Why Are Calico Cats Mean?

Why Are Calico Cats Mean

If you are planning to adopt a cat, it is possible that a calico is among your considerations. And the first thing you probably want to know about is the cat’s personality.

You might have heard some less-than-positive comments about these cats, in which case you will be wondering – why are calico cats mean?

Calico cats are known for their feisty, independent, and sassy temperaments. However, reports of these behaviors remain based on hearsay. Although there has been a documented survey that suggests a possible link between a cat’s coat pattern and their personality, this claim remains unproven.

So, is a tri-color cat less friendly than other cats? Let us find out!

Traits of calico cats

Calicos might not be the friendliest cats, but these wonderful felines still have unique quirks that can make us smile. So, what can you expect if you adopt a calico cat? Let us look at some of their famous traits, one by one!

1. Fiery and strong-willed

Calico cats have a reputation for being independent, assertive, and temperamental. In fact, it has been documented by experts from the University of California, Davis that these tri-color cats are more prone to having a fiery personality than cats of other colors. 

A survey among 1200 cat owners revealed that most calicos have the tendency to display aggressive behavior, especially when taken to the veterinary clinic. Many cat owners have observed this behavior in various cat breeds with the calico pattern.

2. “Cattitude”

Many owners of calico cats have lovingly labeled their fur babies as having more attitude, or “cattitude”, than cats of other colors and patterns. Whether or not this is just speculation, one cannot deny that having a calico companion at home can make life interesting. At times they might be spunky or sassy, but these traits are among the primary reasons so many of us love them!

So, if you are looking for a well-behaved, docile feline, then a calico might not be for you!

3. Most calico cats are female

One thing you might have noticed is that most calico cats are female. For every 3,000 calico kittens born throughout the world, only one is a male. The reason for this lies in the X chromosomes. According to science, cats need to have two X chromosomes to achieve a tri-colored coat pattern. Most male cats, being XY, only have one X chromosome. Hence, the calico pattern is far more common in females.

However, there are rare cases when a male cat can have an extra X chromosome, resulting in an XXY combination. In this case, a rare male calico is born.

Knowing all of this, it is possible that the sassiness of calicos is linked to them being female. But again, every cat has its own personality, and being male or female may not always influence their behavior.

4. Quirky 

Quirkiness is one of the many traits expected of a calico kitten. So, if you decide to add a tri-color kitten to your family, be prepared for some naughtiness! From time to time they might get up to a bit of mischief, and bath times might mean war. You might even unveil more of their quirks as you build your relationship in the many years to come.

While a calico might not be a typical well-behaved cat, know that your tri-colored companion is still one of the most loyal and loving. As many cat parents will testify, calicos possess a combination of quirks and cuteness guaranteed to spice up your life. And if you happen to adopt a calico kitten, then you, too, will surely have fun stories to share about their mischief, from jumping onto your tallest shelves to displaying their acrobatic stunts while you sleep!

Why are calico cats mean?

Calico cats have a bad reputation for being feisty and unpredictable. These naughty cats love to get themselves into sticky situations and might occasionally lash out at anyone they find annoying or threatening. The majority of calicos are also expected to be quite demanding of their owner’s attention. If you ignore the meows of a calico, she might act up just to get your attention. And, if you pet her without her approval, you might get a nip or a scratch.

Despite their sassiness, however, calicos can also be sweet, loving, and affectionate. Just keep in mind that they might have their own, different, language of love, and you cannot always expect them to behave like other cats.

That said, if your calico is excessively mean towards you or other family members, it might be time to reassess their routines and environment. Are her basic needs (food, water, entertainment) being met? Does she have her own private space or bed? Are you giving your furry companion the attention she needs? 

It is also worth noting that cats can sometimes become mean and extra sensitive to touch if they are in pain. Remember that, just like humans, cats can be grumpy if they feel sick or unwell. So be sure to have your feline checked by the vet to rule out injuries or potential health issues.

Are calico cats aggressive?

A study has found that both tortoiseshell and calico cats can have the tendency to behave aggressively towards their owners and other pets. However, the data is based purely on owners’ observations of their cats’ behavioral patterns, and not the observations of experts. Hence, there is no definitive answer as to whether calicos are naturally aggressive or not.

Although calicos are known for being feistier than other cats, this feistiness is not necessarily associated with aggression. Some cat parents have even reported their calicos being affectionate and cuddly at times, like any other cat. Still, the biggest influence on your cat’s attitude, regardless of her coat color, is her upbringing. If you want your feline friend to become the best version of herself in the family, then make sure to socialize her at the earliest age possible.

Preparations before adopting a calico cat

So, you are ready to embark on an exciting journey with a new feline companion! But, before bringing home a calico cat, there are a few things you should be prepared for.

First, make sure that your pet has enough space to run and play. Cat toys should be included in your list of essentials, too. Calicos, as mentioned, are playful and a bit mischievous, so you want to keep them occupied and away from your expensive furniture and appliances. Hence, cat trees, scratching posts, training clickers, and interactive toys are a must to keep your new friend happy and entertained. 

Lastly, do not forget the basics, which are healthy food, clean drinking water, a clean litter box, and a dedicated sleeping area for your cat. Regular veterinary checkups are important, too. If all these needs are met, there is no reason for your cat to become grumpy or aggressive.


Calico cats are not necessarily mean, despite the hearsay. Every cat is different, so if you expect your calico to be crazier than other cats, you might be proven wrong. While some calicos can be naughty, others could be laid-back and calm. Still, the best influence on your cat’s demeanor is her upbringing. At the end of the day, know that every cat will have their adorable quirks that will make you smile and keep you entertained!

Image: istockphoto.com / ablokhin