Understanding The Calico Cat Breed-info and facts about it.

The calico cat breed is one mysterious creature group that can easily manage to capture the attention of anyone. These cats have a rich history, exciting temperament, and diverse identity. Did you know that the calico breed isn’t really a breed?

Learn more as we shed light on the fascinating types of calico cats and some related fun facts.


The basic profile of the calico cats

calico cat breed

To begin with, the calico cats do not belong to any specific breed. Like so many other cats, they are only a distinctive color pattern that is advertised as being a specific breed for different reasons and purposes. The calico is just a unique fur pattern that comes in a huge range of colors like black, white, red, orange, blue-gray, and so many others.

These cats can both be domestic as well as exotic. Some such cat breeds are known to have the calico fur pattern-

  • American Shorthair
  • Japanese bobtail
  • Persian
  • British shorthair
  • Forest cats
  • Turkish van
  • Turkish Angora

The signature color pattern in calico cats is the white, black, and orange combo.

Short historical briefing of the calico cats

There is some history associated with the calico cat breed where their existence has been believed to be as ancient as the early Egyptian civilizations. The ancient Egyptians have been believed to have petted the calico cats but this claim has no substantial backing. However, the fact remains true that calicos have been known to humankind for a long time.

This also gets proved by the existence of calicos in the Japanese paintings of the 19th century. You will find a lot of calico cat figurines and toys, especially the calico Japanese Bobtail, in Japan since they are considered lucky charms that bring prosperity and fortune to the owners. People hang them in various public as well as private spaces for good luck

In a similar fashion, French painters like Jean-Baptiste also illustrated the calico cats in many of his creations belonging to the 1700s.

Types of the calico breed cats

The main differentiating factor between the calico cats is the color and fur pattern. This also means that they can be categorized on the same criteria. Let us list some of the common types of calico cats:


Also known as Brindle or Tobi Mi-ke in Japanese, it means triple fur. This is the most basic calico fur pattern with a tri-color combination and some white patches. The colors mostly displayed include black, white, ginger, and brown.


These calico cats have coats of less intense colors and that gives them the name “Dilute”. The colors like gold, smokey/charcoal grey, and cream are the most common colors seen in these cats. They are also known with names like Clouded tiger and Calimanco, again due to the non-bright colors.


The cats with this fur pattern display a combination of many colors from a huge range of options. You may come to see a Tortoiseshell calico cat of black, blue, cream, red, ginger, lilac, chocolate, or any other charming color.

The white patches on the coat of these cats are very less and they usually appear in the form of tiny spots around the paws, chest, and face.

Patched tabby

These cats go by the name Calico Tabby cats. This variant of the calico breed has the unique tabby stripes that look like the tiger stripes. You can also find small patches of black and ginger color which is exclusive to this cat specie.

The unique charm of the long-haired variety of calico cats

A long hair calico cat can look exceptionally exotic and divine for the luscious and long coat that cannot be matched for its beauty. A lot of long hair cat species can have the calico pattern; actually, all of them can have the calico colors.

The Persian cat breed category has the most beautiful calico cats in appearance along with a unique temperament. These are very similar to the bi-color Persian cats but have those distinctive white patches on the coat. This also makes them quite similar to the tortoiseshell pattern.

They have coats of bold colors mostly but can have dilute shades, smoky hues, or chocolate colors too.

The grooming needs of a long-haired calico cat breed can be elaborate and as frequent as few times in a single week. Now, that is also an imperative demand that helps in the prevention of fur-balls later.

Facts about the calico cats

Here are some astounding things to know about the calico cat breed:

  • The name of the calico cats may have originated from the term Calico that denoted an Indian textile in ancient times.
  • They cannot be bred with any specific genetic experiment. They only result from genetic accidents.
  • Most of the calico cats are females due to a very significant sex chromosome pairing. The rare males are all sterile. Watch to know why.
  • One of the calico cats became the station master too. This incident is from Japan where the Kinowawa railway station had a calico cat called Tama as the station master.
  • Another astounding incidence of calico cats taking up important positions is a Maine Coon Calico becoming the Maryland state cat.
  • A lot of folklores are associated with the different types of calico cats where they make up to be talismans, luck harbingers, ghost warders, wart curers, magical creatures, etc.
  • Calico cats cannot be represented by any specific set of personality traits since they are not a breed. The physicality and temperament vary according to the specific breed category they belong to. Generally, they are considered independent, sassy, and loyal.

Caring for the Calico cats

Here are some basic tips for it:

  • Know the exact calico breed of your cat.
  • Give the breed-specific food, grooming care, and medical care to the cat.
  • Always get your cat checked from a vet for knowing the specific breed. The seller assurance is not that trustable.
  • Mixed breeds should be given more care.
  • Do a regular check on the fur and groom it nicely with the right tools.
  • Due to the different color combo, finding any skin issue might get difficult. So check closely.
  • Get the kitty checked for any genetically inherited medical issues and be attentive about the right treatment from the very beginning itself.

Final words

So this was all about the calico cat breed and we assume that by now you have made up your mind to get one of the many types of calico cats for your household too. Go ahead as we assure you that they are going to be a great pet.

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Luna Tran

My name is Luna and I am a great cat lover and a cat owner of three lovely cats. I have owned many cats till now and have dedicated many years to nurturing and caring cats. Through this blog, I am here to share my knowledge and experience about cats.