One of the main calico cats characteristics is a mascot of luck – this is what cats, painted in several colors, are sometimes called.

Three-colored individuals are considered good healers. Many people believe that they bring happiness and good luck to the home. Besides all this, they are incredibly attractive.

The story of the three-color

The mysterious origin of three-color cats is not sufficiently studied. Reliable is that animal with such an unusual color due to gene mutation and “orange gene”. The researcher Neil Todd, who studied the migration of domesticated cats in Europe and North Africa in places of trade routes, concluded that the place of origin of such cats may be port French and Italian cities on the Mediterranean coast, where they came from Egypt.

Three-color color is not a sign of a breed. It only distinguishes it among other representatives of this or that species. Quite often, cats with such a bright color are called “turtle”. They have red, white, and black spots.

calico cats characteristics

In 1948, in the course of the scientific research, M. Barrum and E. S. Levonov. Bertram revealed dark cells in the nerve cells of cats, which resembled drum sticks in shape. It is noteworthy that in males, that is, cats, such stains were not found. Later, this discovery was named after the chief scientist, now known as Barr’s calf.

In 1959, the Japanese scientist Ono Susumu pointed out that the Barra’s calves are X chromosomes. This work was continued by Mary Lyon, who founded the concept of X-chromosome inactivation in mammalian females when one of their two copies becomes inactive.

Sometimes, the kitten’s name is chosen instantly, and sometimes the process is delayed, read how you can name a white, black, red kitten.

Gene Influence

Cats are known to have a pair of X-chromosomes (XXV) and cats X and Y-chromosomes (XY). The first is responsible for the appearance of black (eumelanin pigment) and red (pheomelanin pigment) in the animal’s color. White is encoded with another chromosome. Due to two X chromosomes in cats, you can observe the simultaneous appearance of black and red color on a white background.

There are also cases of genetic disorders in cats when they have XXY chromosomes and are therefore sterile. The gene linked to an animal’s floor, called “orange, ” is available only in cats and hamsters of the Syrian breed.

beautiful calico cat

One allele, O, blocks the black pigment synthesis, and the color appears orange, while the other does not block. All specialized skin cells that produce melanin – melanocytes, if they came from a cell with the active allele O, will appear in the form of red hair. This gene was discovered relatively recently, in 2010, and therefore, its study is still ongoing.

At the moment, scientists are facing the fact that it is impossible to clone three-color cats. Their color can not be reproduced due to the inactivation of one of the X-chromosomes, reports E. Zernglow, a leading specialist in cloning. Nature has made sure that each representative of the cats’ genus has its own unique, individual color.

Did you know? Genetic anomalies among cats are so rare that there is only one cat for 3 thousand three-color females, which can not have offspring. This is the most weird characteristic of calico cats ?

Character traits

Since three-color cats are not representative of the same breed, it is impossible to speak with certainty about their distinctive features. As a rule, these colorful cats are friendly and loyal to their owner.

adult tricolor cat

They can be aggressive, cautious towards other people, especially demonstrate the same intentions towards their master. They will also be careful about the touching of others, even during a medical examination. Your cat might even bite you.

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Cats are very self-loving. They like to spend time actively, and if they have a playful mood, they are hard to stop. At the same time, they are not averse and lazy, can sleep most of the day, and then stay awake at night.

So what’s the bottom line?

Owners of three flowers often have trouble getting the cats used to the tray. Tails themselves prefer to choose a place for the toilet, so experts recommend looking at cats’ preferences and place the tray there.

two calico cats

It is better to choose a short name for your favorite so that she could quickly remember it, get used to it, and respond to the owner’s call.

Important! The character of fluffy pets is friendly and loyal. She will gladly play with the family, but touching the cat without its consent can be dangerous. She may be aggressive even during a medical examination, so it is desirable to conduct it only in the owner’s presence.

Color varieties

You must have noticed that all cats with a motley color differ from each other. There are no two identical three-color pussies, but the scientists distinguish several types of coat color:


Clearly distinguishable spots of black, red, chocolate color, color is motley. Red-black tones with white spots prevail.

most numerous calico cat breed


White cat with red or black color spots and their combinations in the head, tail, and body area. Colored dots occupy one-sixth of the body, usually caps, bib, gloves, turtle tail.

Harlequin kitten

Muffled tricolor cat

Stains of white, cream, blue colors.

Muffled tricolor cat


The stains merge, and the colors smoothly transition into each other.

Tortoiseshell cat

Scaly color

Applying black and red stains to each other so that the animal’s coat looks like scales. Most often found in Persian, Siberian cats, and Maine Coons.

Scaly calico cat

Important: It is impossible to predict the result of crossing cats, their cloning, and the birth of three-color species. This is the great secret of nature. So far, many breeders are struggling to solve this problem, but so far to no avail.

What to feed the calico cat

The three-color cat’s food should be balanced and include meat, fish, boiled vegetables, dried food, and dairy products.


minced meat bowl

Preference should be given to nonfat beef, rabbit, mutton. Pork is not very useful for cats. A few words should be said about the bird. So, for example, before serving chicken meat, you should control the absence of bones in it. Bird bones are quite fragile, and if the cat gnaws the hollow bone, there is a danger of injury to the digestive tract with its shards before it is digested in the stomach.

In addition, poultry meat can, in some cases, cause an allergic reaction. Cats can eat by-products. Meat is best given to your pet in the form of minced meat, pre-frozen, or treated with boiling water. It can be included in the diet as raw as well as by-products.


fish as cat nutrition

Cats have always been famous for their love for this product, but do not exaggerate its usefulness. It is optimal to feed your tail pet with this product no more than 3 times a week. It can be any fish – from the river to oceanic. The size of the portion should be commensurate with the size of the pet.

If it is a small fish, it can be given as a whole. Its bones will not be a hindrance. If it is enormous – it should be cut into several parts. You should remove the backbone and large bones from the big fish, as they can hurt the cat.

Dairy products

tricolor cat drinks milk

Some of them can cause individual intolerance in animals, so when you get acquainted with a new product, you should observe the reaction to it. For cats, the fat content of milk in its various forms should not exceed 9%.


calico cat nutrition

High levels of vitamins are simply necessary for cats. Among the vegetables that can be given to tailed friends are carrots, cabbage, herbs, zucchinis, and cucumbers. They will be difficult to eat in the raw form, so they are boiled, finely chopped, or rubbed, mixed with minced meat.

Three-color cat breeds

The colorful fur can be found in many breeds of cats, but most often, a combination of three colors can be found in these cats:

  • pedigree short hair (American);
  • Persian;
  • Maine Coons;
  • Siberian;
  • Turkish bath;
  • Aegean tricolor;
  • Japanese bobtail;
  • Kuril bobtail;
  • Norwegian woodland.

There is no three-colored British breed, as it has only shades of gray.

tricolor Maine Coon

Calico cat symbolism

Colored cats are most often colored white, black, and red colors and their combinations. Thus, each color has its own special meaning in terms of esotericism:

  • white – symbolizes purity and freshness, peace and grace;
  • black – protection from evil spirits;
  • red – the ability to heal, bring joy, and financial stability.

Combining all three colors gives the animal extraordinary energy and magical powers, symbolizing useful in many countries’ folk wisdom.

For example, in ancient times, a cat was considered an assistant to the house spirit, protecting the peace, health, and family life. Since its color was several colors, one of them exactly matched the owner’s hair color. Therefore, according to popular belief, the house took her to the yard.

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Since ancient times, three-colored cats were considered excellent doctors. They could treat many ailments, especially with the help of their tail.

cat in human palm

They also believed that if the guest brought a cat with such an unusual color, it brought happiness to the house. For this, it had to be generously gifted.

Did you know? Sailors and fishermen are incredibly superstitious people who believe in the implementation of many traditions. Thus, good luck in a voyage and a sea voyage, protection from rainy weather, shipwreck, and other misfortunes can be ensured by the presence of the three-colored cat on board. They are compassionate and can warn about the impending disaster, starting to behave unusually, attracting the attention of their beloved master.

Many countries and religious denominations recognize the unusual powers of the tricolor tailed favorites, so:

  • in the United States in 2001, they were recognized as official cats of Maryland. Americans believe that they bring wealth into the home, and often refer to them as “monetary”;
  • in Japan, they are very reverent and respect the tradition of welcoming guests into the house. This ritual brings financial success and prosperity. At the entrance to the house, private homes put a figure of a three-color cat with his right foot raised up, attracting money and luck to this house. Also, this tradition is followed by the owners of restaurants, stores, and many other public places, where at the entrance they place the figure of such a cat, but with his left foot raised up;
  • in England, motley pets symbolize the coziness and warmth of the home. They bring harmony and happiness to the house, making it a safe haven from all adversity;
  • Since ancient times, in Ireland believed in the magical healing power of the wool from the tail of a three-color cat, which had to be removed in May month. Having prepared such a healing remedy, the Irishmen rubbed it into warts on their bodies, achieving their disappearance and believing in the effectiveness of this method of treatment;
  • Muslims prefer to make three-color home friends as a home firefighter because of their superpowers.

For many years, people have accumulated their observations. Here are some of them:

  1. A cat curled up in a tangle – to a considerable coldness.
  2. The lost cat brings happiness to the house, for which it is necessary to give a ransom in the form of three white coins on the road on which the animal came to the house.
    3 A lonely housewife with a “motley” girlfriend will have difficulties in her private life and will not find a match for a long time.
  3. At birth, the three-colored mother of a black and a red kitten black should be given to kind people, and the red cat should be left in his house. This will bring good luck in business and work.
  4. Black kitten from a colorful mother has incredibly strong healing abilities, can chase away evil spirits and energy, cleanse the house from them.
  5. A stray kitten brings home a wedding, and if she sneezes during the bride’s gathering, the marriage will be happy and long.

When you accept a three-color miracle, be sure that it will give you only positive emotions, bring happiness, good luck, and material prosperity.


  1. Why calico cats are always female?

    Calico cats are almost always female because the locus of the gene for the orange/non-orange coloring is on the X chromosome.

  2. Which calico cat is rare?

    Male calico cats are the offspring with a genetic anomaly of parents representing many possible cat breeds.

  3. When is national calico cat day?

    October 29th ?

  4. What breed is calico cat

    Manx cat, American Shorthair, Maine Coon, British Shorthair, Persian cat, Arabian Mau, Japanese Bobtail, Exotic Shorthair, Siberian, Turkish Van, Turkish Angora and Norwegian Forest cat.

  5. Is calico cat hypoallergenic

    No, Calico cats are not a hypoallergenic cat breed, but they are less likely to trigger allergies and can be a perfect feline friend to those who have less severe allergies

  6. Can I Breed Two Calicos?

    All you need is a male calico, which is a sporadic case. If you do happen to find one, you still won’t have those calico babies. Male calicos are sterile.

  7. How long can calico cat live?

    It largely depends on the breed of your cat. For example, Manx cats only live around eight to 14 years on average, and Singapura cats live around 9 to 15 years. Munchkin cats have an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years.

Tags: cat, calico cat, cat care package, cat nutrition requirements

Article by Stanley Harrison

Article by Stanley Harrison – a passionate cat lover, always ready to share his experience with readers. Happy owner of two cats – Chloe and Leo, a dog Rocky and a parrot Tweety

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