Calico cats were once one of my favorite color variations.

A true calico cat has a variation of black, orange, and white (or gray, cream, and ginger). The colors are in large blocks of colors. Tortoise shell cats are often mis-labeled as calico; the main difference is the coloring of tortoise shell cats is swirled and mixed together and not in blocks of color.

This color pattern requires two XX chromosomes, which allows them to display two colors (orange and black or some variation) and white. Males only have one X chromosome, so they can only be black or orange. It is rare, but there are a few male calico cats; it’s thought that male calicos are sterile.

Cat breeds that display the calico coloration include Manx, American Shorthair, British Shorthair, Persian, Japanese Bobtail, Exotic Shorthair, and Turkish Van.

calico kitten

blue calico cat

calico cats

long hair calico cat