Calico cats are beautiful wonders of nature. Almost always female, these colorful girls can be found in many breeds. For this reason, their temperaments can vary. However, a certain few very redeeming characteristics are attributed to them.
Definition of Calico
The term "calico" refers to a color pattern instead of a breed. A calico cat is defined as one who is black, white and either yellow, red or reddish-brown in color. They differ from tortoiseshell cats due to the presence of white. Tortoiseshells are black and either yellow, red or reddish-brown.
Calicos Are Almost Always Female
Calico cats are almost always female. This is because the genes that code for the calico color pattern are carried on the female, or X, sex chromosome. For any animal to be female, she has to inherit an X chromosome from her father in addition to the X chromosome she automatically gets from her mother. In the rare case of a male calico, he will have three sex chromosomes instead of the standard two: 2 X's and a Y for male.
Calicos Can Be Many Breeds
Calico cats can be found in many breeds. They are: the American Shorthair, the American Curl, the Japanese Bobtail, the Oriental Shorthair, the Persian, the Devon rex, the Cornish Rex, the Munchkin, the British Shorthair, the Turkish Van, the Sphynx, the Manx, the Scottish Fold, the Siberian, the Exotic Shorthair, and the LePerm.
Because calico is not a specific breed, their temperaments are as varied as the breeds among which they are found. However, the Cat Breeds Encyclopedia attributes a few certain characteristics to calico cats. They are described as having sweet and endearing personalities and as being warm-hearted, affectionate, intelligent and good with children. Some have even been credited with intelligen acts of bravery such as saving their human and animal families and even their entire litters of kittens from burning buildings.
Leslie Carver has been a professional author since 2009. Her work appears on multiple websites. She has an associate's degree in English with progress toward her bachelor's at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has been awarded an Outstanding Student Award in English and twice nominated for creative writing awards.