Calico

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The Calico cat is very recognizable because of his coat and coloration. Primarily white in color with patches of two other colors, generally shades of black and ginger, the term Calico refers to the coloration and pattern of the coat and not to an actual breed.

The Calico coloration often appears in many cat breeds, including the American Shorthair, the Persian, the Manx, just to name a few.

Because there is no one particular breed, the Calico pattern can’t truly be traced to one area. However, the coat coloration and pattern being determined by genetics has led scientists to believe that the mutated gene responsible for the non-predictive color pattern in Calicos can be traced back to Egypt.

An interesting fact about Calico cats is that they are almost always female. While it isn’t impossible to have a male Calico, it is just not a common occurrence amongst the breeds. Just like the ginger coat is primarily seen on male cats. There are female ginger cats but, again, it is just not as common.

The majority of male calico cats have been found to be sterile. This is due to the X chromosome being responsible for the color of the cat’s coat. The majority of male cats will have one each of the X and Y chromosome, but those males that have a genetic mutation that causes them to have XXY chromosomes will be born with the Calico markings.

Folklore and legends often refer to the Calico as being a good luck charm for prosperity and wealth. Even the Japanese good luck figurine cats are generally Calico!

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