Monday, July 12, 2010

Calico Cats

CALICO (from Webster's Dictionary) "calico (Kaliko)-city in India ("Calicut") printed cotton fabric spotted like a Calico Cat".

"Calico refers to the pattern of coloring on a cat's coat, they are NOT a specific breed"

"Calico cats coloring usually consists of three colors (black, red and white). The colors are seen in patches, they are never blended. If they are blended or "mixed" they are Tortoiseshell cats.  They may also be found in shades of blue, chocolate, cream or fawn (but the colors will always appear in patches)."

My obsession with cats started at age 15. The object of my obsession was none other than a Calico cat (see my November 3, 2009 blog post "Loving Cats, When Did It Start?") So naturally my interest was piqued while watching our local news yesterday where they were discussing a Calico cat who was available to be adopted. The individual from the rescue organization said the vast majority of Calico cats  are female. Finding a male Calico is rare indeed. I had never heard this before, so I headed straight to the computer to find out why and to find out more information about this beautifully colored cat.

I found some interesting info on and I am happy to share it with you:

"The genetic code for color is contained in an X chromosome. Female cats receive an X chromosome from each parent, making them XX, while male cats receive an X chromosome from their mother and a Y chromosome from their father, making them XY.  In Calicos, one X chromosome carries the red color, while the other X carries black. Because two X chromosomes are necessary to create those distinct color patches, you'll find nearly all Calico cats are female.  The few male Calicos you'll find (perhaps one in three thousand), are nearly always sterile."

Some more interesting facts about Calico Cats:

October 1, 2001 The State Of Maryland declared the Calico Cat as their Official State Cat. (I never knew states had "Official State Cats", what is YOUR State's Official Cat?)

Japanese sailors used to bring Calico cats on their ships because they believed the cats would keep them safe at sea.

They are believed to bring good luck to any home who is lucky enough to have one, so if you are lucky enough to be "owned" by a Calico Cat run out and get that Mega Million or Powerball ticket today and when you win, thank your Calico and share a bit with this blogger who gave you this tip?

The photos above are none other than David Lawrence's Calico Cat "Baby Girl", David is a member of my Cat Chat page on Facebook. Come and join us!


  1. How interesting! I was aware that most calicos are female... I just never stopped to wonder why. It's always great to learn something new. :)

    And David's cat, Baby Girl? Such a lovely model to show off the color patterning!

  2. Hi Glam!
    I never had known that most calicos are female! Yes Baby Girl is just too pretty isn't she? I was a little hesitant to use her photo because she looks like she is a little "Tortie" to me. Then I looked at some more calico photos online and she is indeed a calico. I am just used to calicos with far more white

  3. Cat coat genetics fascinates me, and, I think calico cats are the bomb! That's a pretty kitty and David is indeed lucky to be owned such a fine feline specimen as Baby Girl. The official state land mammal for Florida, where I live, is the Florida Panther, so I guess that makes it the state cat, since there is no domestic cat that holds the title.

  4. Caren!!!...I love this article on the Calico!!,,,my Audrey Louise is part Calico, she has the patches of colors, with a little bit of Tabby blood!!!...I call her my "Calico Cupcake"!!!!...anyway...great info!!!...I really enjoyed it!!!

  5. Kurt I agree about calico cats being the "bomb!" they are just gorgeous!
    Thanks for the info about their being no state cat for Florida........I think the Florida Panther is a wonderful state "cat"!!

  6. Mary Jo thank you!!! I love the name you have for Audrey Louise "Calico Cupcake!" too cute!! Thanks so much!
    Thanks to all of you for commenting!

  7. I never know that about calico's being mostly female. I don't see many around where I live, most of the cats are black and white.

    I nearly adopted a calico last year perhaps if i had I would be a millionaire by now :)

  8. Calico cats are beautiful! I've had just about every other color, over the years. The closest I've come was a lovely Tortoiseshell years ago.

    The sex-gene and color connection is interesting indeed! An interesting note, have you ever noticed that most Ginger or Red Tabby cats are boys?

    I never knew Calico's were considered lucky! That's food for thought!

  9. Kate that makes 2 of us! If I had kept the one I had found when I was 15 that my Mom made me give up, maybe I would have been a millionaire too!

  10. Carrie no I have never known that! Now that you mention it though the Ginger and Red Tabbies that I can think of have all been male! Ohhhh noooo! Now you will get me wondering about that fact! By the way, I LOVE MAINE COONS! They are gorgeous!

  11. I have a tortie ragamuffin. She is a real diva. All torties are female , also. New to your blog. Am a diehard cat lover-mostly longhaired. Rosalie

  12. Hi Rosie!
    So happy to have you here with us! It is always so nice to meet other cat lovers!
    I bet your tortie is just beautiful!
    I am so happy you found my blog and I hope you will continue to read, I so appreciate it!
    Feel free to share stories, questions, comments etc. just like you did today!
    You mentioned that most of your cats have been long-haired, I imagine that entails (no pun intended lol) alot of grooming?

  13. Actually I do not need to do a lot of Grooming. The ragamuffins are known for not matting. Since I am in Florida they do shed at certain times of year but their hair is not hard to comb. Lulu, also, gets a bath which she does not mind at the groomers once a month. Tortie and ragamuffin seem to be at opposite extremes. She was a wild kitten. Is there anyway to get photos on here?

  14. Hi Rosie!
    Thanks for stopping by again!
    Actually I have a "Cat Chat" page on are welcome to post photos there if you are on Facebook.
    If you have trouble finding it just let me know and I will give you the link.
    You have to join the group first and we would love to have you!

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