The Calico Cat Life
All cats are precious, but calico cats are especially unique. Read what makes them so different and why they are famous around the world. Here are some interesting facts about cats living the Calico Cat Life.
Calico Is Not A Breed
Imagine my surprise when I found out that my cat Kali-Ma wasn’t a calico breed. Upon doing research for this blog I discovered that her breed is a domestic short hair and her color is “dilute calico”.
Various breeds of cats can be calico, but it is their coloring that makes them calico. A standard calico often has a white coat with large spots of orange and black. A dilute calico like Kali-Ma has lighter colors of orange and smoky gray such that they look diluted. There is also a calibby mix of calico and tabby cat, where the patches of orange and black have the tabby striped or spotted markings.
Male Calico Cats Are Rare
It is estimated that 1 in 3,000 calico cats are males. Also, only one in 10,000 of the male calico cats is fertile.
Here is some science behind the male cat:
- A cat needs two X chromosomes to present with the tri-color calico pattern.
- If a cat has an XX pair of chromosomes, it will be female.
- Male cats have an XY chromosome pair, so they can rarely be Calicos
If you are fortunate enough to have a male calico then it is critical you take very good care of him. Male calico cats are prone to health issues. If he is a senior cat, then all of the senior cat protocol should be followed. You can read my tips for senior cat care here: 9 Tips For Senior Cat Care
Calico cats are a wonder of nature and they happen by chance. They cannot be genetically engineered and they cannot be bred.
This is one of the reasons they are considered to be good luck around the world. Some people believe calico cats brings money and blessings to people who adopt them. The United States believes that calico cats are money cats.
In Japan, in the 1870’s they were declared the official symbol of fortune. In 2007 in Japan, the Kinokawa train station in was facing closure so they made a calico cat named “Tama” its train station master. She greeted passengers as they passed by. She not only saved the train station but now she is estimated to be a 10 million dollar cat. You can watch her story here: Tama the 10 Million Cat
Also, the famous one arm waving Maneki Japanese cat is based on a calico cat. It is also said to bring good fortune to those that have it in their home.
Maryland State Cat
The State of Maryland has declared the calico cat its official State Cat of Maryland. Only two other states have state cats. Maryland declared the calico because of the color mixture of white, orange and black because it is the same color as the Baltimore Oriole.
They Cure Warts
There is an old wives tale that if you rub a wart on a calico cats tale in May the wart will be cured. I am certain of one thing, the cat will not enjoy this!
My Calico Cat
Kali-Ma rescued me when I was in the depths of despair and all alone in the world. You can read our in-depth story here: The Story of Us. She is a blessing to me and everyone she meets every day of my life. She is the most social and outgoing cat I have ever shared a journey with. She is always ready to go for a ride, a walk or out the door when I am.
I take her with me every possible place I can on the weekends. (If you would like information on how to travel with your cat in the car you can read that here: Cat Car Travel Tips ) Each Sunday we walk in the park together and she genuinely enjoys the people that we meet along the way.
Everyone we have met in her Cat Therapy, her walks in the park, at the mall, every place we go, everyone says the same thing “ she is so laid back…she is so relaxed”. Maybe that is what makes calico cats so special. Like “Tama” the calico cat at the train station in Japan. They seem to love to be around people.
Kali-Ma is a blessing in my life that I am thankful for each and every day. She is a miracle in so many ways and not just her beautiful coloring. I learned a lot about her genetics in writing this blog. She is a very special cat. Everyone who meets who knows it too.
Until next time…Happy Tails to you.