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All You Need To Know About 5 Types Of Calico Cats

All You Need To Know About 5 Types Of Calico Cats

Calico cats are quite popular nowadays, so, I’m sure all of you have heard of them. 

What some people don’t realize is that calico isn’t a specific breed of cat. Instead, calico is a term that describes all felines that have fur in three colors – black, orange, and white.

No two calico cats are the same. Each of them has a unique color pattern on the body. Therefore, it is impossible to find two identical calico cats, even if they are of the same breed.

Some breeds are more likely to have a calico coat, such as the American Shorthair, British Shorthair, Maine Coon, Persian cat, Norwegian Forest Cat, Cornish Rex, and Turkish Angora. 

But, there are also different types of calico cats – five of them, to be precise.

Let’s take a deeper look at this classification.

1. Classic Calico Cat

Wonderful Calico cat sitting outdoor on a wall

The classic calico cat has an amazing look that will make any cat fancier fall in love with them. I mean, just a look at the video below showing just the most adorable calico kitten!

The beautiful patches of black, orange, and white make this cat so unique!

Classic calico cats usually have blue, green, or copper eyes. As these cats’ personalities go – since many breeds can have the calico pattern, it isn’t easy to define their temperament.

However, most calico felines have bold personalities, and can be described as loyal, sweet, and affectionate.

2. Dilute Calico Cat

Dilute Calico Cat

The dilute version can be described as a pale classic calico cat.

As Yasuko Ishida and his associates [1] explain, the dilute gene in felines makes black pigmentation appear gray, and orange pigment appears cream.

If you see a newborn calico kitten, it will probably be hard to say whether it’s a classic calico or dilute calico.

It will take them some time to show their precise coat pattern.

An adult dilute calico cat will have smoke to blue patches instead of the black ones, and tan to cream-colored patches instead of orange – as seen in classic calico cats.

3. Long-haired Calico Cat

A long haired calico cat sitting on a towel.

Anybody who owns a long-haired calico cat is a lucky man indeed, since, according to Cattitude daily, only about 10% of these felines have long fur.

Some of the most popular breeds with calico coat patterns, that have long fur, are the following:

• Norwegian Forest Cat

• Persian

• Turkish Angora

• Siberian

• Maine Coon

Of course, you can expect a long-haired calico cat to shed quite a lot. But, again, this depends on every single breed, and on some environmental factors, such as your habit to brush your kitten regularly.

4. Patched Tabby Calico Cat

Patched Tabby Calico Cat

The tabby pattern in cats presents a specific marking that can appear in different breeds, with many variations, according to Spruce Pets.

Tabby cats can come in different coat colors, such as black, gray, orange, and brown. Their markings can be seen in the form of spots, bands, stripes, or whorls.

A patched tabby calico cat has a distinctive M-shaped marking on their forehead, as well as black and brown patches on its legs, backs, sides, and tails, while their paws are usually white.

5. Short-haired Calico Cat

Short-haired Calico Cat

This type is the most common one you’ll see among calico cats.

Most of these cats are known as Domestic Shorthairs. They come from mixed parentage and tend to be medium-sized, and have muscular bodies.

These cats are usually playful, social, and affectionate, which makes them a great choice for a family pet.

Of course, adequate socialization and early exposure to different people, places, and animals, are required for this calico cat, as well as any other cat, to grow up to be a well-behaved and tolerant animal.

Are Male Calico Cats Possible To See?

If the cat’s gender is a very important factor for you, one important piece of information about calico cats is that almost all of them are females.

There are 19 pairs of chromosomes in each cat cell – one is transmitted by the father and the other by the mother within the same pair.

Each of these chromosomes contains alleles that determine the cat’s characteristics such as fur color, eye color, or size.

Females have the  XX sex chromosomes, which allows them to pass on the black and orange colors to their kittens. Males have XY sex chromosomes, according to Lee Pickett, which means that they can pass on only black or only orange color to kittens – but not both.

As Falls Village Veterinary Hospital explains, a male can be calico only if the cat has XXY chromosomes, which means that he’s born with an extra X chromosome. This is called Klinefelter syndrome, after endocrinologist Harry Klinefelter who identified it in the 1940s.

See Also: How Much Is A Male Calico Cat Worth?


Now that we know a bit more about the types of calico cats – I think that we can all agree that they are all wonderful felines!

I hope you have found your favorite, and that you’ll be lucky enough to welcome an adorable calico kitten into your home.

I think it would also be useful for you to know whether these cats are considered to be hypoallergenic. See you there!


[1] Ishida, Y, et. al.  A homozygous single-base deletion in MLPH causes the dilute coat color phenotype in the domestic cat, Genomics, Volume 88, Issue 6, 2006, Pages 698-705,

DOI, Retrieved June 07, 2023.

Read Next: 5 Interesting Facts About The Calico Cat Temperament