If you’ve been wanting to own a cat with colorful fur patterns, you will surely fall for a calico. These cats have various color combinations although no two of them are alike.
Calico cats price and why they are costly compared to other cats
Calico cats may cost from around $400 up to $2,000 especially if you got them from a reputable breeder. Their price is mainly determined by age, sex and if the cat is a purebred calico. Female calico cats cost around $400 to $500 while male calicos cost around $1,000 up to $2,000 because they are very rare.
Calicos are costlier compared to other cats since they are rare and have unique genetics. Male calicos are more expensive compared to females because only one out of 3,000 calicos is male and it is likely to be sterile. It is estimated that only one in 10,000 male calicos is a fertile one.
Calico cats physical traits and personality
Calico is not a breed but it is a domestic cat of any breed that features a tri-color coat. Calicos usually have a majority of white fur with large orange and black patches, sometimes cream and grey and they can have three colors. They are different from tortoiseshell cats which have a mottled coat of black and orange or cream and grey but with few or no white markings at all. Common names of calicos include brindle, tricolor cat, piebald, mike neko in Japanese which means “triple fur” and lajeskat in Dutch which means “patches cat”.
These are the different types of calicos:
- Standard calico cats – they have white coats with large spots of orange and black
- Dilute calico cats – these cats have white coats with large smoky gray spots and almost strawberry-blonde color
- Calibby cats – they are a mix of calico and tabby cats and the calico patches of orange and black have the striped or spotted markings of a tabby
The term “calico” means a type of fabric but Americans in the 1700s refer to it as a printed design with small floral patterns and the cats came to be called as such because of the fur patterns. Aside from the common names mentioned above, dilute calico cats are also called calimanco or clouded tiger because of the lighter coloration.
These are the cat breeds that feature the calico fur pattern:
- Domestic Longhair
- Domestic Shorthair
- American Shorthair
- Maine Coon
- British Shorthair
- Exotic Shorthair
- Japanese Bobtail
- American Curl
- Turkish Van
- Turkish Angora
- Norwegian Forest
Calico cats are often compared to tortoiseshell cats when it comes to their personality. It is because these cats also manifest a sassy attitude like the tortoiseshell or tortie cats. Calico cats are also independent, spunky and they prefer to have their own space but they can also be loving and affectionate at times.
Like the torties, the calico cats have a higher level of aggression due mainly to their genes. However, the personality of calico cats may vary depending on their breed since there are specific traits that are strongly linked to the breed.
Why are calico cats more likely to be female than male?
Calico cats are more likely to be female since they have XX chromosomes and feature all the colors that make it a calico which is red and orange or grey and black colors. Males have the XY chromosomes which means they have either the black or red color but unfortunately it does not make a cat a calico. Thus, it is extremely rare to have male calicos since it is uncommon that males have three chromosomes XXY. To acquire it, they have to acquire two X chromosomes from their mother and the Y chromosomes from the father.
Interestingly, calico cats are considered as bringers of good luck in some cultures. They are revered by Japanese people as symbols of good fortune and their signature lucky cat, the maneki-neko is characterized by calico coloring. Irish people of past generations believed that calico cats can cure warts while these felines are hailed as the official state cat of Maryland.
If you are planning to own a calico cat you have to be financially ready because it is pricey compared to other cats. While it is not a specific breed, cat lovers vie for it because of its unique color patterns. Calico cats price may vary from $400 to $2,000 with male calico cats fetching a much higher price because of their rarity.
Image: istockphoto.com / BiancaGrueneberg