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How Much do Calico Cats Cost

Calico is a breed of cat which is famous because of their beauty. The cat has a unique color pattern and fabulous fur that they retain regardless of their sex, breed, and age.  The only problem is obtaining the calico cat, especially the male one because it is rare. As a consequence, the calico has continued to be among the most hunted cat breeds globally. Also, the cat raises several questions, including:

Are calico cats worth the money?

Calico cats are worth money because they are beautiful and a specific cat breed. However, the sex and age of the cat will determine the cost.

For instance, you will pay more when it comes to a kitten than an adult cat. However, even if it is an adult or kitten, you will find a male calico cat to be more costly.

The average kitten calico cat prices include:

  • Female $750 to $1,500
  • Male $1,000 to $2,000

Average adult calico cats.

  • Female 400 to $1000
  • Male $750 to $1250.

Since it is easy to get female calico cats, their prices match that of the average price of the American Shorthair or Tabby cat.

Cost of cat ownership

If you wish to own a calico cat, you will not incur a one-time cost. You will only pay the purchasing or adoption fees and neutering or spraying fees once. However, you will incur other costs so that you can enjoy living with your friend. Some of the costs include:

  • For adoption, you might incur $50 while to, but it will cost you up to $2,000.
  • Neutering or spaying will range between $50 to $200.
  • General vet services: $250 per year.
  • Food: $20 per week
  • Other necessities including toys, beds, and cat litter: $50 per month

What is a calico cat?

The term calico refers to fabric, but in the 1700s, the Americans refer to it as a printed design with small floral patterns. Therefore, people named the cats calico due to their fur patterns. The following cat breeds have the calico fur pattern:

  • Norwegian forest
  • Munchkin
  • Turkish Angora
  • Turkish Van
  • American curl
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • Exotic shorthair
  • British shorthair
  • Maine Coon
  • Persian
  • American shorthair
  • Domestic shorthair
  • Domestic longhair

The calico cat is not different from the ordinary cats which you might be interacting with daily. The only difference lies in the fact that the calico is a rare cat breed, whereby the term calico is used to define the patterns and color of the cat’s fur. 

In particular, the calico cats are characterized by three colors. The color comprises a deep white color including grey, blue or blue, and heat color such as peach, orange, brown, or red. Therefore, you can expect your cat to have a combination of white and one heat color, such as brown.

However, you should know that there are calico cats that have up to six colors. In reality, a cat must have a three-color combination so you can classify it under the calico category.

What is the personality of the Calico cats?

Calico is not a specific breed of cat but a domestic cat of any breed, provided that it has a tri-color coat. Since the calico does not belong to any particular breed, they do share personality traits. In most cases, they inherit the personality traits of their parents.

However, calico cats are typically compared to tortoiseshell cats in terms of personality. Most of them manifest a sassy attitude such as that of the tortie or tortoiseshell cats. The calico cats are also spunky, independent, like to have their own space, and cannot be affectionate and loving.

The calico cats might exhibit higher aggression because of their genes.

Types of calicos

The following are the main types of calicos.

Standard calico

Has a combination of orange, black, and white coloring. The cat will have white coats with big or small patches of black and orange.

Dilute calico

Is a cat with a combination of cream, light orange, charcoal grey, and white. In particular, the coat is primarily white with charcoal grey, light orange, and cream patches.


Refers to the mixture of tabby cats and calico cats. The cat has similar colors to that of the standard calico with tabby stripes.

Why are the male calico cats rare?

The males are rare because of genetics. You should know that a cat can only give birth to a tortoiseshell or calico pattern if it contains XX chromosomes and not the XY chromosomes found in males.

The cats are expected to have the X chromosomes because they are the ones that contribute to deep colors. Therefore, to categorize your cat as a male calico, it should have XXY chromones instead of the normal XY chromosome found in other male cat breeds. Arguably, a male cat should acquire a Y chromosome from the father and two X chromosomes from the mother to have XXY chromosomes.

The kitten inherits their colors from their mothers and not their fathers. Usually, the female cats have XX while males have XY chromosome pair.

The X chromosomes carry coat color genes. Therefore, the females inherit their calico coats from their fathers (XY) and mothers (XX).

To produce a tortoiseshell or calico pattern, one X chromosome should carry the orange gene while the other carries the black gene. In the case of the calico, both females and males can have a mutant gene of orange or black color because the X chromosomes control this gene.

The XXY condition is not inheritable. Therefore, if you are interested in breeding calico cats, the males cannot be worth your money because most of them are sterile.

Why a calico cat has a high probability of becoming a female?

Most calico cats are likely to be females because a cat should have three colors where X sex chromosomes contribute to the grey/black and orange/red.

Since the female has XX chromosome pair, it becomes easy for a cat to become female because it will have the associated colors.

The male has XY chromosomes meaning that it can have red or black color. In other words, a cat with such a color cannot be a calico.

Therefore, it becomes challenging to identify a male calico cat because rarely can you get a cat with XXY chromosomes.

Also, there is normally one male out of 1000 female cats, meaning that locating a make cat is approximately 0.03 percent. Not only that, if you get around 10,000 male cats, you might only get one fertile cat. The other cats will be sterile.

Can female calico cats become pregnant?

Female calico cats can get pregnant, but you cannot breed them. That is because they have a random calico coloration that cat breeders cannot breed. The males also reinforce such an idea because most of them are born sterile.

What is the lifespan of the male calico cat?

Currently, there are no accurate statistics that indicate the lifespan of the male calico cat. However, the lifespan of the males ranges above 15 years that is also the lifetime of a female cat. Naturally, male cats have XY sex chromosomes.

Therefore, the extra X chromosome which is added subjects the cat to a Klinefelter Syndrome condition. If you manage to buy a male calico cat, you should be ready to make frequent visits to your vet. That is because your male cat can easily be affected by a severe health issue if you do not take care of them due to their unique genes. In particular, the  Klinefelter Syndrome condition impacts the health of the cat such that it is exposed to health complications including:

  • Increased body mass that leads to diabetes, heart disease, and other diseases
  • Minimized bone mineral content resulting in a high risk of bone fractures.
  • Insulin resistance eventually contributes to diabetes.

Why do people buy the calico male despite its huge price?

Since it was first discovered in Egypt before it was exported to Asia and Europe, the Egyptians considered it the best guarders of pharaohs and saints. They believed that it protected people from dangers and unlucky.

Most people, especially from Japan, buy male calico cats because they associate them with happiness and good luck. In particular, people who own them expect that the cats will make their life happier by saving them from evil spirits. Consequently, sailors typically take the cats to curb unfortunate events that might occur in their journey.

In the United States, only the states of Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine have official feline representatives. In particular, Maryland has officially declared the calico cats as its official state cat because of their white, black, and orange coats.

The cats have a similar coloring to the Baltimore oriole, the official state bird of Maryland. Surprisingly, even the baseball fans have adopted the specific color of the cat why ordering their uniforms.

The Japanese modeled their famous Beckoning cat after the calico. They usually place them at entrances of businesses and homes to bring good luck. In the United States, people refer to the calico cats as money cats since they contribute to good fortunes to the owners.

The Irish believe that by rubbing the tail of the calico cat on a wart, you can cure it.