Long-Haired Calico Cat – What Is Hiding Behind That Fur?


Long-haired Calico Cats are indeed something else. They’re unique, remarkable, and rare to find. Some say that they bring good luck, so why not try it out?

Calico cats are the state cats of Maryland, and they became official in 2001. What could be the reason for that? These cats have been chosen because they have the same color as the state insect called the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly and the state bird called the Baltimore oriole.

The majority of Calico cats are female, and just about 10% of all cats can sport a long coat. The reason for that is because of the recessive gene for long hair, and that means you cannot see long-haired calico cats very often.

Let us show you what makes the long-haired Calico cat so unique!

What Is A Long-Haired Calico Cat?

Long-Haired Calico Cat looking down

Let us first discuss the term often misused for calico cats, the tortie or tortoiseshell cats. Those two are entirely different patterns.

The main difference is that a tortie will have a melding of orange and black colors with no white or a bit white on the fur, while our beloved calicos are seen with white patches on the coat.

Now, straight to the point, what makes a long-haired Calico cat one of the few?

1. Not A Breed, But A Color Pattern

First and foremost, we need to clarify that the Calico cat is not a breed like Munchkin, Bengal, Ragdoll, or Siamese cats. Calico cats are often referred to as a cat breed, just like it happens with tabby cats.

However, the calico in their name is because of the tri-colored coat pattern that some of them have. That calico coloration pattern is often full of patches of orange, white, and black. However, a variety of other colors like grey-blue, cream, and reddish-brown can occur. Calico cats can have both long hair and short hair, and the pattern doesn’t affect the length of the coat.

The name Calico came from their coat color, which looks like calico cloth imported in India from England. The history of these cats is a bit unclear. The orange mutant gene that Calicos possess is found along the Mediterranean in Greece, Spain, France, and Italy, but the origin is in Egypt.

2. Tri-Color Calico Pattern

We learned that calico is the name of the calico cloth from England, and their tri-color coat is definitely the reason for that. But in order to be classified as a Calico cat, a cat must have all three colors: black, orange, and white.

One color needs to be cream or white, with allowed variations on black and orange colors that range from red-auburn to dark brown.

Tri-color cats, Calicos, are very different from tortoiseshell cats that have red and black coats without white color. In contrast, Calico cats are mainly white with patches of those colors, as mentioned earlier. The patches of white are about 25% to 75% of the coat.

However, there are calico cats that can be lighter than those regular calico cats, and they are called dilute calicoes.

It is interesting to mention that if you cross a tabby and a calico, or a tortie and a tabby, you get remarkable colored cats since the patched tabby has brown and orange patches that can be seen on the head and legs.

3. Long-Haired Calico Cats Cannot Be Bred

The long-haired Calico cat has exceptional genetics and therefore cannot be bred since they happen by chance. If you’re thinking of producing the long-haired Calico cat for their pattern, know that that is in vain.

Because they cannot be bred, long-haired calicos are so rare and special, and there is no wonder people believe they bring good luck.

We are used to getting anything we want since, in today’s world, anything is accessible, but not Calicos. Calicos are something extraordinary, and only a few of the lucky ones can have these cuties.

4. The Majority Of Calico Cats Are Female

This might be strange to you, but it is what it is. Almost every Calico is female, and that is not strange since orange tabbies are mostly male cats, and something in the genetic process happened and caused that gender pattern.

Let’s see that in depth. The tri-color pattern is in connection to the X chromosome. In order to create the tri-color coat, two X chromosomes are needed. And the basic math is if you have an XX pair of chromosomes, it is the female gender.

If it happens that the cat receives one black-coded X and one orange-coded X, the cat will be calico with the white patches. That happens no matter the Y chromosomes that are carrying the gene for white fur. When you look at the Calico cat, you think how beautiful she is, but you never thought how much work is behind that coat, right?

Once in a lifetime, or precisely one calico cat in every 3,000, can have one more X chromosome, which causes an XXY syndrome or Klinefelter’s Syndrome. It will result in Calico cats being male, but sadly it will lead to many health problems because of their genetic abnormality.

The health problems that can occur are developmental issues, cognitive problems, behavioral issues, risk of broken bones, obesity, and so on.

In much rarer cases, a male calico cat can be a chimera cat. The genetics behind chimera is two embryos merge into a uterus in order to form one cat. Because these males are fertile, it is needed to get them neutered. The looks of a chimera cat are really something special, and half of their face is entirely different colored than the rest of their bodies.

5. Calico Cats Bring Good Luck

It is believed that Calico cats, with their fur colors, bring good luck since they are so rare and difficult to find.

In the United States, Calico cats are commonly called money cats, while in Japan, people call them Maneki Neko, which translates in Beckoning Cat or Japanese Lucky cat.

With this fact, do you have anything to lose if you get one Calico for yourself?

6. Many Cat Breeds Are Long-Haired Calico Cats

As we learned, Calico means the tri-colored coat of the cat, not the actual breed. But many domestic cat breeds can be calico with long hair. Those are Persian, Siberian, Maine Coon, Turkish Angora, Norwegian Forest Cat, Japanese Bobtail, American Shorthair, British Shorthair, and so on. Even Siamese cats can have tri-color markings in their pattern.

If you are wondering about the personality of the long-haired calico cat, wonder no more since we are to describe seven cat breeds that can be long-haired Calico cats.

7 Cat Breeds That Are Long-Haired Calico Cats

Maine Coon posing for photo

We picked out seven cat breeds that can be long-haired Calico cats. Let’s see their appearance and personalities so you can have an overall picture of a long-haired Calico cat.

1. Maine Coon

Many people say that the Maine Coon is one of the most famous cat breeds on Earth, and let me tell you, they are not wrong. These cats differ from other cat breeds due to their shaggy fluffy fur, fantastic size, their ruff sounds like there is a lion in the hood, and their ear tufts. But their personality is really open, friendly and warm.

The look can trick you. Even though they look like a more miniature lions, they love to be around people, and surprisingly, Maine Coons like to swim.

The Maine Coon is likely to be tabby coated with chocolate and black color; however, they can have a unique pattern which is, of course, a calico coat pattern.

SEE ALSO: Black Maine Coon

2. LaPerm

LaPerm is a unique cat for a unique owner. This cat breed has only been recognized in the 1980s. Their fur is quite curly, and even some would think that they are the product of cross-breeding, that is not the case.

They just have a piece of weird luck to mutate in the group of everyday cats. Under that soft, curly fur, there is an athletic body that makes them good-looking. They belong to the Rex family of cats, but they are definitely unique in that group.

Their personality is outgoing, and you can expect this cat to give you a lot of cuddles since they’re known for being affectionate. One more great thing about these fluffies is that they are less likely to cause allergic reactions no matter their fluffy fur.

LaPerm can come in many different patterns and colors and coats of various lengths, but you can recognize the long-haired LaPerm by their curly and plume tail adorned with textured fur.

3. Japanese Bobtail

Japanese Bobtail is a Calico cat, represented by Maneki-Neko. These cats are primarily white with patches of black and orange, with short tails.

Bear in mind that this cat is believed to bring prosperity and good fortune. This cat is considered to be intelligent, playful, loving, and very family oriented. They will constantly seek playtime, and they are an excellent fit for those families that happen to have many members, even pets. You can expect the Japanese Bobtail to get along with dogs and just enjoy herself in your household.

Japanese bobtails, as we said, are primarily white-coated, but they can come in many different colors and patterns. The coat is usually short and dense, or if you have a bit of luck, long, but it is not really that long, more like a medium length.

These cats are those that qualify as low-shedding, so they could be a wonderful match for those who suffer from allergies.

4. Persian Calico

The Persian cat breed has been with us since forever, I would say. And for an extended period of time, it has been trendy. One thing the Persian Calico is recognizable for are their flat faces and a lot of fluff fur.

Calico Persians are known to be low-energy cats that will be loyal and gentle. Their easy-going nature will be easy to keep up with, and they won’t run to strangers. You can now see why they are so popular.

A variety of coat colors and patterns can be found on this breed of cat, from red to blue to tabby patterns, and at the end, the calico pattern, but that is just rare as it is.

5. Turkish Angora

Turkish Angora cats are elegantly built and often described as ballerina-like. The silky coat that adorns them is single-layered long fur that is easy to keep. That fur is likely to shimmer in the sunlight and tend to be feathery.

Their personality is sociable and out-going, and they thrive with a family that is ready to give all their love to her. This cat tends to be needy, so don’t be surprised if you see your cat sleeping on your neck, following you to the toilet, or at least sleeping at the foot of the bed. They don’t like to be alone, and they’ll use every opportunity to be with their owners.

Since Turkish Angoras are known to have high energy levels, they quickly get into mischief, so don’t be surprised if you get home and see chaos in your home. That’s why you should consider getting her exciting toys and a cat tree to keep her occupied.

Turkish Angoras are creatures of habits so try not to change their routines and things in the house. You will make her very unhappy if you do that!

6. British Longhair Calico Cat

The British Longhair Calico cat is the version of the British Shorthair cat breed. This cat is a result of a recessive gene found in both parents, but the female kitten needs to have black and red coat color genes with a piebald gene.

The chances of you finding this cat are really rare, so why would you bother finding one? The answer is simple; this cat is so cute that you cannot resist. This cat looks like she’s always smiling. Big cheeks and short small noses with round eyes make them perfect creatures.

Imagine you come home all tired and not in a good mood, and you see this little cutie smiling at you. Who wouldn’t want one?

These cats are also known for their loyal nature, but they are aloof from time to time. They like being surrounded by their family members and ensuring they are aware of their environment.

7. Norwegian Forest Cat

The Norwegian Forest cat has the look of some forest cat that belongs to the forest, but she is a domestic cat. This is a large cat but well-balanced with a muscular body. The broad chest makes her appearance a bit huge on the outer look, but it is not.

The Norwegian forest cat has a balance between affection and independence because she will not be clingy, but from time to time, she’ll want cuddles. However, that doesn’t make these cats aloof; they are very attached to their owners and want to be included in every part of their lives. But, they prefer to be near you than climbing on you and bothering you.

These cats have a playful, curious, and easy-going nature. Those personality traits make the Norwegian Forest Cat a wonderful companion for families with many kids, and they can even get along with well-mannered dogs and other cats.

RELATED: Maine Coon vs. Norwegian Forest Cat

How Much Is A Long-Haired Calico Cat Worth?

Long-Haired Calico Cat sitting outside

If you have decided to get a cat, you obviously want to know how much you’ll need to invest in the initial cost. If you are a new cat owner, then you’ll have to buy a lot of things since you need to get a lot of new items for your new family member.

However, if you already have a cat or have one, but you want one more, then you’ll spend less money. Besides that, prepare yourself for healthcare, spaying or neutering, vaccines, and vet check-ups.

Now let’s see how much you need to put aside for a long-haired Calico kitten.

Adoption

If you’ve decided that, you’ll first seek shelters for a Calico cat; good for you! Most shelters will have many cat breeds that can be calico, and you may even find kittens rather than cats that seek loving homes. The price you can expect to pay is around $100 to $250.

If you don’t care about the cat breed of your calico, then you’ll undoubtedly find one with which you’ll click. Don’t worry about their health check-ups since all cats in the shelter will be health checked and ready for adoption. In the price you pay, the veterinary care and shelter expenses are included.

Breeder

However, if you’ve decided to get a cat from a breeder, you need to know that you will pay more. The price totally depends on the breed, but the prices for Calico cats can vary from $200 to $2,000.

The breed itself can be of premium quality, but the price will be smaller than the overall price you’ll need while looking and caring for a cat.

As we mentioned earlier, almost every Calico cat is female due to the X chromosome concerning that unique color. In order to be a Calico, two copies are needed. That’s why it is very rare and uncommon to have a male Calico cat, which leads to a male cat carrying an X chromosome that causes Klinefelter’s Syndrome. We say this because we want you to know that you can’t expect to buy a male Calico cat.

How Long Do Calico Cats Live?

Long-Haired Calico Cat on bed

It is said that an average cat’s lifespan is about 15 years or a bit longer if the owner of the cat takes care of that cat is well-nutritional and with proper health care. That means that the often vet check-ups are essential.

We cannot actually determine the lifespan of the Calico cat since she isn’t a cat breed but a color pattern. So in order to find out the average lifespan of the Calico, you need to look up to a breed. However, Calicos, mainly female cats, are normal cats that can live around 15 years.

But, bear in mind that they need to be taken care of and loved. Male Calicos, even though they are very rare, they don’t live that long since they suffer many health issues due to their syndrome.

What Is The Difference Between A Long-Haired Calico Cat And Short-Haired Calico Cat?

Long-haired Calico cats and short-haired Calico cats differ in their fur. Long-haired Calico cats have a much longer coat and many layers; due to that, they shed a lot, while short-haired cats have a short coat that doesn’t shed as much as the coat of long-haired Calicos.

Don’t get me wrong, shorthair cats shed, but not so much as those with long coats.

Closing Thoughts

Long-Haired Calico Cat lying on bed

I hope that we explained quite well today’s topic, the long-haired Calico cat. These extraordinary cats are not so common to see every day and are not so easy to find, especially if you desire a purebred cat. However, if your heart is longing for a cat that is distinctive and ready to catch the glances of everyone, then the Calico is the right choice for you.

Before you buy, make sure to find out everything about the desired breed of the cat since you need to know how to take care of her and how to manage her lifestyle. Check for possible health issues, genetics, if they have a special diet, and so on.

However, whatever breed of female Calico you decide to get, I’m sure that you’ll have fun and you’ll enjoy the journey you’re planning to embark on together!

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Iram Sharma

Fur-tunare enough to have had cats her entire life, Iram has spent years learning about these fluffy little hunters. Today, Iram is a professional veterinarian and a passionate cat mom who uses her skills to help felines in need. Surrounded by her own feline friends, Iram shares her knowledge and experience with all cat lovers.

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