With so many different breeds of cats to choose from, it may prove to be difficult to pick a breed out that will be perfect for you as a potential pet owner.
If you are in the market for an adorable, playful, well-behaved cat that also boasts a rare and interesting history—calico cats may just be the perfect cat for you.
Calico cats are sure to make the perfect new companion for anyone searching for a new adorable cat or kitten, and once you see how stunning these cats are, it is likely you won’t be able to get them off your mind!
If you are interested in learning more about calico cats, this article will surely help you make a knowledgeable and informed decision about whether or not they could be the right cat for you and your family.
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History of Calico Cats
The first important thing to know about this type of cat is what their name means in the first place.
The name “calico” isn’t referring to the breed when it comes to these cats, but rather the stunning and unique color patterning that is seen on their fur.
Specifically, the calico name is referring to the orange, black, and white colors you will see speckling the gorgeous fur of this type of cat.
In order for one to be considered a calico cat, these colors must be present in the fur.
This means that calico cats actually make up a wide range of different cat breeds, but still all have one distinct thing in common when it comes to their coloring.
Calico cats also have quite the interesting and thought-provoking history behind them.
This type of cat originated from Egypt and can be traced back to being found in port cities along the Mediterranean Sea in Italy, Spain, and France.
Calico Cats In Art
They were also often used as inspiration for European painters in the 18th century. For example, the French painter Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin once painted an image of a bunch of stunning calico cats playing with pieces of seafood.
It is assumed that calico cats were so often used as a means of artistic inspiration for some because of how beautiful their coloring is.
Such beautiful fur patterns and coloring is just begging to be expressed through art for all to see and enjoy!
Additionally, calico cats are also seen as good luck in some cultures, specifically in Japan, where they are lovingly referred to as “Neko”—which means beckoning cat.
In Japan, these beautiful cats are known as the official symbol of fortune—how cool is that?
On top of that, they were also once seen as a sign of protection in Japan, and would be brought on ships to protect the passengers and crew members from imminent danger surrounding them.
It has also been believed for quite some time that calico cats can cure warts in humans by rubbing the wart against the tail of a calico cat.
While this is just a rumor and has not exactly been proven to be true or not, it is still cool that the calico cat has so much faith and trust placed into them and their powers!
Their immense fame and notoriety doesn’t stop in Japan, either.
Calicos are the official state cat of Maryland, and are also known as “money cats” throughout the whole of the United States of America—this is largely due to their rare nature.
Since the markings of a calico cat can only happen by chance, there is no way to breed them— making the chance occurrence of the specific markings coming together such a rarity that it is seen as a good luck sign, or a lucky charm.
So, if you decide to bring a calico cat into your own home, your new furry friend could very well provide you with some much needed good luck and fortune of your own!
Also read: Is having an indoor cat cruel?
As previously mentioned, calico cats must present the unique colored patterns in their fur to even be considered a calico cat in the first place.
This means that all calico cats must have the tell-tale colors of orange, black, and white seen in the fur.
However, these colorings can come in different variations. Your typical calico cat will have a primarily white coat, with patches of orange and black worked into it.
A dilute calico cat will also have a primarily white coat, but they have patches that tend to be more charcoal gray, cream, and light orange colored.
Lastly, a calibby—which is a mix between a calico cat and a tabby cat—will have all of the color patterns as a typical calico cat, but will also feature the distinct tabby stripes that tabby cats have.
For those who are looking for a cat that will stick by their side for many many years, fear not— calico cats tend to have a life expectancy of about 12-17 years, and can even live longer than that depending on the cat’s individual health problems (or lack thereof), as well as how comfortable and loving an environment the cat is placed in.
In other words, the more loved, appreciated, and welcomed a calico cat feels, the longer they are likely to stick around!
Also read: why are cats so weird?
Calico cats are known for their fiery, bright, crazy, and unique personalities that are bound to fit right in with you and your family.
Calico cats can tend to be a bit sassy and stubborn, but they are also known to be extremely sweet and love being cuddled and played with.
They also tend to be brave and love trying out new things, however dangerous they may be—so it may be wise to kitty-proof your home before deciding to adopt a calico cat!
However, it is wise to keep in mind that your specific calico cat’s personality and attitude will largely be due to the specific breed they are.
While there are a large percentage of personality traits that all calicos seem to exhibit, others may boil down to the individual breed they happen to be.
This could be why some calicos are more independent versus friendlier, or more prone to be aloof versus being very loving to their owners and loving to cuddle at all times.
How Rare are Calico Cats?
Male calico cats are extremely rare—due to the fact that male cats only have one chromosome, the chances of them being able to display the black and orange coloring gene at the same time is very low.
When male calico cats are miraculously born despite the odds being stacked against them, they are likely to suffer from heath problems such as brain damage, broken bones, or organ failure— or be sterile.
Due to a strong abnormality in the male calico’s genetic makeup, there is about a 1 in 3,000 chance of the cat being sterile at birth.
However, this is not to say that all male calico cats are destined for lives of health problems and despair.
Some male calico cats can go on to live long, happy, and fruitful lives if they are placed in attentive, loving households—but if you do happen to end up with a male calico cat, you have to remember to keep up with all of their veterinary appointments since they are so prone to illnesses and diseases.
Additionally, due to how exceptionally rare male calico cats are, you can expect to pay upwards of $2,000 for your new furry friend.
Since female calico cats are much more commonplace and easily obtainable, the price for them would not run you anymore than the price of any other average Tabby cat.
Do Calico Cats Make Good House Pets?
Calico cats make great house pets, and are also great with children of all ages. As previously mentioned, their individual personalities can hinge on the specific breed your calico cat is—but a few personality traits do remain true for the majority of all calicos.
Because of their tendency to exhibit a fiery, sassy, and quirky personality, they are likely to bring life and fun times to any house they are placed in—more so than any especially laid back or mellow cat would.
Deciding to bring a calico cat into your home is an amazing way to add some spice, laughter, and fun into your home—and could be just what you were looking for in a little companion!
In short, calico cats are not only visually beautiful animals, but are also great life-long companions that will more than likely leave you smiling day after day.
With the calico cats rich history, playful and fun personality, and gorgeous speckled fur, it is not hard to tell why these cats are adored and favored by so many.
If you are looking to add some joy, spark, and entertainment into your life, the calico cat is a great option to consider.
While individual breeds of calico cats may dictate certain aspects about them, one thing holds true: these are beautiful, interesting, and unique cats that are sure to spice up anyone’s life that they are placed into.