Calico cats are arguably some of the most beautiful,
yet common felines in the world. Many different color patterns may
be found in calico cats.
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If a dictionary is consulted, calico means "a cotton cloth
with a bright printed pattern." Another meaning is "an
animal with a blotched coat."
There is much argument in the pet world regarding the word "calico,"
as some say it is a breed while others say it only refers to the
cat's color pattern.
That's why the calico cat is given this name. As you can see, there
are proponents on both sides of this argument.
Scientifically speaking, calico is a color pattern found on a
numerous breeds of cats, and it is not a breed within itself.
So, you can't really say, "Hey, I have a calico cat."
It would be more correct to say, "Hey, I have a cat with
a calico pattern." From a scientific perspective, this would
be technically correct. But, then again, speaking this way, would
just be silly.
Tortoise Cats ...
Basically, calico cats have red/orange or black and white tri-color
patterns. It can also be a weak combination of blue/gray, cream
and white. You may also notice that some calico cats may have an
absence of the shade of white. These calico cats are called torties
or tortoise shells, or blue-creams.
Variations among these types of calico cats are often noticed.
Calico cats with less white in their patterns of colors are called
"tortie and white" instead of calling them Calico. And
those kitties having more white based colors on their back and some
spatial colors of black and red/orange are called "high white"
calico cats. Additionally, cats with small amounts of patches seen
on the head, tail or on the body with a large base of white all
over her body are called "van" calico cats.
There are actually 16 breeds of calico cats. And, among these
breeds are some of the most beautiful and famous ones. There is
the Large Maine Coon calico, or a Persian calico cat along with
its flowing fluffy coat, or a Scottish fold complete with the
ever so popular turned down ears.
XX Marks the Spot ...
Most calico cats are females. For some knotty twist in nature and
genetic reasons, it will take a two X chromosomes in the conception
for a kitty to become a calico.
A male would be required to possess two X and a Y chromosome in
order to become a calico cat, and this only happens in rare occurrences.
Thus for every 3,000 calico cats, there will only be approximately
one male to be found. In addition to this, the male Calico cats
are usually sterile.
So, the next time you see a calico cat, and are in the presence
of an expert in the area, you can safely say or ask what breed it
may be without embarrassment. In fact, this will show off your new
found knowledge about calico cats and awareness on the subject.