The Calico Cat - Cat Breeds Encyclopedia

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  • Male calico cats typically have a chromosomal aberration of two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome (XXY). Cats with this chromosomal configuration are usually sterile (not able to breed). This is similar to a condition in humans called .

    A single can have either a black (version) of the coloration or an orange version, but not both. However, a female cat has two X chromosomes, so it can have both versions, black on one chromosome and orange on the other, making the cat a calico. A male cat usually has one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. A does not have a color gene, so the cat can have either an orange or a black gene, but not both. Calico cats are often used as an example in classes when discussing .

  • Calico cats have sections of different colors in their fur. Usually, the calicoes that have more white fur also have larger and more distinct patches of color. If the orange and black fur is mixed, the cat is called a . , or "torties," as they are commonly known, have little or no white fur.

    These cats were chimeras - that is when their mother was pregnant with them two fetuses merged in the very early developmental stages. This created a perfect cat with two types of DNA. One set of DNA gave the cat its calico color while another set gave it its reproductive parts. In essence the cat may have been calico but his sex was not.

  • Calico cats are not a breed of cat; calico is a color pattern. To be called "calico", a cat must have black, white and orange in its coat. Variations of these colors include gray, cream and ginger. True calicos have large patches of these three colors, whereas a tortoiseshells or "torties" have a mix of these colors often blended or swirled together, rather than separate blocks of color. The size of the patches can vary from a fine speckled pattern to large areas of colour. Typically, the more white a cat has, the more solid the patches of color. In the UK, these cats are called "tortoiseshell and white". We have more photos of very cute .

A calico is a beautiful coat type

In the UK all multi coloured cats are called tortoiseshell or tortoiseshell and white but after reading this hub I realise my last cat was calico as she was mainly white but had a big orange circle on her side and what was referred to as Turkish van cat markings on her face, she did like playing in puddles too so somewhere along the line ( she was a moggy not purebred) there may have been the Turkish van cat genes in her family tree as they are known to enjoy water so much they actually swim in it. Having said that All the torties or torties and whites I have known have all had odd little quirks, but then again don´t all cat´s ?