The Cat Source

Calico Cat: Mistaken Identity

Calico cats are one of the most common kinds of cats domesticated. They have been loved by many because of their spotted or parti-colored coat which is usually predominantly white with black and brown patches. However, this known tri-colored feline is not a specific breed of cat like the Siamese, Persians or the Ragdolls. Its name “calico” refers only to a color pattern on their fur and not to a breed. Sometimes, calicos have been mistakenly named as a tortoiseshell cat but these types of cats are not the same. Tortoiseshell cats are mottled with patches of orange or cream and chocolate, black or blue. They vary in their coats coloring but these two types of cats are both unspecific breeds of cats.

Calico Cats’ Historical Background

There is no exact data where this type of cat had been originated. However, according to studies, it has been believed that the presence of patches in calico cats were traced to a certain degree by Neil Todd in a study determining the migration of domesticated cats along trade routes in Europe and Northern Africa. Furthermore, it has been said that the proportion of cats possessing the orange mutant gene found in calicos was traced to the port cities along the Mediterranean in France and Italy, originating from Egypt.

Facts about Calico Cats

  • There are certain issues about calico cats that make them unique. Here are some facts about these remarkable and wonderful creatures.
  • Calicos were nominated as the official state cat of Maryland on October 1, 2001.
  • In many cultures, calicos are considered as bringers of good luck. These cats are known as money cats in the United States.
  • Most calico cats are females.
  • Calico is not a particular cat breed. This word only refers to a color pattern of cats’ fur and not to a breed.
  • A popular good luck ceramic sculpture form in Japan, Maneki Neo, is almost always fashioned after calico cats.

Calico cat’s behavior

Because the calico is not a true cat breed, some might wonder how this kind of cat behaves. Would all calicos have similar traits the way pure bred cat breeds do or would their personalities vary like a mixed bred?

Basically, not all cats which belong to the same breed always have exact and definite behaviors and characteristics. Just like humans, every cat may behave distinctly from one another. There are certainties that some cats of the same family may have few common characteristics but it doesn’t necessarily mean it is true to all.

With regards to calico’s temperaments, they have been depicted as cute, sweet, loving and gorgeous creatures. Generally, most of these cats are females. Calicos can be easily recognized because of its fascinating tri-colored fur. They have parti-colored coats which is predominantly white with brown or black patches. Just like other kittens, they are considered to be playful, happy, lively and relatively mellow cats. On the other hand, some would describe calicos as sassy, spunky and very independent. They have been perceived as creatures having wild or unpredictable dispositions. Here are some calico cat personality traits that you must know before bringing that eye-catching blotchy kitten home.

  • Calico cat personalities are somewhat independent, a bit stubborn and pretty temperamental. However, cat owners won’t be astounded by these cat qualities as these are common to all cats.
  • Calicos like being pampered and treated with extreme regard. They want to be cared for like newborns. This is the reason why they are considered as heads among domestic felines.
  • Calicos may take some time to adjust to their new surroundings at first but once comfortable in their new home, they are very loving and fun to be with.
  • Calicos have high pitched meows and are generally known to be combative. They are not extroverts with fellow cats.
  • Calico cat colors are primarily white, brown or black, and orange.
  • Sometimes, calicos follow their own moods but that doesn’t mean they don’t like or love their owners. They may display affection by rubbing their body to your feet and resting upon your lap purring softly.

How long do calico cats live?

Cats can also be susceptible to diseases. Subsequently, certain cases have revealed that most cats died because of illnesses. Pertinently, with regards to a calico cat’s lifespan, indoor cats typically have longer life spans compared to outdoor cats. There are several reasons for this which include the fact that outdoor felines are more liable to get hit by vehicles, get in cat fights and contact serious conditions and diseases, either from other infected cats or from prey like rodents and birds. A domestic calico cat can have an average lifespan of about sixteen years and can go through three stages namely kitten hood, adolescence and adulthood and maturity. Moreover, greater veterinary care, a healthy diet and vigilant ownership can ensure a vigorous life for your older calico.

Whether pure bred or not, cats will always remain attractive and delightful, ensuring their love by people all over the world.

57 thoughts on “Calico Cat: Mistaken Identity”

  1. Our cat Maizy is 12yrs she is the best cat ever we adopted her at 2yrs. She comes to bed with us stays awhile then leaves, comes back later. She is resting on my husbands desk right now, She hates the car for the first 20min. she is really unhappy,after she is fine. Knows the motel we stay-at and when we get to our other home, very very smart. She does not like all of my company not even my kids I am sure she smell dog on them, but they also have cats. They have to goto her. We know when she wants to be brushed fed go on the porch and be left alone.

  2. Katie says:

    Please change to NEKO, which means cat in Japanese.

  3. mersadi says:

    My kitten was just chilling then the next thing you know it starts hissing at its mother and all the other kittens

  4. Linda says:

    My calico just turned twelve. She is such a good companion. I love her madly. She likes clean bedding as much as I do. My routine in the morning is to feed her, make her bed, clean her box and play kitty tease before work. She is very affectionate and talkative. She prefers being the only one to her human(s).

  5. Kim Echevarria says:

    I’ve got the ultimate calico conundrum. Jade is our 7yr old semi longhaired rough coat calico mama. We usually refer to her as our ‘bipolar barn cat’ because although we have hand raised her since birth, she is very independent. Despite her small size and soft sweet meow, everything has to be on her terms, typical cat right? She comes for affection when she wants it, only allowing us to pet her head, but when she’s done, she will swat, try to bite and walk away (hence the bipolar tag lol).
    Here’s where it gets weird…
    When Jade was a little over a year old, she gave birth to Ryan (our orange tabby not really relevent to this story) and Abby, a huge beautiful silky longhaired calico. She is referred to as our lapcat with PTSD. She does not bite, her pur is like a diesel engine, and we compare her meow to a screaming goat. She loves affection and will spend long periods of time curled next to one of us on the sofa or in the bed. However, she is easily startled and will bolt if any of the other cats get anywhere near her.
    Bottom line? If I hadn’t been present at the birth, I would never believe they were mother and daughter.

  6. Colin Neal says:

    My calico cat, Patches, who showed up as a ‘stray’ at our house as the sweetest runaway or cruelly abandoned cat, who showed up at our house one day, introducing herself when she jumped on my mom’s back while she was leaning over, cleaning her van outside, creating a landing area on her back (as my mom’s only 5′ 1″ tall) just enough space for Patches to stick the landing, whch spooked my mom a bit. She to lived with us from that day until she passed living half indoors & half outdoors. She was the best cat ever! She had no fear of strangers. One time she jumped up onto an operating backhoe, and went directly to that big, loud, noisy, & still very much moving about on its tracks, just to see what the backhoe operator was up to. And she was the sweetest, most loving, and exceptionally special cat in my life heretofore. And not one cat-fight during her 16 year life. And the only calico cat behavior she had that was on your list in anyway, was that she liked being pampered and treated with extreme regard. Other than that, she behaved more like a dog. As she curled up during the Winter for warmth, directly between his legs, lying against Shadow’s large, friendly, neighborhood dog, who would frequently roam up to our front porch, where Patches lied against his large, warm belly, just like two old friends helping each other stay warm in the cold. I’ll miss my Patches until the end. Truly, a unique, loving, & special cat, who had no natural fear of strangers.

  7. Kelly Palazzo says:

    OMG…not sure if I’m lucky or blessed. The three calicos I’ve had in my life have been angels. My first one “Leah” was a treasure. I also rescued an all black kitten at the same time as I found Leah….his name is “Vader”. They were both raised the same with much love and affection. Leah turned out to be a lap cat to the max but Vader has never been a lap cat. He is loving but more of a loner. Leah was so affectionate I would almost call her neurotically affectionate. Followed me everywhere and was on my lap at every possible moment. Wanted attention and petting constantly. When she died unexpectedly at age 8 of a heart attack in the car when I was taking them to the vet for their annual checkups I didn’t think I would ever stop crying. Her death devastated my husband and I…my heart was broken. After several weeks of mourning…and the house seemed so empty without her love… and Vader seemed depressed that his buddy and playmate of 8 years was “missing”…I decided that we needed to get him a new buddy so he wouldn’t be alone anymore while we were at work all day. Since he was 8 I was afraid to bring a new adult cat into his world (he has a bad heart the vet tells me…a murmur) and thought a kitten would be better for him or less upsetting anyway. I checked several shelters and eventually came across two kitten sisters that were calicos and looked exactly like Leah! It seemed so meant to be. They were very bonded so I begged the husband to allow two new furbabies to come home with us instead of just one..happily he agreed. It might have been because it was my birthday…but also he was just as brokenhearted about losing Leah and wanted Vader to have a new friend too…so two more friends is better than one right!! They were named Thing 1 and Thing 2 at the Humane Society shelter but I quickly renamed them “Mari” and “Ginji”. Wow, the girls are two years old now…or two and a half really…what awesome companions they have become…both affectionate lap cats to the max….almost clones of Leah and her endless need of love and attention. Pure joy. It took Vader about 6 weeks to warm up to them but now they are all best buds. The girls are real “talkers”…smart…curious….funny…lovers… and act like dogs more than cats. Follow me around everywhere…greet me at the door…do a really good job of communicating what they want/need…they are so special…but all three are true gifts…we are blessed. I have a really cool story about how Vader come flying into the back bedroom one night while I was reading a book to warn me about a black bear RIGHT outside our house (Think “lassie” and Timmy’s in the well scenario!)… but this is a website about calicos so I’ll spare you the whole unbelievable story….but he’s my little hero! (we live in an area where you would NEVER expect to see a black bear so it was quite shocking that Vader “knew” he needed to tell me about it and make me follow him to the other bedroom window so I could see for myself what he was trying to tell me…after my shock I rushed to close up the windows so Mr. Bear wouldn’t get in!!! LOL…gotta love our pet companions…they are so precious.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *