A portrait of the Calico Cat

The morphology of the Calico cat and his fur are following the standards of Persian cats, namely cats with short hair. However, the Calico belongs as much in the category of cats with short hair as he is in the category of cats with long hair.

The color requirements of the Calico cat vary across associations and countries. In North America, they are recognised by the predominance of white and their black and orange patches. Some will accept orange, black and cream. In any event, color zones must be distinct and never brindled. The paws, abdomen, tail and a great part of the neck should be white. The nose should be splashed with white. The eyes are orange or copper. Hazelnut is also accepted for a short hair Calico cat. The British standards require that white, orange and cream patches be evenly distributed. The British refer to this breed as “tortoise-shell and white”. The short hair Calico originates from Spain and appears to be the most recent variety. The best Calico result is obtained by crossing a Calico female with a black and white male.

Calico male cats are extremely rare and are born sterile

The Calico cat is a rare breed, particularly because its population is predominantly female. Experts estimate that the female population is 200 times more important. Although Calico males are rare, they do exist. The uneven count is due to the fact that only a female will carry the genes carrying the black and orange colours. These genes are transmitted by “X” chromosomes only and only females carry two of them, so they are the only ones that can show a mix of orange and black, making up the tortoise-shell look. Males carry one “X” chromosome and one “Y” chromosome, therefore they can receive only one of the two genes. 

I hear you asking : Why do Calico males exist ? This is simply the result of a genetic error where a male has received a chromosome combination “XXY” , thereby allowing him to receive both colors. The downside of this genetic problem is that the cat is sterile. In addition,his behavior is somewhat “different”. He acts more like a female than a male!! On the upside, the extreme scarceness of the Calico male has brought him fame and praise. In UK and Japan the male Calico cat is seen as a source of positive spirits in an environment.

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