Why calico cats are so special and unique?

Calico refers to any breed of cat with three fur colors: white, black, and orange. A Calico is not a breed of cat, rather a condition where the cat has an extra X chromosome. Male calicos are so rare that in 3000 cats, the probability of getting a calico cat is 1. 

This article will discuss some of the reasons and fun facts that make calico cats rare. 

Why are Calico Cats Rare?

Imagine being so unique and rare that you are given fun facts? One of the fun facts about Calicos is that they happen due to gene mutation. The rare mutation gives any breed of the cat an orange color on the fur. So most Calicos come in orange, white and black.

Calico cats are rare but very unique. Their patches are different, and you will never see any two calicos that look alike. Several fun facts make calico cats so rare that they will be distributed in this article. Keep reading to find out all about calicos. 

Is it Rare to Have a Female Calico Cat?

Another fun fact about Calico cats is that most of them are female. What is rare is to find a male Calico cat. In every 3000 Calico cats, only one will be a male. 

The orange gene mutation in Calico cats is associated with the X chromosome. So for a cat to become a calico, two X chromosomes should be present. That is the reason why most calicos are females. However, a variation happens. 

A male Calico cat has two X chromosomes and a Y chromosome because of a rare disorder known as Klinefelter syndrome. Male calicos are sterile. Therefore female Calico cats cannot breed with male calicos. 

Are Calico Tabby Cats Rare?

Know that you know about Calico cats. There are types of variation that result in tabby cats.

These cats are not that rare. They have an extensive range of distinctive colors and patterns. It might be different to identify the type of Calico tabby cats if you are not familiar with cats. However, in this article, we will tell you how you can locate a calico tabby cat. 

Firstly, just like calico cats, tabby cats are caused by a gene mutation. So most tabby cats have different colors and stripes. One feature you can use to identify a tabby cat is the letter M marking on their head. 

Unlike Calico cats, most Tabby cats are male. This is because the gene mutation that causes Tabby cats is found on the X chromosome. And to reflect on female cats, both X chromosomes should carry the mutation. However, if the only X chromosome has the gene, the cat automatically becomes a Tabby cat for the male cats.

There are different types of Tabby cats and a variety of colors. This guide discusses all the kinds of Tabby cats. 

If you decide to adopt a Tabby cat, learn here how you can take care of your kitty. 

Are Black Calico Cats Rare?

A black calico cat is known as a Tortie cat. A Tortie cat mostly comes in a combination of two colors: Black and Orange. There is no presence of white on Tortie cat-like on Calico cats. 

Tortie cats, just like calico cats, are primarily female. Therefore, finding a black calico cat is not shared and is more valued than other cats. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is it not possible to breed Calico cats?

Calico cats are caused by a gene mutation on the X chromosome. Since female cats have two X chromosomes, they are the most commonly affected. This results in a large number of Calico cats being female. 

However, there is a variation when the male cat has a disorder that causes them to have two chromosomes. This makes the male cats sterile.

It is therefore impossible to breed Calicos. Therefore, there is no possibility that when a female calico breed with other cats, the kittens will be calicos. 

What is the life span of Calico cats?

As said before, calico cats are just a standard breed of cats only with a variation in the color pattern. The general lifespan of cats is 15years. However, if you take good care of your cat, it will live longer. Proper nutrition and a regular checkup with the vet will help.

Unfortunately, male Calicos are not as lucky as their female counterparts. The male Calico happens due to a rare disorder that gives the cat two X chromosomes and a Y chromosome. This results in the cat developing health conditions. 

What do Calico Cats eat?

Cats are carnivorous. They should eat meat products and not human food. 

There is enough information on what you feed a calico cat on the internet. Alternatively, you can ask your pet’s nutritionist to help you customize a meal plan for your cat.

Most male calico cats develop certain health conditions. Consulting with professional pet nutrition is the best option to know what foods to avoid in your cat’s meal.

What is the personality of Calico cats?

Cats are the best companion for humans. They are sassy and independent most of the time but still loving and loyal.

Calico cats are so appealing to the eyes. They are so loving and playful. You will have a good time and a simple routine taking care of your Calico cat.


If you are craving a cat companion, a calico cat should be your top choice.

Calico cats are so colorful and come with different color patterns that you cannot find identical cats. Other variations result in Tortoiseshell cats, Tabby cats, and Tortie cats.

Identifying a calico cat is not hard. They have a black, white, and orange fur color. Despite their colorfulness, you cannot breed this cat. It s hard to find a male Calico cat, and they are all sterile. 

Taking care of calico cats is not hard. They are like regular cats. The only problem is that male calico cats can develop health conditions like diabetes.

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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