A calico cat.
A calico cat. Photography ©cgbaldauf | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

8 Questions About Calico Cats — Answered

Questions about calico cats run the gamut from: “Do male calico cats exist?” to “What’s up with the calico cat personality?” We're here to answer a few.
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Ah, calico cats! Those multi-colored coats that can be arranged into never-ending combinations of patterns make for tons of questions. Do male calico cats exist? Are the rumors about calico cat personalities true? What in the world is a calibby? We’re here with answers to a few commonly asked questions about those mysterious calico cats.

A calico cat curled up and asleep.
Calicos are not a breed of cat. Photography ©krblokhin | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

1. Is a calico a type of breed?

Nope. Calico refers to a color or pattern of a cat’s fur, not a cat breed.

A shy calico cat hiding under a table.
Calico cats get their names from printed fabric. Photography by ©krblokhin | Thinkstock.

2. Where does the name calico come from?

Actually, the term “calico cat” is a description you’ll mostly hear in the U.S. Why? Calico is actually a type of fabric, but when it came to the United States in the 1780s, Americans used the term calico to refer to printed design.

Calico cats are also called brindle, tricolor, tobi mi-ke (Japanese for ‘triple fur’) and lapjeskat (Dutch for ‘patches cat’). Diluted calico cats with lighter coloration are sometimes called calimanco or clouded tiger. Calicos may also be referred to as piebald, which can mean any animal with a white base and pigmented spots.

A dilute calico.
A dilute calico has colors that are a bit more muted than a standard calico. Photography ©adogslifephoto | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

3. What about a calibby? Are there different types of calico cats?

  1. A standard calico usually has a white coat with large spots of orange and black.
  2. A dilute calico, as mentioned above, has lighter colorations that result in white coats with large spots of smoky gray and an almost strawberry-blonde color.
  3. A calibby is a mix of a calico and a tabby cat, where the calico patches of orange and black have the tabby striped or spotted markings.
A tortoiseshell cat sleeping and relaxing.
Compare a tortie’s coloring with some of the calico photos. See the differences? Photography ©piranka | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

4. What is the difference between a tortoiseshell cat and a calico cat?

Tortoiseshells (or torties) have similar coloring to calicos in that they are also contain black and orange in their coat, but the major difference is instead of a mainly white base, tortoiseshells have a black-based coat,” Dr. Gibbons of Just Cats Veterinary Hospital in Stamford, Connecticut, explains. “In addition, instead of distinct spots of orange and white, tortoiseshells are more of an even blend of the black and orange with sometimes white mixed in.”

Two Calico cats who look alike, possibly a mama cat and kitten.
Do male calicos exist? They’re rare, and they’re probably sterile! Photography by Mahlebashieva/Thinkstock.

5. Are all calico cats female?

Most calico cats are females — but not all. Male calicos are rare. “The traditional characteristics for a calico cat are carried on the chromosomes that make cats female, so the majority of calico cats are female,” Dr. Gibbons says. “The possibility of a male calico exists, but they are incredibly rare, and I have yet to see one in 15 years in the veterinary field.”

Approximately one in 3,000 calico cats is male. Also, if you have a male calico, odds are that he’s sterile. Only one in 10,000 of male calico cats is fertile.

A munchkin calico cat.
A munchkin calico cat. Photography by Linn Currie / Shutterstock.

6. What cat breeds can be calicos?

According to Dr. Gibbons the following breeds may have calico colorations:

  1. Domestic Shorthair
  2. Domestic Longhair
  3. American Shorthair
  4. Maine Coon
  5. Persian
  6. Exotic Shorthair
  7. British Shorthair
  8. American Curl
  9. Japanese Bobtail
  10. Norwegian Forest Cat
  11. Turkish Van
  12. Turkish Angora
  13. Munchkin
A Maneki Neko, aka a Lucky Cat or Fortune Cat.
Maneki Neko, aka Lucky Cats or Fortune Cats, are often calico cats. Photography by Danny Smythe / Shutterstock.

7. Are calico cats good luck?

Yes! The aforementioned male calicos are considered especially lucky since they’re so rare.

The Japanese lucky cat, maneki neko, is often calico. Japanese sailors used to travel with calico cats on their oceanic expeditions. Calicos were said to protect the sailors from storms and any angry spirits on board!

Calico cats are also the official state cat of Maryland, due to a similarity in coloring with the state’s bird, the Baltimore oriole, and the state’s insect, the Baltimore checkerspot butterfly.

And, according to Irish folklore, calico cats will cure your warts. Simply rub a calico cat’s tail on your warts in the month of May!

Merritt does not love when we pay attention to other living souls or objects other than her. She prefers to be the center of attention — always.
Merritt does not love when we pay attention to other living souls or objects other than her. She prefers to be the center of attention — always. This is her as a tiny kitten, so she’s always been this way! Photography by Cait Rohan Kelly.

8. Why do calico cats get a bad rap for their attitudes?

As the proud mama to a calico cat, Merritt, I am very familiar with the calico attitude that these cats are said to possess in spades (there’s a reason her nickname is Mimi —the same nickname for known diva Mariah Carey). Like the infamous “I don’t know her” feud between Ms. Carey and a certain Jennifer Lopez, my Mimi would prefer not to acknowledge her competitors (in a cat’s case, other cats). This isn’t usually a problem since my other cat Gabby is large, lazy and likes attention selectively. But when we’re petting, kissing or snuggling with Gabby? How dare we! Mimi will meow away, wedge herself into the cuddle or come up and play-smack Gabby.

She also does not appreciate when we pack and leave her alone.
Merritt also likes to make packing impossible. And check out the tabby markings on her head — I think she’s a calibby! Photography by Cait Rohan Kelly.

Yes, my calico loves to be kissed, cuddled, held, paid attention to and — when the mood suits her — even carried around the house like some sort of ancient queen even though she is not a kitten anymore. Mimi is also very talkative and loves to trill away, another attention-grabbing behavior. She is a total diva.

But is this behavior backed by scientific fact? “Calico cats have a reputation for being fiercely independent, and sometimes feisty,” Dr. Gibbons says. “This is not always the case but many live up to their reputation. A recent study by the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science says that many owners report more aggression toward owners, when being handled and at veterinary visits in calicos, torbies and tortoiseshells. However, according to the author, analysis ‘of aggression due to handling, as well as aggression displayed during veterinarian visits, showed little difference among coat colors in these settings.’”

So … the answer is still sort of. But I’ve never met a calico who wasn’t sassy. (Let us know in the comments if you have!)

Tell us about your calico cats!

Do you have calico cats? And do your calico cats have a real cattitude? Has anyone ever come across a male calico cat?

Thumbnail: Photography ©cgbaldauf | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

This piece was originally published in 2018. 

Read more about cat colors on Catster.com:

170 thoughts on “8 Questions About Calico Cats — Answered”

  1. It could be that you came home with unfamiliar smells on you that made her react in such a way. She’ll warm up to you again!

  2. Nicole Tahmasebi

    I have a 1 year old calico who has always been super loving and sweet and gentle. Last night I stayed out late and did not get home until 1am (first time that’s happened since I brought her home as a kitten) I made sure she was fed before I left but when I came home she let me kiss her and hug her then she hissed and growled at me and ran away. She’s never done that. Today she has also done it a little bit. She wants to be close to me but she’s kind of giving me side eye and will meow a little and hiss softly. Is she just mad at me for being gone? She’s never been in a bad mood before so I just want to know if it could be something else.

  3. Have a calico cat will not give up on her but she snarls hisses and doesn’t like the other cat which is just a shorthair cat feral cat I can even walk by her and she will growl or hiss I just look at her and say no one is afraid of you she rather be left alone sometimes she comes up to me then other times forget it only for food then I just think she was abused got her from a shelter her name is lily any ideas

  4. My calico has an eye outlined in black so of course her name is Nef-Fur-Tuffy queen of the upper kitchen and lower basement or just “Tuffy” for short. Got her and her two siblings when they were just days old, their eyes were not even open yet, and had to bottle feed them. She has ruled her over her domain for eighteen years so far with an iron paw for the other cats who have come and gone but with a velvet glove for her human subjects. Like the Egyptian God Bast she loves attention and to be worshiped by us.

  5. I have a female Calico Bambino Sphynx cat! She definitely has attitude and is her own cat. She is however, very loving and playful and loves to be carried around. After her first birthday, she began to grow fur around her haunches and shoulders. We thought that it was because of the coming winter but after springtime, the fur remained. She still has rather patchy looking fur but is still a Calico Bambino Sphynx to the core!

  6. My cat Baby is 14 years old and she is a calico but with a lot of black mostly then the white and orange. Since I’ve retired she and my other cat Butters have me trained! They eat smaller meals 3x a day. Baby wakes me up for 5:00am feeding sometimes by touching my face with her paw or she just stares at me! Butters is a 6 year old gray tabby with some white markings he doesn’t always want to eat breakfast with Baby so I have to give them individual attention sometimes. But they are the best buddies a person can have.

  7. I have a male Calico cat and yes he/she has Calitude! We call “him” “she” anyway. “Her” name is Roo and she has front arms that are twisted inward and stands up on her hind legs and walks like a kangaroo. She is really possessive over her bed (which is really my bed) and when any of the other cats go up on the bed she stands up on her hind legs and “boxes” with her little twisted front arms anyone that comes near her. And she only weighs 4#! I love her so much but then I love all my cats so much!

    1. Sandra Khacho Morse

      Oh please post a video of your kitty boxing. I would so love to see that. My little girl likes to do a pattycake or praying movement while hanging on the edge of a table. Usually when she wants food. Not sure if I can post a video of this.

  8. I have had 2 calicos. They both have been a 1 person cat- me. Very little or no interest in anyone else. Otherwise, my first Calico was my love. My 2nd is a muted calico and is the most demanding cat I have ever had. She is extremely vocal during her awake time. I am truly suppose to be at her beacon call. She will meow nonstop until I pet her. Becomes a challenge making dinner. Her sister on the other hand is laid back and happy go lucky. They do not get along at all. After 10 years living together in a small 1 bedroom apt they now can’t stand each other after moving to a 2 bedroom townhouse. They each have their own floor to keep the peace. ????

  9. I recently odpted 2 sisters 1 tabby 1 calico
    The calico is a 10 year old 14.5lb girl,
    friendly but does not sit on lap, or like being
    picked up.
    My other cats were strays , and younger but they
    got along with me right away.
    hopefully time will tell but I am curious
    if others had this happen.

    1. I have a male Calibby named Ripley he is a sweetheart he is the baby of our cats we have three other cats. His mother is a feral cat and had her babies in our backyard she left Ripley behind. We took him in when he was just a few days old and took care of him he is now almost 2 years old.

    2. I have 2 calicos. They are sistets from different littersabout 3 months apart. Ferals. Had the oldest since 6 weeks old. Very aloof. Didn t want to be held ot picked up but will lay beside me at night and.let me pet her. Little juno I uave had since 2 weeks old. She only has one eye and has a bsrnia too. I ll get that repaired in another month. Monet hated her for a few wedks but they are buddies now. Oldest one bas become mucb more social but very similar petsonalitkes. Feisty little girls

  10. I have a male, Dilute, Calico. He’s the best cat ever, well, at least for me. my dad is having some trouble with him :). He likes to cuddle with me when I sleep, and he purrs WAY too loudly. His names DJ. I’m going to probably leave a question. If someone could answer that for me, that would be really nice.

    1. This is my question. How rare are Male Dilute Calico’s? I know that male calico’s are 1 in 3000, and dilutes are a little rare, but how rare are they TOGETHER?

  11. I have a female Calico cat named Dusty. She has zero catitude when it comes to human interaction, but hates any and all other cats. She possesses more dog qualities than cat ones. She comes when you call her, will do tricks for treats, greets myself and all guests at the front door, loves attention and would probably prefer to get pets 24/7 if she could. She’s never tried to harm me or any other humans, even though she absolutely despises water and taking baths – she struggles like her life depends on it during a bath, but has never bit or scratched me in the process. She was weaned very early as a kitten, and as a result developed a suckling reaction when being held. When I hold her she immediately tries to start suckling on my clothing. It seemed cute at first when she was a kitten, but it quickly became apparent that she would not stop doing it well into adulthood. She’ll be 8 years old on January 1, 2021, and has not shown any signs of stopping. I always warn people about it before holding her, and usually their reaction is one of amusement and disbelief until they witness her in action. If that doesn’t make her a unique cat, the fact that she has 8 extra claws probably will. She was born with 8 claws on each front paw and 1 extra on each of her back ones. Still, I love her to death and would never change a thing about her (except maybe her suckling problem), but her positive attributes definitely outweigh her negative ones. She’s been in my life since I was 17 and she was 8 weeks old. She’s comforted me through so many life changes, moves, and multiple breakups, that at this point I can’t imagine my life without her.

    1. LOL She sounds a lot like my calico, Patches. Patches likes to suck on any items of clothing I might have lying around and make “biscuists.” I think it’s a comforting thing they do that is reminiscent of being babies and pushing out milk from their mother.

      Patches is a very affectionate cat, too. Loves to cuddle. Loves attention..if I’m working at my desk and she wants attention, or to play with the laser toy, she’ll jump up and try to knock things off my desk lol

      She’s very chatty and vocal. She does this cute thing where when she comes upstairs and runs down the hallway into my room, she goes “woowoowoowoowoowoo”. She also likes to jump up on my banister to be at eye level with me.

      Unlike my other 2 cats, she LOVES people. She always has to be around everybody. Last Thanksgiving, she was under the table begging for scraps of turkey, which my guests were happy to provide! She certainly has her own personality.

  12. I adopted a torbie, or maybe maybe she and her brother adopted me…Anyways she is full of catitude.
    I named her “We” after the noise she makes when she wants attention which seems to be most of the time…
    She will come to her name and has this habit of finding Bugs to drop on my Bed. Have no idea where the things even come from but she proudly brings them to me when she finds them.
    Caries them around in her mouth while constantly trilling.
    Both frightening and very sweet at the same time.
    Once found a perfect portrait of the Jack Links Yeti in her fur.
    Sweetest cat ever. Always makes me smile.

  13. We have a very sweet at the same time devil Calico Lilly, ill explain for my wife and i she is the greatest for any visitor lets just say good luck! Everything is on her terms we go to bed she must be right between us touching some part. We can not pick her up she will come up to you when ready! Let me be clear she is our daughter sort of and we love her to death everyday she makes us laugh and has a new thing she’ll do! We spoil her badly but guests are not welcome this is her home and family and she is very protective of it!????????

    1. My calibby is so sweet! She sleeps with us everynight and is always asking for us to stroke her. (Fun fact, she asked it right now, as I am writing this!)

      Her name is Jackie and she doesn’t really care about other cats, except when she gets angry at her stalker (our tortie Siamese Cecilia).

    2. Omg I have a calico named Patches, too! She is so sweet. Total lap kitty. Loves to be in the center of everything and hang out with people. Is a climber and a ball catcher and just about the most entertaining, cutest cat ever. She always gets into positions and situations that make me laugh. She’s also the chattiest cat ever and makes so many cute noises! She has the best personality.

  14. Pingback: All About Calico Cats – Live Long and Pawspurr

  15. I have a female calico. I got her 3+ months ago. I love her to death! I have never had a cat in my life but cat set my grand daughters for 6 weeks and fell I love with her. Well, she went back to California and I was lonely, so my other grand daughter took me to a pet sale at Petco. They brought out this calico cat with a sad story. She was lonely, her owner had gone into a nursing home. I took her right away and I fell in love. She is a wonderful 3-4 yr. Old. Cuddly, lovey, personality. Sooo happy to have a loving home. She settled right in. She is beautifully colored and has a white nose. 9 pounds. Sleeping in my lap right now. Not an outside cat. She is loved, satisfied and happy. A little spoiled.

  16. I have two calico cats, mother and daughter. Each of them had one litter before I had them spayed.
    In each of their litters, they each had a Female, orange tabby, which I understand are fairly rare. Could this be something more common to calicoes?

    1. When I received my Calico her mom was an orange and white Tabby. My Calico Just had a litter of 5 & In her litter was 1 calico & 1 White & Orange kitten, so I’m also beginning to think you’re onto something.

  17. I have a calico. Had her since she was 6 weeks old. She is now 7years old. She is loveable to me,but she growls at my son (who is adopted). She also doesn’t like my brother-in-law. I don’t know why.

  18. I’d heard calicos were also referred to as “MONEY CATS” as they were rare therefore worth a lot of money. So we named her PENNY. Come to find out only the males are rare and called money cats.

  19. I have a male Calico and yes, she/he has an attitude! Boy was the vet surprised when “she” went for her spay! I always refer to her as a “she”- can’t get out of the habit. She is also a “squitten” baby.

  20. I have a calico named Lulu. She is lovely, quirky and so adventurous. She communicates very well, let’s me know what she wants and has a different meow for what she needs. She is a very good mouser! Tries to bring them in for me to play with yuck! Probably the only cat in the neighbourhood that enjoys going on family walks with us in our woods. Love her!

    1. nefferTT is one of the calicos in our house. She definitely looks like that Empress and acts like she owns the world, or at least her little corner of the world. When I take the dog for a walk she must be in the house or will follow us. She loves Bonnie! She does NOT like the other cats. I have had many tri-color cats over the years. I have also has Siamese … talk about attitude!

      1. Cacti watermelon

        Jody Morse I believe the name is written as Nefertiti but they way your cat’s name is written is super cute!

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  24. I had a Calico, her name was Cookie. She was so docile, loved to be petted, carried around, never bit or scratched and such a snuggle puss with everyone. If she got any kind of scratch, it would be infected within 24 hours and need antibiotics. She had a hypoxic event during surgery, the vet revived her, she was blind and her personality was gone. I think she also had brain damage. No more wanting to be cuddled. I was by her side and took care of her 24/7 for 6 weeks. One day while giving her meds, she bit me hard and sunk her teeth into my hand. I felt she was communicating that she had enough of the life she was living. I had her put down.

    1. Why did you feel the need to share such a negative and tragic event? You put a cat down not knowing whether she would eventually adapt to her “brain damage” and disabilities following a devastating surgical intervention. If you had been patient, continued with the loving care and possibly introduced her to another pet for companionship, she might have been able to live her life out in contentment. You are a terrible pet owner Janet. I hope you never again inflict such abuse and death! on another vulnerable creature.

      1. Or maybe the owner did the right thing as the cat had enough. Don’t judge other people’s situations regarding their pets.

      2. Geri, you need to learn how to stop judging others. Hundreds of thousands of animals are put down every year in the US. If you want to be a hero, go do so, but stop preaching. Janet felt her cat was communicating, and the relationship is one that only the two of them feels. Maybe Janet supports euthanasia for humans, too… and that is each person’s prorrogative.

      3. People know what their cats are saying. It’s not fun to live blind and waiting for the next infection. Cat was saying she/he was done. I’ve done it before too. I knew.

  25. sharifa hotchkiss

    my cat and I moved onto a new home,there are two other cats. my cat uses the litter box but
    pees on the floor. she is 13 years old. she has never done this in the past. She and I lived alone before I moved into the new house.

    1. How many litter boxes do you have? Recommended having 1 per cat plus 1. If she isn’t used to sharing with other cats, that may be problem. Also pee could be territorial marking behavior, due to new situation making her feel insecure. Jackson Galaxy has a lot of information on this, and how to help cat feel secure in new setting. Vet visit always advisable to rule out urinary tract infection. She is trying to tell you something. Hope you are all happily living your best lives.

  26. Rosalía Fernandez Perales

    I have a female calico, still pretty young. I think she’s almost two years old. She has a small disability called cerebellar hypoplasia and this makes all her movements a bit erratic. The main issue (although it’s not really one) is that she is very loud for such a small cat and is always meowing at us, which I don’t know if it’s normal because none of our other cats do this. Plus, she seems to be always on heat. These period tend to go on forever, to the point of having several episodes in a month. During these, she is even louder and I just wanted to ask if this is a normal feature of this type of cats. Our neighbor has another female calico and she behaves exactly the same as ours.
    Thank you for the post.

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for reaching out! Please spay your cat. These articles might help provide some insight:

    2. Why haven’t you had her fixed? Yes it is normal for female cats to be louder when they’re in heat. I doubt you’re ever going to let her have a litter of kittens due to her disability so I would get her fixed right away. It’s a very simple and inexpensive procedure that will actually make her feel better. She won’t have her episodes during the month anymore and she will definitely stop the moaning/loud meowing.

    3. Listen to the good men who host The Price Is Right (as if you haven’t heard it before)..HAVE YOUR PET SPAYED OR NEUTERED. Be a responsible person and a good pet owner. Take her to the vet or humane society and have her spayed. Get your neighbour to do the same. And don’t forget the microchip.

    4. If she’s always meowing it means she need something. Maybe she’s going pees, hungry or need your attention. I have calico cats also and she have different meowing. If she sweet her meowing is sweet also especially in the morning. You need to study your cats meowing need.

    5. Just like people, some cats love to talk and others don’t. I’ve had a tabby that was always meowing, she would wait for our answer and answer back! A real talk! hahah My current calibby is talker too, while I don’t understand her language, the happier she seems the more she meows!

  27. My Calico cat is called Lita, and she is the literal definition of a scardy cat. She’s terrified of everything and everyone! Except me of course, but any sudden movements I make tend to make her run! No idea why, I’ve had her since she was a kitten and she’s never had a bad experience, but she just gets terrified. She’s okay with people who come over often (my best friend, my parents) as long as the noise level doesn’t get too loud if she’ll come out and have a nosey at who’s here. She’s very loud when she wants attention though, she loves meowing at me from another room just so I’ll get up and come look at her!

  28. Richard Stamile

    i have a Calico rescue she is 10 mo old now very pretty colors she sweet
    with a bit of an attitude at times i think she knows is is a queen so far i can’t
    hold her or pet her but will roll on her back rubbing her head on the carpet or when
    greeting in the morning rubbing her head against doors a and chairs as i get closer
    she shoots across the room and under a sofa then 2 minutes later she is back watching
    everything i do i hope to hold her some day and hear purring but for now she is such fun
    with that perfect little masted face starring at you

    1. Be patient Richard. By now she may already opened up. We adopted two rescued calicos about 10 years ago. Hester, who died last year at 18 yo, spent a year hiding under furniture and hissing (Hister?) before she moved onto my lap and sleeping across the top of my head at night. Besides giving her time, I also learned that a slow blink leaving my eyes closed for several seconds would bring her right to me for a head butting. Her buddy Sfat is a pastel calico a year younger and fearless. She doesn’t like being picked up or restrained but happily lies on your lap as long as she’s free to come and go. They had both been declawed by a previous owner and were/are indoor only. Patience is the key and maybe bribing with cat treats.

    2. i adopted a totally feral cat accidentally as my first cat and it was like having a raccoon in the house. He ate food and used the literbox, but was not approachable otherwise. I read some advice at the time that cats really only understand food and love… the key is putting the two together.
      Basically feed her a little less and be there when she eats. Pet her when she eats. Get wet food on your hands if you have to. Do this for a while and then eventually put out 2 food bowls next to each other both with food and sort of nudge her from one to the other. Slow move them further apart every day and keep kind of knudging or half carrying her to the bowls. Eventually you will be able to pick her up as long as you are going from one food bowl to another… Beyond that is just time and more similar work but i’m fairly certain that is a way to tame really feral / a-social guys

  29. I have a calico cat. She’s a year and some months old but she is still small and on the skinny side. Her other siblings aren’t calicos and are bigger and fluffier than her even though they are from the same litter. Is there a reason for that or is it something to do with her being a calico?

    1. No, it has nothing to do with her being a calico. She may just be the runt of the litter and girls usually tend to be smaller than males. Also if her siblings are fluffy and she isn’t , the fluff tends to make the kitty appear much bigger. I have a calico around the same age as yours and she is huge! Bigger then every male and female cat I’ve ever had. She’s very solid too, whenever I pick up another kitty I cannot believe the difference in weight. She weighs 15 pounds! Also a litter of kittens can have seperate fathers. So some kittens may come out a certain way and the others are totally opposite or different.

  30. I rescued my calico named Flora about 5 years ago! It’s one of the best gifts I have ever gotten! They’re dependent little felines and bring happiness when “staff” needs it most!

    1. Hi, my calico cat loves to lay on her back like a rag doll cat, she I likes to be held and I can cradle her like a baby

      1. Wow I just read your article it sounds just like my cat. Chewy only wants to be carried like a baby and she loves lying on her back.

  31. I rescued my Calie off the street about 8 years ago when she was about a year old. Best thing I ever did. She is very intelligent and a little bossy. She seems to understand everything I say because if I ask her to do something she will do it. She tries very hard to talk and she says a few things I can understand. Mama, yes, no, and out are her easiest words to understand. She gets frustrated when she tries to tell me something and I don’t understand cat. I will tell her I don’t understand and ask her to show me what she wants. She once took me to her bathroom because she missed the litter box and peed on the floor. She watched until it was cleaned up. I have to keep a bowl of water in her bathroom because she washes her paws after she uses the litter box. She is also my baby and loves me very much. If I am sitting down she is in my lap and she sleeps with her head on my shoulder. The feeling is mutual because I love her too.

    1. Tyler Marriott

      My Calico found itself under my deck on a cold November night starved, sick and full of worms. After work treatment, antibiotics for a bad cough and lots of food and love she came around and became part of the family. She has a black patch on one eye and I was trying to think of some good female pirate to name her. Nothing seemed to work until I came up with Kallie Koe Kat! She is very loving, on her terms and timing, and loves her tummy scratched even pulling my hand back with her paw if I’m lax about the attention. Her fur is incredibly soft.
      She tolerates our Shelty but i would not say they are cuddle buddies!

    2. William Lockridge

      My cat, (for the record, I’m a dog person and never really cared for cats) followed my wife home from the post office about 3 blocks down the road, talking all the way, and then, when my wife opened the door, she walked right in just like she owned the place. The vet put her age at between 6 months and 12. At any rate, she came right upstairs, jumped up on the bed, and laid down, again, just like she owned the place. I’m a hospice patient and some days I don’t get out of bed and I got to thinking a bed buddy wouldn’t be so bad so I said she could stay and named her Kali. Now, because I named her, the wife says she’s mine. I have to admit that I’ve gotten pretty attached to her. She can say mom, dad, eat, and no pretty clearly. We have 4 dogs and she’s not afraid of any of them, even the 70# Golden Retriever. She loves to cuddle, doesn’t bite or scratch (well except for when the dogs get a little too rough playing) and she’s as lovable as can be. People that know me will say “you’ve got a WHAT in your house”. I don’t know why but now, I’ve become attached to her, so apparently I must like some cats.

  32. Lory Zimbalatti

    I wanted a male Calico for thirty years but could never find one at any of the shelters. I had a female calico first out of college but I also wanted a male. Move ahead 35 years and a colleague at work comes o me ans asks – Lory, aren’t all calicoes female? You know a lot about cats. I said 95 per cent of them are but there are some rare males born. He said we have a kitten at the shelter where I help out. I jumped out of my chair and said, I want him. He had them all fooled. His shelter name was Amber but they finally changed it to Amble. I waited while he was neutered and fostered and then he arrived one Saturday with Larry. ZEKE was now mine. He is almost four years old now – very feisty and bosses me and my other cat around. I am so glad I found my unicorn!

  33. Mary Hoffmeister

    I have a female calico that is approximately a year old. A friend had a flood so I offered to care for her. She said that I could keep her so have had her for about 8 mos. she is extremely loving and follows me everywhere but, she actually attacks me at times with her bite. I think that it is play but, not sure. She breaks the skin. The vet said that calicos are known for that. I’ve tried squirting her with water but, to know avail.
    I love her to death but, need a suggestionw on how to get her to stop this.She loves to stalk.

    1. She will grow out of it. It takes time but she will eventually stop. I trained one of my kitties that was biting and breaking the skin. I would stop playing if she got too ruff or was not playing nice. So this way she’ll know that you’re not going to play with her if she bites or is mean. As I also said it has a lot to do with age. She’ll grow out of it but that’s after a few years.

    2. No, don’t squirt her! It’s just play. Perhaps pull your hand away and gently tell her no. Perhaps reward her when you pet her and she’s sweet. Some cats are feistier than others and though we can mitigate that, their personalities can’t be trained out of them.



    1. Hi there — every other month. If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out here: https://www.catster.com/meet-team-catster

  35. Pingback: All About the American Wirehair Cat – CatPlaythings

  36. I have a male Calico! He was a feral kitten that my husband found. It was love at first sight! Even though we already had 3 cats I knew I had to keep him. The vet was the one that told me he was a calico, but he doesn’t look like a calico to me. The vet said any cat that has three colors is a calico. He is mostly dark gray, with white “boots” and a orangish beige patch under his eye. He also has an adorable musashe. He is fiesty. When playing with the other cats he will jump on their backs so they can’t get to him. Although, he’s growing fast so that won’t be the case for very much longer. He likes to petted, but does not like to sit in your lap. When he is wanting to eat or go outside he will roll on his back and give you a “aren’t I cute” look. He sleeps on his back with his front legs stretched above his head. He does that when the other cats clean him too. He is adorable!

  37. I had a calico for about 17 yrs. when she was young she became pregnant. She had one kitten probably premature and it didn’t live. I currently am taking care of a calico who is feral. Today she gave birth to one premature kitten, that was stillborn. Is this normal for calicos?

    1. I don’t think so. My granddaughters calico is on her 3rd litter. Now the second batch had some issues. 1 was born without an eye. Annother one had issues but out of about 10 kittens that I remember only 1 or 2 died

  38. I liked that you explained that there are a few different types of calicos. Lately, I have been considering getting a calico this year. It is cool to know that one type is breed with a tabby cat. I think I would like to get one of those since I like tabby cats as well

  39. Lilian T Bouscayrol

    My Sheila, who died a few months ago was a beautiful long haired calico female, was 14 years old. She came to me and demanded to come in when she was a kitten. I had during the time she lived with me, from 6 to 8 cats. She was small, but her flowing long hair made her seem big. And her attitude, I should have named her Queen Victoria. To sum it up, she ruled over cats and humans with an iron fist, but with grace and elegant charm. She was a fine lady.

  40. I have a male calico cat aged 3 months, my cat is very active and spoiled, I really love him because he is very funny, I am in the city of Sukabumi Indonesia

    1. I have a male dilute calico. He is four months old, sweet, and healthy. I am hoping he is sterile, as speculated, since he has been paying a lot of attention to our yet to be spayed female…

    2. I had a calico recently adopt me. Seariously I had no desire to own another cat and she just randomly showed up in our back yard starving, then refused to leave. The boys started to feed her. In our first encounter she rolled over exposing her belly to me (a sign of complete trust) and told me how much she loved me with the vibration they do from butt up thru the tail motions. I thought well all this is our first meeting must be natures way of saying its meant to be! Nature couldn’t had been more right thus far. She follows around all day, plays with the mindfulness of her nails careful not to scratch or hurt in any way. She is the most thoughtful, sweet, and loving cat I’ve ever encountered. She is a snuggle bug and shares her snuggle with us all, but is most definitely momma’s baby. She is my guess just at a year in age. Bouncy bundle of joy out to make us all smile and to capture our heart’s each and every day. She is also the most thankful cat I’ve seen. All I can say is her life prior to joining our family must had been pretty rough and tough and left her with such appreciation for all the little things in life that most let slip by. If your upset around her, she is most concerned and will devote herself to making you better endlessly. I couldn’t had been more blessed to have her unexpectedly enter our life’s.

      1. I have had two Calico’s. Patchy The First was wonderful, sweet, so affectionate that she would keep me awake at night with her purring. When we had company, she would pick out the most “non-cat” person and jump in their lap! She lived to 17 years. I always wanted another one like her. Four years later, I was out working in the yard (way out in the country), and I heard what I thought was a bird. But I looked up and saw this darling calico running to me, and up into my arms. All I could say was “are you my cat?” Patchy The Second was identical in personality to the first, even to the extent that when she walked, her back end looked like a baby with a load in their diaper. Also, whenever I sat down, a few moments later, I looked down and there was a purring cat in my lap! As far as I am concerned, calico’s do not have a feisty personality at all.

  41. I have a male calico cat aged 3 months, my cat is very active and spoiled, I really love him because he is very funny, I am in the city of Sukabumi Indonesia.

  42. Have a calibby she’s just over a year old and she’s the most greedy cat ever swipes food out of the other cats bowels with her paw or uses her paw to pull bowl over to her or even climbs over on top of the cat to eat their food. She claws every piece of furniture, hangs off every plant, digs in all the pots and loves to skid continuously on my hall rug. But at the end of the day when I climb into the bed to read my son a good nite story she appears with her rattling purrs and head rubs and my son and I love her to bits even though she’s mad lol.

  43. My girlfriend has a calico that we rescued from a convenience store parking lot as a kitten about 5 years ago. She has NEVER wanted anything to do with me until recently. Just recnently, she has started hopping up in my lap and demands to be loved on, especially scratching under the ear. I guess late love is better than no love!

  44. I have two cats – Burton is a docile, loving orange tabby and Roxy is a spirited Calico. Burton is 15 pounds, about 3 ft. long and a foot tall. He’s the dominant cat. Roxy is 8 pounds, about a foot and a half long and maybe 8 inches tall. She’s got attitude. I asked her to get off the dining table, so she stepped on a magazine that was on the table and just stared at me. Technically, she did get off the table. If she can’t find something else to sit on, Roxy yells at you before you can yell at her. Then she jumps down and mutters to herself until she’s out of the room. Otherwise, she’s extremely loving and sweet. She would never bite or scratch us. The vet is another story. She went straight for his eyes….

    One other poster mentioned having a cat that didn’t necessarily make tootsie roll poops. Our cat too. We had the feces analyzed – it came back negative for parasites. Some cats are looser than others. (Especially when changing their diet – our girl has an active digestive tract.) . My next bridge to cross is getting Roxy to use her cat pans all the time. She’ll always pee in them – but her turds are usually 50/50. She’s my Poopsie. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi there,
      Here are some articles on litter box use! We also suggest asking your vet for the best insight:

      1. Rebecca S Gerson

        I have a calico cat and she is my son’s best friend she watches over him like a hawk she will come to to be petted but as soon as she hears my son she growls and hisses at me and attacks me to be with him even when he is in the same room with her and I don’t understand why she does this if anyone can figure this out please let me know ty

        1. Hi Rebecca,

          Thanks for reaching out! These pieces might provide some additional insight and we suggest working with a vet or behaviorist to dig into the behavior —


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