The Calico originates from...

Not a breed in its own right, the Calico gained this name because of its unique colouring. The breed is not recognised by any major cat registries, despite many considering it an independent variety with its own personality. Believed to be one of the most common and popular cats in the domestic setting, the Calico has established a concrete reputation for itself over the years and is a highly sought house cat. Precious little is known about the breed’s evolution, although it is speculated that cats carrying the gene for ‘calico’ colouration came from the port cities along the Mediterranean, having been transported there from Egypt. In several cultures, the orange-coloured cat is considered good luck and figurines appear in many homes.

The Calico is characterised by...

A popular variety of domestic cat, the breeds that permit calico colouring include the American Shorthair, the British Shorthair, the Turkish Van, the Japanese Bobtail, and the Manx. Generally speaking most Calico cats, or tortoiseshell cats, as they are more popularly known, are female. Male Calicos usually suffer some impediment when it comes to breeding due to their genetic make-up. With a muscular yet athletic body structure, long legs, wide-spaced ears, expressive eyes and a semi-length, glossy coat, the Calico is a pleasant and distinctive-looking breed. The coat is typically parti-coloured or spotted with the predominant colour being white. Black and orange tabby are usually the two colours making up the patterning.

The average Calico...

Whilst the Calico is not a separate breed, owners have described them as having very consistent personalities that set them apart from other breeds. On one hand, the Calico is a truly independent cat that benefits from a free roam in the wide outdoors, while being affectionate, loyal and sociable towards its family in the home. When introduced gradually, the Calico is highly compatible with children and other house pets, providing it does not feel threatened. Typically, an adult domestic Calico will weigh 8-10 pounds, with an average life expectancy of 15 years (for an indoor cat).


Due to calico being a colour rather than a breed, these domestic cats are effectively just cats, and any specific health conditions are difficult to determine. Again, genetic problems are largely unknown; it is more useful to look at breed-specific health complaints in the breeds that permit calico colouring, including the British and American Shorthairs, the Japanese Bobtail and the Turkish Van.

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Our Calico owners' thoughts

Added on 26/01/2018
Joined 25/01/2018
From West Sussex, United Kingdom

She's very sweet and well behaved

Added on 05/04/2018
Joined 27/06/2016
From Wiltshire, United Kingdom

Nikki is independent and very lovable. She doesn't like being picked up. She loves to stalk the big woodpigeons in the yard but she's too old to and slow to catch one but she won't give up.

Added on 24/09/2019
Joined 01/10/2015
From Staffordshire, United Kingdom

Lovable , independent, great with other cats and dogs , never known cat that comes in looking like she has just helped dig Chanel tunnel leaving muddy paw 🐾 prints all over , love her though 😻