Last Updated: 5 months ago

Did you know calico isn’t a breed; it’s a color? Are you ready to find out some more Calico cat facts and learn some important facts about them!

Calico kittens are best known for their beautiful, colorful coats. However, there may be some things you don’t know about Calicos.

Or that Calicos are almost always female? Read on for some of our favorite fascinating facts about these fabulous felines!

10 Essential calico Cat Facts

6 Calico Cat Facts You Need to Know About

Let’s delve into fascinating calico cat facts that unravel the mysteries behind their distinctive coats, genetic quirks, and unique personalities.

From their symbolisms to the science behind their colors, join us on a journey to discover why calico cats are truly one-of-a-kind companions.

1. Calico is not a cat breed

Calico is not an actual breed of cat but instead refers to their color pattern.

Calico cats must have a color pattern of white, orange, and black.

Calico cats represent genetic diversity, as their tri-color coats often result from a mix of various genes.

The most common breeds of cat that may feature the colors of a calico include American Shorthair, Japanese Bobtail, Manx, Norwegian Forest, Persian, Siberian, and Turkish Angora.

2. Unique Coat Colors

calico cat outdoors

Calico cats boast a distinctive tri-color coat, typically featuring patches of white, black, and orange (or their diluted variations).

The unique coat colors of calico cats are a result of genetic factors.

The orange or black color is linked to the X chromosome, and the distinctive pattern arises from the random activation of these genes during embryonic development.

3. The Calicos are mainly female

99.9% of Calicos are born female. In order for a cat to have the 3 Calico cat colors, they need to have two X chromosomes.

Cats that have these two X chromosomes are born female, since males feature a pair of XY chromosomes.

The calico coat pattern is tied to the presence of two X chromosomes (XX), making it rare for male calico cats.

If a male calico exists, it usually has an extra chromosome (XXY), known as Klinefelter syndrome. And because of that syndrome, male Calicos are sterile.

4. Maneki Neko is a Calico cat

Maneki Neko cat statue

Calico cats hold cultural significance in Japan, where they are believed to bring good luck and fortune.

Maneki Neko is a Japanese cat statue, meaning- beckoning cat. It is a Japanese Bobtail Calico cat statue that features one of its paws raised and waving.

Maneki Neko is also called the Beckoning Cat, Welcoming Cat, Money Cat and Lucky Cat.

It is believed that the statue brings good luck to its owner.

5. There are several famous Calicos

Throughout history there have been several famous Calico cats. Pudge the Cat is a social media phenomenon, with over 600k followers on her Instagram account.

Pudge the Cat is a female Exotic Shorthair cat from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The famous children’s poem- The Duel, which is also known as The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat- by Eugene Field, talks about a Calico cat.

And the 1939 book- Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats- by T.S. Eliot, which inspired the musical, Cats, features a character, Demeter.

Demeter is a Calico cat that is black and gold colored, with patches of white and orange.

6. The Calico is the state cat of Maryland

Baltimore Oriole

On October 1, 2001, the state of Maryland named the Calico cat as the state’s official cat.

The Calico cat was chosen because its coloring of white, orange, and black is also shared with the Baltimore Oriole, Maryland’s state bird.

Additionally, it shares its colors with the Checkerspot Butterfly, Maryland’s state insect, and the Baltimore Orioles, Maryland’s professional baseball team.

7. The Calicos Are Known for Temperament Variances

Calico cats are known for exhibiting a range of temperaments, from affectionate to independent.

While there’s no specific personality trait linked to coat color, calico cats, like any other, can have diverse temperaments.

Individual upbringing, socialization, and genetics all play a role in shaping a cat’s behavior.

8. They Represent A Good Luck Symbol

calico kittens

In some cultures, calico cats are considered symbols of good luck and prosperity.

Various cultures hold different beliefs about cats, and calico cats, with their distinctive appearance, are sometimes regarded as bringers of good fortune.

9. Lifespan, Size and Health

Calico cats come in various sizes, and their lifespan is similar to that of other domestic cats.

The size and lifespan of a calico cat are not directly influenced by its coat color. Factors like genetics, diet, and overall health play a more significant role in determining these aspects.

Calico cats may have an increased likelihood of certain health issues, including deafness.

Thee genes responsible for coat coloration in calico cats are linked to the development of the inner ear.

As a result, many calico cats with a predominantly white coat may be deaf in one or both ears.

10. Their Coat Color Changes

calico kitten outside

Calico kittens may undergo changes in their coat colors as they grow older.

The coat colors of calico kittens can evolve as they age.

Some patches may become more pronounced or change in hue, adding to the intrigue of their appearance.


As we conclude our exploration of calico cat facts, we’ve unveiled the intricate tapestry that makes these felines so enchanting.

From their genetic diversity to cultural significances, calico cats embody both mystery and charm.

If you’re as in love with calico kittens as we are, head to your local shelter or rescue group to see if any are waiting for forever homes!

Shelters and rescue organizations often have calico cats in need of homes. Adopting is a compassionate choice that gives a second chance to these lovely felines.

Consider adopting an older cat! They are just as lovable as kittens and often get overlooked.

Do you know any other cool Calico cat facts? Tell us in the comment section below!

Did you know calico isn’t a breed, it’s a color? Find out more facts about calico kittens and learn everything you ever wanted to know about them!
Deana Tucker
Deana Tucker

Deanna is a passionate cat lover and freelance writer. She lives with her Chi dog and a ragdoll cat. When she’s not writing, Deanna loves listening to country music or watching Dancing With The Stars.