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Calico cats are wonderful! Keep in mind, calico cats are not a breed. Instead, calico refers to their tri-color coats which include black, orange and white. “Dilute” calicos may have gray, beige and white instead. Despite rumors to the contrary, calico cats are not all female, either—out of every 3000 calico kittens, one might be male! Several breeds of cats and mixtures of domestic cats can be calicos, including the American shorthair, Siberian and Japanese bobtail. Calico personalities can be as varied as their coats.

Rumored to be a bit feistier than other cats, recent studies confirm that pet parents have this perception, but NOT that calicos have this behavior. It may just be that calico lovers enjoy this perception and it’s been perpetuated.

That said, with so many cat parents saying they love their calico’s quirky nature, consider a calico if you’d like a kitty that will tell you what’s on her mind. As every calico is unique and from different heritage, their stats may range from 1-5 based on the individual.

Calico Personality

Often called playful, affectionate and strong-willed, calicos have a reputation for being quirky. A 2015 study out of the University of California, Davis found that calico cat’s families reported that calicos may be more likely to hiss or otherwise say “back off” more often when compared to reports by cat parents of cats with other colors. But the study raises an eyebrow.

Physical Attribute


Calico cat coats consist of three or more colors in their fur. They are typically black, white, orange or cream. The majority of the calico is white, and the other colors add a beautiful accent color found in patches along the body. Sometimes people mistakenly think a calico is a Tortoiseshell cat. But torties almost always have a brown hue as their base color with streaks of black and orange—with little to no white to be found on them.

Because calicos can belong to many different cat breeds, their fur length and other characteristics like face and nose shape vary from cat to cat.

The vast majority of calicos are female. The reason is that the coat colors in the calico come from a combination of two X chromosomes. The tri-color fur needs to have a pair of X chromosomes to appear. Since female cats have two X chromosomes, calicos will usually be female—but some males with an extra X–XXY–may have calico coloration. These cats will be male but also sterile and cannot create offspring.

Aside from Klinfelter’s Syndrome in males, calicos are generally healthy cats and live to 15 or longer, making them an awesome addition to any home.

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