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5 amazing things about Calico cats that make them such remarkable felines

Calico cat cat-wow
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Calico cats are known for their unique tricoloured coats of orange, black and white. But there is much more to these beautiful felines than just their striking markings.

By Zoë Monk

Published on the 25/01/2020, 13:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:34

How much do you know about these colourful felines?

1. Calico isn't actually a breed of cat

Calico is not an actual breed of cat. In fact, Calico cats earn their name from their three-combination coat colours of white, black and red-orange. They are often confused with tortoiseshell cats, who do look similar but are often mottled and lack the white in their coat. You can find cats boasting colourful Calico coats among a number of cat breeds such as Persian, Maine Coon, American Shorthair and Cornish Rex.


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2. Most Calico cats are females

Just like with tortoiseshell cats, most Calico cats are female due to the unique chromosomal makeup that determines the colour variations in their coats. Just one in roughly 3,000 Calico cats is born male. Sadly, male Calicos don't often live as long as females because of genetic abnormalities.


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3. Calicos were ancient maritime protectors

Long ago, Japanese sailors and fisherman would bring Calico cats onto their ships as companions on their ocean voyages and protect them from storms and the ghosts of their ancestors.


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4. Calico cats are extremely lucky

All over the world, Calico cats are considered a good luck charm thanks to them being so rare (particularly male Calico cats). In America, they are sometimes referred to as ‘money cats’ and believed to bring good fortune. The famous Japanese Beckoning Cat called Maneki Neko was actually based on a Calico cat. These small models are often placed in the entrance of a home or business to bring good luck.


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5. A Calico's tail can cure your ailments

Calico cats can even cure warts according to Irish folklore. You just need to rub a Calico cat's tail on the affected area and any bumps will be gone. But you must only do this during the month of May apparently!


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