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Calico Cats: Details, Particulars, and Breed Information


All kitties are bewitching, however nobody can deny the distinctive great thing about calico cats. These felines are so well-known that they even include their very own set of attention-grabbing information. For example, you’ll have puzzled greater than as soon as: Are all calico cats feminine? Get the reply and extra calico cat information beneath!

Calico isn’t a breed – it’s a coloration sample

Photograph by Malaya Sadler on Unsplash

Similar to tabby cats, “calico” is commonly mistaken for a kind of cat breed. Calico truly refers back to the tri-colored fur sample that some cats exhibit. In its most elementary type, this tri-colored sample refers to patches of white, black, and orange; nevertheless, variations with cream, reddish-brown, and grey-blue colours additionally happen. Each short-haired and long-haired cats can have the calico coloration sample.

In accordance with Spruce Pets, calico cats are named for his or her coat coloration that resembles calico material, which was as soon as imported from England to India. The historical past of calico cats themselves is much less clear: In accordance with Sue Hubbel’s Shrinking the Cat: Genetic Engineering Earlier than We Knew About Genes, the proportion of cats having the orange mutant gene present in calicoes was traced to the port cities alongside the Mediterranean in Greece, France, Spain, and Italy, originating from Egypt.

Are all calico cats feminine? 99.9% are

Calico cat facts
Photograph by Andrea Tummons on Unsplash

Of all of the calico cat information on our checklist, this one sounds essentially the most like a fantasy—but it surely isn’t! Nearly all calico cats are feminine. It’s because their tri-coloring is expounded to the X chromosome. Two X chromosomes are wanted to create the tri-color coat, and an XX pair additionally ends in the cat being feminine. If the cat will get one orange-coded X and one black-coded X, she will likely be calico—with the white patches ensuing when she additionally inherits a gene unrelated to the X and Y chromosomes that codes for white fur. You in all probability by no means knew your calico’s stunning coat was additionally so sophisticated!

In very uncommon circumstances—about 1 calico cat in each 3,000—cats can have an additional X chromosome, often called XXY Syndrome or Klinefelter’s Syndrome. These cats are male, however are at all times sterile and sadly are likely to have a bunch of well being issues as a consequence of their genetic abnormalities. In accordance with the ASPCA, issues related to Klinefelter’s Syndrome embrace cognitive and developmental points that may result in behavioral issues; decreased bone mineral content material that will increase the chance for damaged bones; and elevated physique fats, which may result in many obesity-related medical situations.

In even rarer circumstances, a male calico is usually a “feline chimera,” the place two embryos merge in utero to type one animal. These males are fertile—which signifies that even in case you have a male calico, he ought to nonetheless be neutered!

Calico and tortoiseshell will not be the identical factor

Some folks use the phrases calico and tortoiseshell (tortie) interchangeably, however they refer to 2 separate patterns. The first distinction between the 2 is the patches of white seen on a calico cat. A tortie, against this, is extra prone to exhibit a melding of black and orange colours, with little to no white. (In reality, a calico is commonly referred to as “tortoiseshell-and-white” outdoors of North America.)

What do you get once you cross a tabby and tortie cat, or a tabby and calico? A “torbie” and a “caliby,” respectively. The patched tabby usually options patches of brown and orange tabby patterns, with markings usually extra obvious on the legs and head.

Sure cat breeds usually tend to be calico

Japanese Bobtail calico cat
Japanese Bobtail © ようてい / CC-BY-3.0

We’ve already established that calico cats will not be a breed—and subsequently can’t be bred! Nicely, not solely that: As said earlier, the ultra-rare male calico cat is sort of at all times sterile.

Nevertheless, sure cat breeds usually tend to current with the calico sample. These breeds embrace the American Shorthair, British Shorthair, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Unique Shorthair, Japanese Bobtail (extra on that beneath!), Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat, Persian, Scottish Fold, and Turkish Angora/Van.

Do calico cats have distinctive personalities?

Calico coloration doesn’t end in a definite character. Nevertheless, as we simply discovered the calico sample can come up extra usually in sure cat breeds, breed kind does affect character. For example, if you understand that your calico cat is a British Shorthair, Persian, or Scottish Fold, you in all probability have a reasonably relaxed (even lazy!) kitty in your palms. When you have a Cornish Rex or Devon Rex, you’ll discover a extra playful (dare we are saying mischievous?) calico. And in case you have a mighty Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat, or Turkish Angora/Van,  you may benefit from the pleasant, lively, however not overly cuddly personalities of those calico mild giants.

They’re a well-known figurine

Maneki Neko calico cat figurine
Conventional calico Maneki Neko © Searobin / CC-BY-SA-3.0

One other of our favourite calico cats information is the existence of a extremely well-known calico that has survived centuries to turn into a ubiquitous cat figurine the world over. It’s Maneki Neko, also called “the fortunate cat.” This figurine depicts a seated cat—historically a calico Japanese Bobtail—with one upright paw, which is alleged to draw good luck, wealth, and prosperity. In the event you haven’t seen it earlier than, you’ll begin to see this talisman in all places—in store home windows, eating places, and even properties.

Calico cats have been station masters … and mayors!

Tama the station grasp © Sanpei / CC-BY-3.0

Talking of Japan, a calico named Tama gained fame as a station grasp at Kishi Station in Wakayama, Japan. In 2007, railway officers awarded her the title of station grasp, with a main responsibility to greet passengers. In lieu of an annual wage, the railway offered Tama with a 12 months’s value of cat meals, a gold identify tag for her collar along with her identify and place, and a station grasp’s hat specifically designed and made to suit her. A examine estimated that the publicity surrounding Tama contributed 1.1 billion yen to the native economic system. She handed away in 2015, however her legendary presence at Kishi Station lives on.

PHOTO: Kanda & Harold McKee

On the opposite facet of the world, calicoes even have necessary duties: Within the unincorporated neighborhood of Omena, Michigan (inhabitants 267), a calico cat named Candy Tart was elected mayor in July 2018. Though the cat mayor place is ceremonial solely, there’s nonetheless purpose to be impressed: In Omena’s elections, it prices $1 to vote—and this election raised over $7,000 for the city’s historic society! 

Calico cats are good luck charms in lots of cultures

Calico cats function a very good luck appeal past Maneki Neko. For example, they’re typically referred to as “cash cats” in the USA as a result of perception that they bring about luck to their house owners. (That is in all probability an offshoot of “the fortunate cat.”) It’s additionally mentioned that Japanese fishermen introduced calico cats onto their ships to guard them from harsh storms (and ghosts!). And in line with Irish folklore, you may remedy warts by rubbing a calico cat’s tail on the affected space—however solely throughout Might. (We don’t suggest that one!)

The calico is the state cat of Maryland

Long-haired calico cat sitting outside in front of trees
Photograph by Abdullah Öğük on Unsplash

Lastly, the final of our calico cat information issues the state of Maryland, which made the calico cat its official state cat in 2001! The calico was chosen as a result of it shares the identical colours as Maryland’s state hen—the Baltimore oriole—and the state insect—the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly. (Now, if solely the state cat wouldn’t hunt the state hen and state insect…)

What are the perfect calico cat names?

The apparent candidate for a calico cat identify is “Callie”! Nevertheless, there are such a lot of enjoyable choices to select from: Patches, Cleopatra, Snickers, Amaretto, Camo, Oriole, Motle, Picasso, and Spice are only a few.

Calico cats in motion pictures

Right here’s a listing of our favourite calico cats from the silver display! Most embrace fast cat cameos, however that doesn’t make their look any much less thrilling. This isn’t an exhaustive checklist, however ought to tide you over for a film binge this winter:

  • Soul (2020)
  • Venom (2018)
  • Isle of Canine (2018)
  • Second Act (2018)
  • The Form of Water (2017)
  • Kedi (2016)
  • Regression (2015)
  • The 9 Lives of Christmas (2014)
  • The Good Coronary heart (2009)
  • Corky Romano (2001)
  • Whereas You Have been Sleeping (1995)
  • Grumpy Outdated Males (1993)
  • L.A. Story (1991)
  • The Bundle (1989)
  • Like Father, Like Son (1987)
  • Saint Jack (1979)
  • Midnight Specific (1978)
  • The Fury (1978)

Love recognizing cats in motion pictures? Try our lists of vacation motion pictures that includes cats, Oscar-winning motion pictures with cats, cats in horror movies, and the finest motion pictures with cats to look at proper now.

We hope you’ve loved studying these calico cat information as a lot as we loved gathering them. And in case you have a calico cat your self, we hope she brings you all the great fortune on this planet!

Cowl photograph by Erika on Unsplash

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