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5 Interesting Facts About The Calico Cat Temperament

5 Interesting Facts About The Calico Cat Temperament

Calico cats are fascinating and I know many cat enthusiasts that are especially crazy about them.

A calico isn’t a separate cat breed. This is just a description of a specific fur pattern. Calicos are domesticated cats that have a white-based coat with orange, black, cream, reddish-brown, or, in some cases, grey spots over their fur.

The appearance itself makes this cat stand out from the rest. However, its temperament is something even more unique!

Temperament traits and behavior are an important issue to consider for every prospective cat owner. 

Therefore, reading the following five essential facts about the calico cat’s temperament can be helpful in determining whether this cat is the right choice for you.

Let’s look at each of these facts up close.

1. Highly Affectionate With Their Owners

woman cuddling with calico cat

Calico cats are usually highly affectionate with their humans.

They love to receive attention, and give it in return, too. This means that living with a calico cat could end in your kitty sleeping above your head.

Felines with this coat pattern are likely to be loyal, sweet, and loving with their humans. Anyone looking for a cat that enjoys interaction will be thrilled with a calico cat.

They could even jump on their owners’ laps when they’re in the mood for some nice cuddles. Of course, this doesn’t mean that a calico cat will always be up for too much affection of this kind.

You’ll just need to learn your cat’s body language and its preferences when it comes to your relationship.

2. Friendly And Playful

Calico cats in general are expected to be playful and friendly.

These temperament traits make them well-suited for living with families that have children and even other pets.

Of course, some other factors can have an influence on these temperament traits, such as early socialization and the circumstances in which a cat was raised.

International Cat Care explains that kittens learn a lot about the world around them by observing their mother’s behavior. Also, they learn about social and hunting skills by playing with their siblings.

But, their owners become the most important part of their socialization as they grow up. For a calico cat to turn out to be playful and friendly, it needs positive experiences with human care.

Therefore, if you provide your calico with love, attention, and nice activities, it will certainly manifest these personality traits.

3. Independence 

calico cat sitting in grass

Calico cats get attached to their owners and love to spend time with them. However, they aren’t usually overly dependent on them.

As a matter of fact, calicos are quite independent. They are able to find some fun on their own, and sometimes even seem to enjoy some alone time.

This doesn’t mean they won’t be disappointed if they are separated from their people for some time.

However, this does mean that a calico cat isn’t likely to suffer from separation anxiety if you’re away from home for some time.

This temperament trait can be understood both as a positive and negative one. For people with busy schedules – I think independence is something they’re certainly looking for in their future feline friends.

4. Strong-willed And Sassy

Calico cats are friendly, loyal, and affectionate. But, one of the traits they’re mostly known for is their strong-willed nature. 

When they want something, they can get incredibly stubborn and sassy. On the other hand, when they’re determined they don’t want something, you’ll have a hard time talking them into doing it.

So, a calico cat is expected to be highly temperamental. This can, in some cases, mean that it could manifest mischievous or even aggressive behavior.

There have been some studies in this area.

For instance, Elizabeth Stelow and her associates [1] investigated the relationship between coat color and aggressive behavior in domestic cats.

This study showed that owners perceived calicos, black and white, and grey and white cats as more frequently aggressive than others.

There were 1,432 respondents in this study, so it’s hard to make some generalizations. However, one thing is sure: Calico cats are quite fiery and sassy!

5. A Cat With A Medium Energy Level

cat reaching for woman's hand

Some cats are far more active than others.

According to Animal Fun Facts, Bengals, Savannah cats, and Abyssinians are real bundles of energy. You can expect to have an all-day long party having one of these felines under your roof!

On the other hand, there are rather calm cats, such as the Persian. This cat prefers to lounge around or just chill out with its humans.

Calico cats fall somewhere in the middle between these two extremes. Their energy levels and need for activities can be described as moderate.

Therefore, this cat could enjoy a calm day occasionally, but will also appreciate a nice, fun activity to share with its owners.

In any case, it’s good to always have a calico cat both physically and mentally stimulated. This is the best way to prevent mischievous outbursts.

Do All Calico Cats Have The Same Temperament?

The previously mentioned temperament traits are something you can generally expect to see in a calico cat.

However, this isn’t a guarantee that all calico cats you may encounter will have the absolutely same temperament. 

Every calico cat is different. Also, as already explained, their temperament and behavior greatly depend on their life surroundings and socialization.

Furthermore, an even more important factor here is a cat’s breed. Many different breeds can exhibit this coat pattern, and some of the most popular ones include the following:

• American Shorthair

• British Shorthair

• Exotic Shorthair

• Maine Coon

• Norwegian Forest Cat

• Persian

• Siberian

• Turkish Angora

Although it’s fun to consider a cat’s coat pattern as an essential factor of its temperament, it is nevertheless essential to investigate the specific traits expected of the breed.

If you would also like to learn more about the general connection between a cat’s coat color and its personality, check out this article.

Is Gender Important For A Calico Cat’s Temperament?

calico cat lying

For all prospective calico cat owners, there is one important piece of information about cats with this coat coloring.

These felines are predominantly females due to genetics and chromosome pairs. Male calico cats are extremely rare. It’s estimated that about 1 in 3,000 calico cats is male.

Therefore, there are some assumptions that calicos are so sassy, independent, and stubborn simply because they’re typically females!

Of course, not all female cats share these temperament traits. Their behavior also greatly depends on their breed and life environment.

Still, just like in case of coat color, the approach of basing a cat’s temperament on its gender is also quite interesting.

Our article on male vs female cats will provide you with an insightful guide to similarities and differences between gender in the feline world.


What is the final verdict on the calico cat’s temperament?

Having a calico cat inside your home will definitely spice up your everyday life! This cat is sassy, friendly, and feisty. 

On some occasions, these temperament traits are a recipe for causing trouble. Of course, with positive reinforcement, the right approach, and training, calico cats can be perfectly docile.

Felines with this coat pattern are also known to be loving and affectionate with their humans. They are usually independent and aren’t overly clingy over them.

Finally, we can come to the conclusion that calico, in the end, is only a coat pattern. These are some general assumptions we can make about their temperament.

Other factors like a cat’s breed and socialization are also essential to consider here.

We can conclude that, in any case, a calico cat has a specific appearance, as well as temperament. It’s up to you whether this feisty feline will fit into your life!


[1] Elizabeth A. Stelow, Melissa J. Bain & Philip H. Kass (2016) The Relationship Between Coat Color and Aggressive Behaviors in the Domestic Cat, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 19:1, 1-15, DOI, Retrieved October 24, 2023.

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