Quebec, Canada, they are sometimes called chatte d'Espagne (French for '(female) cat of Spain'). Other names include brindle, tricolor cat, tobi mi-ke (Japanese for 'triple fur'), and lapjeskat (Dutch for 'patches cat'); calicoes with diluted coloration have been called calimanco or clouded tiger. Occasionally, the tri-color calico coloration is combined with a tabby patterning; this calico-patched tabby is called a caliby."Calico" refers only to a color pattern on the fur, not to a cat breed or any reference to any other traits, such as the eyes of a cat. Among the breeds whose standards allow calico coloration are the Manx, American Shorthair, Maine Coon, British Shorthair, Persian, Arabian Mau, Japanese Bobtail, Exotic Shorthair, Siberian, Turkish Van, Turkish Angora and Norwegian Forest Cat. Because genetic determination of coat colors in calico cats is linked to the X chromosome, calicos are nearly always female, with one color linked to the maternal X chromosome and a second color linked to the paternal X chromosome. In most cases, males are only one color (for instance, black) as they have only one X chromosome. Hence, they cannot be calico, unless they are affected by a rare genetic condition called Klinefelter syndrome, which gives them two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome. In addition to other symptoms caused by the condition, these male calicos are often sterile. Calico cats can also be lighter in color—dilute calicos. Fairly common among calicos, dilutes are distinguished by having grey (known as blue), cream and gold colors instead of the traditional black, red and brown patches along with their white. Dilute calicos are also called light calicos because they have no dark colors in their coats.

The Cat Scanner app does provide a lot more information about the Calico cat breed as well as many more.

Also known as

This breed is also called Calico, Calico Cat History, Calico Cats as well as Tortoiseshell And White.

Is your cat a Calico cat?

You can use our Cat Scanner app to find out whether your cat is a Calico cat.