Have you always wanted to own a cat with striking coat colors and patterns? If so, you should consider having a calico cat. These cats have prominent tri-color patterns and known to have sweet and endearing personalities. But, are they easy to care for and do they shed a lot? Let us find out in this article all about calico cats.
Do calico cats shed?
Yes, calico cats shed but it will vary depending on the breed. A calico cat is not a particular breed of cat but it is a color and pattern variation and there are many cat breeds that can be calicos. Thus, the genes that determine pattern and color in these cats are not directly related to the ones that regulate the amount of fur or the rate of shedding. To put it simply, being a calico cat has no bearing on the amount of fur that cats may shed.
Why do cats shed?
These are the common reasons why cats shed:
1. Cats shed due to the changing seasons.
Cats usually shed due to the changing of the seasons. They begin to grow secondary hair to provide additional warmth during colder weather and once daylight grows shorter. Similarly, cats shed fur when daylight grows longer to keep them cooler during warm weather.
2. Cats shed due to nutritional reasons.
Shedding and fur loss may be attributed to the poor nutritional value of the food being consumed by cats. While it may take time to show, you will notice fur loss if your cat is not receiving the right nutrition. Also, cats may shed if they are eating something that is causing allergies.
3. Cats shed due to anxiety.
Stress and anxiety may also cause shedding and fur loss among cats. Common causes of stress and anxiety may include conflict with other cats, a new pet or an additional family member such as a newborn baby. Changes in their routine such as relocating to a new home may also stress out a cat and may cause shedding.
4. Cats shed due to health issues.
Cats may also shed due to health concerns like skin irritation and parasite infestation. If you suspect that your cat has worms or has skin issues because of scabies, bring her to the vet at once for a proper consultation and treatment.
How to reduce the shedding of your cat?
These are some of the measures you can do to reduce shedding:
- groom her every day
- bathe her at least every four to six weeks
- provide your cat with a balanced diet that contains Omega six and three fatty acids like salmon, mackerel, tuna, poultry and eggs
- keep your cat hydrated
- contain your cat’s fur by providing her with a cat bed
Calico cats: Origin and personality
Calico cats are very similar to tortoiseshell cats and they have patches of three different colors such as white, black and orange. Both calicos and tortoiseshells have the same colors but in the latter, the colors are swirled instead of in patches.
The name calico came from a particular type of fabric with the same name. Americans have used the name as early as the 1700s. Calico cats are also called tricolor or brindle as well as lapjeskat which is a Dutch name variation. While the origin of the calico cat is unknown, there are speculations that it originated from Egypt and that from there it may have been brought down the Mediterranean to the countries of Italy, France and Spain. These days, calico cats exist in various parts of the world.
Since the calico pattern can be found in various cat breeds it follows that the calico personality will vary. Each cat is unique and has varying behavior but there are certain personality traits that may be attributed to the calico cat. According to the Cat Breeds Encyclopedia, calicos are affectionate, smart, warm-hearted and get along well with kids. They are said to have a sassy personality and some have been credited for acts of bravery.
Cat breeds with calico color and pattern variations
These are the cat breeds that exhibit the calico color and pattern:
- American Curl
- American Shorthair
- Oriental Shorthair
- Japanese Bobtail
- Devon Rex
- Cornish Rex
- Turkish Van
- British Shorthair
- Scottish Fold
- Exotic Shorthair
Fun facts about calico cats
- Most calico cats are female and one in every 3000 calicos is male.
- They are thought to bring good fortune to homes and families that adopt them due to their rarity and also called money cats.
- They are also called curing cats since according to Irish folklore you can get rid of a wart by rubbing it against a calico cat’s tail.
- They are known as the official symbol of fortune in Japan in the 1870s.
Calico cats are sought-after among cat lovers because they have prominent tri-color patterns and a sassy personality. They do shed but this will depend on the breed because being a calico cat does not affect the amount of fur that they shed.
Image: istockphoto.com / Laura Fokkema