The Japanese cat that became the model of the beckoning cat. Introducing the personality and charm of the calico cat, which is prized overseas!

Pheasant pattern, rust pattern, white and black cat... There are various patterns of cats. The “calico cat” is one of the cat patterns, and it is a familiar cat for Japanese people. In this article, we will tell you a lot about the characteristics, personalities, and charms of calico cats. If you want to know more about calico cats, please read on.

What is a calico cat?

A calico cat is a coat color that contains three colors: white, black, and orange (brown). It is a common cat in Japan, but it is considered to be a very rare cat overseas. Depending on the ratio of each color,
  • Tobi calico: calico with a lot of white overall and a little bit of black or orange
  • Striped calico: Sanmo with a white base and striped patterns in black and orange
  • Kiji calico: Orange coat with striped calico
  • Pastel Sanmo: Sanmo with light orange and black tones

And so on. Eyes are often yellow or gold, and most of them have pink paws.

Almost 100% of calico cats are female

Calico cats are characterized by being almost 100% female. This is because the hair color is related to the sex chromosomes, which determine the sex of the dog. One sex chromosome is inherited from each parent, XX in females and XY in males. The black and orange genes are found only on the sex chromosome "X". *White is included regardless of sex chromosomes. So a female with XX sex chromosomes can have both orange and black colors, while a male with XY sex chromosomes has 1 X. Since we only have books, we can only have one color, black or orange. However, in rare cases, male calico cats exist due to genetic abnormalities. A male calico cat in this case has a special sex chromosome called "XXY". *This is called Klinefelter's syndrome, and it rarely occurs in humans. Because it is a sex chromosome abnormality, it is characterized by weak fertility compared to normal male cats. It is said that life is complete. In general, the probability of birth is 1/3,000 to 1/30,000 or more, so male calico cats were sometimes traded at high prices due to their rarity. Because of their small numbers, male calico cats are highly prized.

A male calico cat is auspicious

Since male calico cats are very rare, they were considered auspicious and highly prized. In the past, it was in great demand by sailors who prayed for safe voyages... For example, in 1956, a male calico cat, Takeshi, accompanied the Antarctic wintering party. It is said that the name "Takeshi" was given to him by Captain Takeshi Nagata. With the calico cat "Takeshi" on board, the unit seems to have achieved a splendid success. After returning to Japan from Antarctica, "Takeshi" was taken in by one of the members, but soon ran away from the member's house and disappeared. Maybe he's on another ship somewhere to keep everyone safe.

Are calico cats cool?

As mentioned above, most calico cats are female. As a result, their personalities are often female-specific. They're whimsical and cool, and when it's convenient for them, they pick on their owners. Another characteristic of calico cats is that many of them have a calm personality.

calico cats have a long lifespan

Calico cats tend to live longer because they are mixed breeds and because they are mostly female. Cats have an average lifespan of 15 years, but many live longer. However, due to individual differences and the influence of the environment, there is a possibility that they will get sick.

The number of calico cats is declining

Calico cats are a common sight in Japan, but their numbers are said to be declining. This is because they have a variety of coat colors due to crossbreeding with Western cats. It seems a little sad that the number of calico cats, which consist of distinct colors of “white”, “black” and “orange”, is decreasing.

The calico cat that is popular overseas

The calico cat is also popular overseas. Outside of Japan, the calico cat is called "Calico cat" or "Mike" as it is. Also, many foreigners think of a Japanese cat with a short tail that curls like a pom-pom called "Japanese Bobtail". Compared to Japan, there are very few of them, and because they have an image of beckoning cats, they are also attracting attention as cats that bring good luck. It is said that some people even came to Japan to find their favorite calico cat. In 2021, the appearance of a huge 3D calico cat on the large screen installed on the top floor of the building at the east exit of Shinjuku Station was also attracting attention overseas.

Calico cat Holmes series

A calico cat is the main character in a series of mystery novels by Jiro Akagawa. Due to its ease of reading and the eccentricity of having a cat as the main character, the series is so popular that even now new issues are being published. It has also been made into a drama and a movie.

[Summary] Calico cats are full of charm!

In this way, calico cats are a common coat color in Japan, but because they are rare overseas, they are attracting attention as a valuable existence. In addition, male calico cats are only born with a probability of 1/3,000 to 1/30,000 or more, so they were considered auspicious and traded at high prices. Please continue to love the whimsical and charming calico cat! Reference material
  • 100 full understanding of cat coat colors and patterns! You can understand the character of the cat by the color and pattern! ,Gakken Mook,2013
  • National Institute of Polar Research Archives Homepage