Calico cats: Do they prefer feline friends or solo living?

Do you know that calico is not a breed of cat? Calico refers to a tri-color coat pattern over the cat’s body. Calico cats are known to have a patch on their coat of three kinds of color, typically – black, white, and orange. Calico cats are often confused with tortoiseshell cats because these patterns have the same colors. 

However, calico cats have patches of those colors, whereas tortoiseshell cats have mixed and swirled in each other. Genetics play a huge role in deciding the nature of a cat’s coating pattern. But, how does their coating affect their personality? How does genetics have a role to play in deciding if calico cats are amicable or not? Let us read about it in the article below.

Do calico cats get along with other cats?

The Calico nature of cats can be found in so many breeds. Therefore, every calico cat will have a personality according to its breed. However, some personality traits are particularly known by calico cats, such as sweet behavior, endearing traits, etc. They are considered warm-hearted, intelligent, and affectionate. They get along with children and other people’s pets too.

Calico cats do get along with other cats as well. They are known to be quirky, too, with a sassy behavior. But, surprisingly, Calico cats love and love to play actively with their masters and purr in their laps. 

Some calico cats have been called brave on occasions, such as a calico cat saving his human family and a whole kitten family from the burning building.

Do calicos like other cats?

Since we have already established that calico is the coat color, breeds have nothing to do with them. They usually grow into personalities that they have experienced in their surrounding environment. Since cats can get cats, their personalities can either be sweet and loving or aloof and cold. It all depends on their environment. 

Genetics and its mysteries

Calico cats are born because of the genetic expression at birthing. But let’s not get into the specifics and understand it readily. 

The black and orange color on the fur that you see means that the cats are born due to an X-chromosome Inactivation.It means that the gene responsible for the color of the fur is present on the X-chromosome. Female calico cats have two male chromosomes, i.e., 2 X-chromosomes. Rarely are there male calico cats, which would have an X and a Y chromosome. 

So, there must be numerous proteins on the X chromosome for the cats to survive. However, getting twice the amount of survival proteins for female cats could be harmful/ which is why one chromosome is inactivated right when the cat is in the womb.

So if the X chromosome carries the gene for white fur is inactivated, then it will not show on the cat’s body, and only black and orange colors would show.

Since this is hardly in anybody’s control, all these color patterns are hard to guess and are usually random. Cats have known to have an average life span of 12 to 16 years. However, if you have a male calico cat, it is said to have a shorter life than a female calico cat because of double X chromosomes. No wonder they are known as survival genes.

Are calicos cats mean to other cats?

Sometimes, calico cats are known to exhibit a sassy and spunky behavior known as “Tortidude.” Both male and female calico cats have some destructive behavioral patterns as well. The destructive behavioral pattern can include biting and scratching during their time as kittens. This is why pet owners are trained to extend a toy to their pet cat to reinforce this behavior positively.

Calico’s personality depends on various reasons such as environment, breed, etc. However, Calico cats display such a sassy attitude as a part of their growth; therefore, it could be directed towards anybody if that ever happens. Cats cannot single out other cats and be mean to them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can two calico cats get along with each other?

Yes, why not. Like any other breed, two calico cats growing in the same environment would be friendly to each other and would get along with them. Therefore, introducing these two cat friends with another may be tough, just like dealing with children.

Q2. Is calico’s fur color the best thing to determine a cat’s personality?

No! A cat’s body type, furs, or coat color cannot decide their personality. Their breed, however, will determine their personality as genes are responsible for exhibiting behaviors and not colors.

Q3. Can you keep two calico cats together?

Since calico cats are rare because of their unique genetic code, it isn’t easy to keep two together. Likewise, it isn’t easy to keep one itself as calico cats are rare; keeping two calico cats is certainly rare, and hardly does it ever happen.

Q4. Have calico cats ever been aggressive?

Some studies do show a link between aggressive behavior and the color of the coat. According to that study, calico cats were known to show more aggressive behavior than normal cats. However, the study was on regular cats and did not mention calico cats.

Q5. Is it normal for a calico cat to birth two calico kittens?

Yes! It is extremely rare for a calico cat to birth a calico kitten just because of the rarity of the calico coating. This is all because of the genetic coding of the cats. It will solely depend on the mother for bringing variety.

Q6. How long can calico cats live?

Since a female cat has double X chromosomes, they have more survival protein than the male calico cat. Hence females live longer than males. On another note, indoor cats live up to 12 to 16 years, whereas outdoor ones have a shorter span of 7 to 9 years.

Q7. Are all calico cats male?

No, most calico cats are female.Since male cats must have a Y chromosome, it is rare to find and survive. Whereas X chromosomes are common, therefore, most calico cats are female.

Q8. Why are calico cats mean?

Since the cats have “sex-linked” color patterns, they have shown an inclination towards aggressive behaviour than any regular cat. Sex-linked means that the color patterns are attached to the X-chromosome gene.

The Bottom Line

Calico cats are rare because of their genetic patterns but have such a beauty to themselves. However, calico means the cat’s color coating, so they are named so as their coating is of three colors: orange, black, and white. Their fur has patches of all the colors we mentioned before. Their personalities are determined by the environment they live in and the experiences that they have had.

They are known for how rare they are and some of the most wonderful kinds of cats. It is not a breed so any cat could be a calico cat. However, these are mostly found in domestic cats. Therefore, we can say that calico cats get along with other cats and animals because of their amiable and sweet personality. And if you ever come across an aggressive calico cat, blame their surroundings and upbringing. It is not a cat’s fault.

Amelia Kteylor

Amelia Kteylor, DVM, attended the University of Georgia. She is a cat expert with 20 years of experiences in field. She has a passion as a writer and editor for pet publishing industry too. Amelia contributes to numerous pet magazines in the areas of pet health and groom. Further, she volunteered in cat rescue centers in her leisure time.

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