Five Things You Didn’t Know about the Calico Tabby

Cats are one of the most popular pets for Americans. They are sweet, loving, playful, and they add a lot to the lives of the millions of people that own them. Cats come in a wide variety of breeds, and a wide variety of colorations. The different color patterns of cats’ fur will give it a specific name, such as, Calico, Tabby, Tortoiseshell, among many others. When hear a cat being referred to as a tabby or calico, this is not a breed, it is simply the color markings, that gives the cat the name. A calico tabby is one of the types of color patterns that a cat may be born with, and it is a beautiful color combination that really stands out among many other types of color patterns. You may have seen a calico tabby and not realized that was the name of its fur color. If you are familiar with the pattern, you may be interested in learning more about this specific coloring, so here are five things that you didn’t know about the calico tabby.

1. Mostly female

The orange and black patches that are found in the calico coat are typically found on the X-chromosome in cats. This is the gene found in females, which just like humans, female cats have to X-chromosomes, and males get one X-chromosome and one Y. It is on just one X-chromosome that you’ll find either the black or orange coloration, but you won’t find both, which is why it is very rare that you will find a male calico cat. This isn’t to say that they do not exist. They do, but it is strictly due to a disorder that is known as Kinefelter’s syndrome, which is a disorder that happens to give the cat an extra X-chromosome. These cats are typically sterile cats and will not produce offspring.

2. Considered good luck charms

In Japan, these cats are considered to be good luck charms and people will often own one just for the good luck they hope to get from them. Sailors often would take one of these cats aboard their ship when they sailed in hopes that the cat would bring them good fortune and help prevent any unfortunate events from happening while at sea.

3. Is Maryland’s state cat

We know that states will have a state bird, but did you know that Maryland also has a “state cat?” Yes, and it is the Calico tabby. It was chosen due to the fact that the colors, orange and black, resemble the state’s, state bird – the Oriole, which is orange and black. Baseball fans that follow the states’ team, the Baltimore Orioles, know that the teams’ uniforms are also black and orange.

4. In the family of “tortoiseshell” cats

Tortoiseshell cats are typically a mixture of red and black coloring, but other colors can get in the mix, and when white is the other seen color in the colored pattern of the cat’s fur, it is called the calico. So as you can see, the Calico Tabby has a lot going on with its fur pattern. This cat is mixture of patches of red, black and white, and has the known Tabby stripes with the tell-tell Tabby “M” on his forehead. This is by far, one of the most beautifully colored cats of any color combos.

5. Good luck charms

Another Japanese cultural belief is that Calicos bring good fortune to homes. The term is known as Maneki Neko, or, Beckoning Cat, and it is thought that if you set one of these cats at your door front of your home or business, the cat will bring you good fortune. This belief dates back to about the 1870’s, and it is thought that this old Japanese cultural belief is what started the popularity of Calico Tabby’s everywhere else.


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