Calico Cats Origin
A calico cat breeds is not a particular breed of cat, but a color pattern, which any domestic cat can possess. It may occur to any breed of cat and is not restricted to one particular cat breed. Calico means a type of color pattern in which a white cat will have red or reddish brown and black patches on their coat. Since X chromosome is responsible for giving the color to a cat more than 90% calico cats are female.
The most commonly found and domesticated cats are calico and it is their color patterns on their coat that has attracted more people towards them. Most people mistakenly consider calico cats as a breed of cats and also call them as tortoiseshell cat, but the fact is both these are different patterns and not a cat breed.
Calicos are considered lucky in some countries like Japan where this color is seen mostly on the Japanese national cat, the Japanese Bobtail. Ancient folktales have a mention of these types of cats in large number of countries and are considered lucky. A calico cat is being selected as a state cat of Maryland in the United States.
Calico Cats History
The exact origins of calico cats are a mystery and there are no exact data available to confirm. The genetic determination of a particular coat color is linked to the X chromosome and most calico cats are females.
Due to the involvement of genetics, male calicos have weak vitality and are mostly sterile. However, the existence of colored patches in calico cats was traced to by Neil Todd after conducting a study to identify the journey of domestic cats along the famous trade routes in North Africa and Europe.
The number of cats with the orange mutant gene that were found in the calicos was traced to the ports along the Mediterranean cities in France and cities of Italy, which originated from Egypt.
Female cats have two X chromosomes. In the calico cats one X chromosome will possess the orange gene while the other will have black gene. A separate gene that is responsible for the multicolored patches, are not associated with the sex of the cat. It is responsible for the white colored patches that is found in these cats and also creates the calico pattern. Male cats suffer from a rare genetic condition that alters the chromosomes. Male calico cats may suffer from genetic changes, which not only affects their coat, but also affect their health in the long run.
Calico cats traits
There is no particular set size for calico cats as they are a coat pattern and not a cat breed. However, there are many cat breeds that have a calico pattern cat in them. Since most calico cats are females, which means calico cats will most probably be lighter and smaller than male cats.
Personality of calico cats will depend on the breed that it belongs to. So if a calico belongs to a Persian, then it will have the physical and personality traits of the Persian. The average life expectancy of calico cats is 15 years. If you are looking for a purebred cat and if that happens to be a calico, then the cost of the cat will depend on the breed.
Calicos are not permitted in pointed cat breeds like the Russian Blue, Bombay, and British Shorthair. Beautiful calico patterns can be found in Manx, Persians, Scottish Folds and Maine Coon cat breeds. It is the most popular color pattern in the Japanese Bobtails.
Calico Cats Personality Traits
Calico cat breeds have all the usual personality traits of a cat, but there are a few characteristics that are unique to calico cats. Calico cats are usually very independent, temperamental and sometimes very stubborn, but most people will not identify these characteristics only to calico cats.
These cats take some time to adjust with any new surroundings, but as soon as they get comfortable they can be very playful and loving. Calicos like pampering and like to be cared like babies. This is why these cats are known as heads of the feline world.
Sometimes these cats can be fussy, but once they know that they are cared and loved, these cats can be friendly and vocal. They display their affection to their owners by rubbing against their feet, jumping on laps, and purring softly.
Calico Health and Care
Calico cat breeds are not prone to any particular health problem that other cats don’t suffer from. Any illness that calicos suffer is due to the breed health and not due to their coat pattern. Personal grooming is the best way to understand and get familiar with the cat.
Long haired calicos need more brushing as compared to short haired calicos. Always be gentle and praise your cat while grooming. Do not be hard on them as some cats may not like this and run away from you.
Every time your calico cat comes near you, stroke them gently as it will in the long run develop a positive response from your cat. Each cat likes to be praised and calicos are not an exception.
Calico Cat Breeds Behavior
Calico cat breeds are fiercely independent, stylish and energetic cats. They are loving, loyal and sweet natured cats. Calicos can give you unconditional love and affection without pestering you. They are playful just like kittens, are caring, innocent, lively and mellow cats. Some even believe that calicos are unpredictable and have a wild disposition.
Calico with Children and other Pets
Calicos cat breeds are endearing, affectionate, and intelligent cats and get along well with children. Some calicos are reported to have being credited with certain acts that involved bravery, which includes saving humans and animals. They are even known to have rescued a whole litter of kittens from a burning building.
Calico cat breeds are one of the most beautiful wonders created by nature. These gorgeous looking felines are found in many different breeds of cats with personalities and behavioral characteristics of the breed that they belong to. Hence, their temperaments can vary. Calicos are very popular for their tri-color coat and are hence very much in demand.