Monday, February 25, 2013

Calico Cat Trivia

Photo via Ashley Bayles

The definition of a calico cat is a feline that has a predominately (VBP) white coat with patches of two other colors - usually orange tabby and black. Calico isn't a breed of cat, but instead a type of color variation for a cat's coat. Calico cats are very interesting and you'll never find two exactly alike. 

Calico Cats Pack a Punch


Some say that calico cats have an "attitude". I have met a lot of cats over the years and will agree that many of them can be feisty, but still believe that this is a myth. There are just as many sweet natured calicos as there are truculent (VBP) ones. One thing is for sure, they certainly do have a lot of personality! 

A Lesson in Genetics


Calico cats are almost always female. This has to do with genetics. Females carry to X chromosomes, while males are built up of a set of XY chromosomes. In cats, the X chromosome carries the gene for black and orange fur. Since females have two X chromosomes, it is possible for them to be both black and orange. Since males only have one X chromosome, it is not possible for them to be calico. A calico male usually has some genetic abnormalities and will most likely be sterile. They may also have a number of other health problems. 

Show Me the Money


Did you know that calico cats are said to be good luck in some cultures? In the US, they are referred to as "money cats" sometimes. In Japan, the Maneki Neko cat figurine is usually a calico. 

Photo via Jules Antonio

Not So Common in Purebred Cats


The calico coloration is not found in all purebred cats. Manx, American Shorthair, British Shorthair, Persian, Japanese Bobtail, Exotic Shorthair, and Turkish Van purebred cats can be calico and still meet the standards of their breed. 

I was quite intrigued (VBP) to learn that calico cats can be hard to produce for breeders. Most calico cats are domestic shorthairs, your typical everyday non-purebred cat. Breeders can try putting a black and orange cat together, but even then it is just luck as to what the outcome will be. 

Official State Cat


The calico cat was announced the official state cat of Maryland in 2001. This is because its colors are also shared with the state bird - the oriole, as well as the state butterfly - the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly. I'm going to have to look up the state cat for Texas now because I've never heard of one before I found this. 


Wonder what the (VBP) in this post stands for? VBP = Vocabulary Building Project. I join every week and learn how to use some fancy new words! You can join too by visiting the hosts - Texas, Savannah, and Jet

35 comments:

  1. Oh we would definitely agree with the "calico cat attitude" statement!! Domeek has had two calicos and man, oh man, do they have some serious 'tudes!! ;-) But they were also incredibly loving and awesome too!

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    1. Hehe yea I've met a lot of calicos with "tudes".

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  2. My Mom is allergic to cats so we can't have one, but she thinks the calicos are really beautiful.

    Loveys Sasha

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  3. I love calicos :) When I was younger my mum and her friend rescued a stray mother/son pair of cats from behind someone's shed (we got the son, the friend got the mother). The mother was an absolutely gorgeous calico.

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    1. I've had a few calicos as well. One was named "Banshee" because she was completely feral and ended up being our barn cat when I was a kid.

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  4. My calico cat, Patches, is waiting for me at the rainbow bridge. I do like to think she's brought me a lot of luck over the years :-)

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  5. That calicos are such fun looking cats. Have a marvelous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

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  6. Calicos seems great. We don't have that kind of cat but it's nice to learn about them.

    Oink oink,
    Katie and Coccolino the mini pig

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  7. Our calico was awesome. Sweet as pie but took no "shtuff" from anyone.

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  8. Great post. I've read about the calicos and their history - that's so interesting ;o) and they are beautiful ;o)

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  9. I've always thought calico cats were beautiful. Thanks for all the great info. Too bad Kelly won't share her home with a cat!

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    1. My dog is also not very cat friendly. She did share her home with a cat for a long time, but KKMM has been gone for a few months now.

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  10. This is fascinating! My human always wanted a calico cat but I found her before! But I think she doesn't mind ;-)
    Purrs

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    1. I am glad that your human found you Texas. Orange tabbies are also brilliant!

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  11. Interesting calico facts! Thanks for sharing! They are so pretty. I've had several tortoiseshell kitties over the years, but never a calico. I've known quite a few calico cats that belonged to others and never met one that was unusually feisty.

    Susan and Wrigs

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    1. Tortoiseshells are pretty as well. Which reminds that I want to look up some stuff about them and their differences with calico kitties.

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  12. Such a beautiful kitty! very interesting to get the info! :)

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  13. They are beautiful :) Never knew about them, Thanks :) Have a wonderful Monday xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

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  14. Good for Maryland. I think every state should have a State Cat...and State Dog...and....

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    1. I know that Texas and a lot of other states have a state dog. I've never heard of a state cat before though.

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  15. Calico cats are really nice cats. They can come from a Tortie Mom, which mine did, so they must be somewhat related to Tortie cats. Our Calico, does have a slight attitude but then she has sister and a mom that are Tortie cats.

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    1. I know they are very similar to torties I just don't know the exact differences besides they look a little bit different. On my research list!

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  16. this post is ever so true...my glorious coat might not be 100% calico but there's not a girl in trout towne who's more concerned with money than me...show me it...you betcha !!!

    hugs from dai$y =^..*=

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    1. Lol - now I know why you use the $ in your name Miss Daisy!

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  17. I have always heard the all "calico's are female's", and wondered if it was an old wives tale. Now I know.

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  18. We didn't know that about the calico being the state cat of Maryland! COOL!

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  19. There were 2 Calicos here over the years, and both were completely different. Both were beautiful, I've seen the pics!

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  20. Magnificent site. A lot of useful information here.
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    ReplyDelete
  21. AIIEEE!!! Mom has already wanted a calico cat...this is such a great post! thank you! Paw pats, Savannah

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  22. They're gorgious. I had no idea there were other cats with an attitude, I thought I was the only one :D

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  23. Mom's first kitty was a calico named Kibble; she could be both truck-u-lint and sweet :)

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