Tricolor Cats: 19 Calico Cat Breeds with Pictures

Calico cat breeds
This post may contain affiliate links. We earn a commission from purchases made via those links at no added cost to you. The humble effort of bringing you the content, worthy of your eyes, is partly bankrolled by such commissions. Learn more

Coming across a tricolor cat—calico cat—you may wonder what breed they are. Surprisingly, like tabby cats, calico is also not a breed but a color pattern that is present in many different cat breeds.

A calico cat is any cat whose coat has at least three colors—orange, black, and white. Around 99.9% of the calico cats are females, and the rare male calico cat is always sterile.  

Calico Cat Breeds

According to the Cat Fanciers Association’s color prefix chart, 19 cat breeds feature the unique tri-colored coat pattern. Below, we have briefly discussed all cat breeds showing different types of calico patterns.

American Bobtail

Key Features

Weight: 11 to 20 pounds

Lifespan: 15 to 20 years

Calico Patterns: Dilute Calico, Calico

Temperament: Extremely interactive, playful, talkative, friendly

Born with short tails, American Bobtails are listed as one of the cat breeds with no tail. They are highly affectionate and interactive cats that love to play games, especially fetch and hide and seek, with their loving owners. They come in all sorts of coat colors and patterns, but as far as calico patterns are concerned, they come only in calico and dilute calico. If you have a thing for wild-looking cats, you should get yourself an American Bobtail—they look a lot like the wild Bobcats but are extremely friendly and affectionate.

American Curl

Key Features

Weight: 5 to 10 pounds

Lifespan: 15 to 18 years

Calico Patterns: Dilute calico, calico, van calico, van dilute calico

Temperament: Highly adaptable, friendly, dog-like, kitten-like

American Curl is a sophisticated and highly-spirited small cat breed, weighing about 5 to 10 pounds. They are called “Curl” as their ears are curled back in an arc. However, their kittens are born with straight ears and start curling backward within 3 to 5 days after birth. They have tufts fanning outward from their ears and are thus grouped with cat breeds with ear tufts. They grow slowly, taking around 3 years to years to mature completely. So if you are looking for a breed that would stay small and have the energy of kittens, American Curl can be your soulmate.

American Shorthair

Key Features

Weight: 8 to 12 pounds

Lifespan: 15 to 20 years

Calico Patterns: Dilute calico, calico, van calico, van dilute calico

Temperament: Highly intelligent, friendly, active, adaptable

Descendants of European cats, American Shorthair was first brought to the U.S. on the Mayflower ship in the 1600s. While they look a lot like the common Domestic short-haired cats, they are not the same.

American shorthair cats are extremely friendly and highly adaptable. If properly introduced, they can get along well with children as well as other pets in the house. They are highly intelligent cats and have a high prey drive. Therefore, you should play interactive games with them and get them interactive cat toys and food puzzles to keep them busy. 



American Wirehair

Key Features

Weight: 8 to 12 pounds

Lifespan: 10 to 16 years

Calico Patterns: Dilute Calico, calico

Temperament: Bold, affectionate, lap cat

American Wirehair is a relatively young and quite rare cat breed. The first American Wirehair kitten was born only in 1966, and the breed was given the CFA championship status in 1978. Having wiry hairs, American Wirehair cats look like a curly-haired cat breed.

They are highly energetic cats and love interactive play sessions with their loving owners. When not playing, they often like to curl and warm up in owners’ laps. These cats love to sleep on top of their owners, so only get them if you won’t have any issue with them treating you as a warm and cozy bed. You can get them the comfiest cat bed in the world, but they might still choose to often lay on your chest.

British Shorthair

Squeaky Knees, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Key Features

Weight: 7 to 17 pounds

Lifespan: 15 to 20 years

Calico Patterns: Dilute calico, calico, van calico, van dilute calico

Temperament: Laid-back, sturdy, affectionate

British Shorthair cats have big round eyes and are listed as one of the cat breeds with big eyes. Besides round eyes, they also have round ears, round faces, round paws, and round-tipped tails. They are also called British Blue, as blue is their most common color. However, not all blue cats are British Shorthairs.

Besides blues, they come in many other colors and patterns. Often featuring brown color, British Shorthairs are grouped with Brown cat breeds. Calico British Shorthair cats can come in four different calico patterns: dilute calico, calico, van calico, van dilute calico.  

Cornish Rex

Key Features

Weight: 6 to 10 pounds

Lifespan: 11 to 15 years

Calico Patterns: Dilute calico smoke, dilute calico, calico, van calico smoke, van dilute calico smoke, calico smoke, van calico, van dilute calico

Temperament: Bold, highly energetic, interactive

Result of a natural mutation, the first Cornish Rex cat was born in the 1950s in Cornwall, England. It is one of the four true curly-haired cat breeds. Their coats are curly but extremely soft. Besides being a cat breed with big ears, they also have big eyes.

These cats are highly energetic and love to play interactive games with their owners and go on long walks. However, as they lack guard hair and awn hair, they are prone to sunburns. Therefore, they should be kept inside or in a shady place when the sun is out.

Devon Rex

Key Features

Weight: 6 to 9 pounds

Lifespan: 10 to 12 years

Calico Patterns: Chocolate calico, chocolate van calico, lavender calico, cinnamon calico, fawn calico, lavender van calico, cinnamon van calico, fawn van calico, dilute calico, calico, van calico, dilute van calico

Temperament: Energetic, mischievous, playful, sociable

With large ears and striking eyes, Devon Rex is a highly energetic cat breed. They are known for their tendency to make high jumps and are often compared to monkeys. They love to jump and perch in high places. So if you have a Devon Rex, you should get tall cat trees and window perches for them.

Devon Rex cats love their owners and don’t like to be left alone for long times. In cases they have to live by themselves, they develop separation anxiety, which often leads to behavioral issues.

Exotic—Lazy Man’s Persian

Key Features

Weight: 9 to 12 pounds

Lifespan: 12 to 15 years

Calico Patterns: Calico smoke, dilute calico smoke, chocolate calico smoke, lilac calico smoke, dilute calico, calico

Temperament: Quiet, Peaceful, loyal, easygoing, lap cat

Embed from Getty Images

They are Persian cats with short hair coats. According to the CFA, Exotic cats meet the Persian cat standards in all ways except that they have a thick, plush, short coat. The purpose of developing Exotic cats is to give cat lovers a Persian cat with low to moderate grooming requirements.

Contrary to the popular gendered convictions, male exotics are more affectionate than their female counterparts are. Where males are always looking to jump in their owners’ lap, females always have other things to do.

LaPerm

Bebopscrx, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Key Features

Weight: 8 to 10 pounds

Lifespan: 10 to 15 years

Calico Patterns: Dilute calico, calico

Temperament: Sociable, affectionate, inquisitive, intelligent

LaPerm is another curly-haired and quite young cat breed. Like Cornish Rex, LaPerm was also a result of natural mutation. The first LaPerm kitten surfaced in 1982 in Oregon. One of the five kittens in the litter of a tabby cat named Speedy was born bald. However, the bald kitten had grown a curly coat with a tabby pattern within eight weeks of age.

While the first LaPerm kitten had a tabby pattern, you can find LaPerm cats in many different colors and patterns today, including calico and dilute calico.

Maine Coon

Key Features

Weight: 8 to 20 pounds

Lifespan: 12 to 15 years

Calico Patterns: Dilute calico, calico, shell calico, dilute shell calico, shaded calico, shaded dilute calico, calico smoke, dilute calico smoke

Temperament: Loving, sociable, good with children and other pets

Official cat of Maine, Maine Coon is considered one of the largest domestic cat breeds of the feline world. While their large size may look intimidating, they are very affectionate and social and are thus often called gentle giants.  

They come in over 75 different colors and color combinations. However, calico Maine Coons can be found in six different calico patterns: Dilute calico, calico, shell calico, dilute shell calico, shaded calico, shaded dilute calico, calico smoke, and dilute calico smoke.

Manx

Key Features

Weight: 8 to 12 pounds

Lifespan: 9 to 13 years

Calico Patterns: Dilute calico, calico

Temperament: Easy-going, independent, social, intelligent

While Manx cats lost their tail because of a natural mutation, there are many feline fables surrounding their taillessness. Besides their taillessness, Manx cats are known for their intelligence and playfulness.

They are highly trainable and have many dog-like features. They love to follow their loving parents around the house, from one room to another. They also love playing fetch and can even be taught many obedience commands with clicker training. To keep your Manx cat focused on the training sessions, we advise having delicious cat treats in your hand.

Norwegian Forest cat

Key Features

Weight: 9 to 16 pounds

Lifespan: 15 to 20 years

Calico Patterns: Dilute calico, calico, van calico, van dilute calico

Temperament: Calm, gentle, intelligent, outgoing

Called Skogkatt in their homeland, Norwegian Forest Cat is one of the ancient and largest domestic cat breeds. Like Maine Coons, despite their intimidating size, Norwegian Forest cats make great family pets as they have a calm disposition and get along with children as well as other pets in the house.

They love to accompany their owners on walks around the block. You can train your cat how to walk on a leash, buy her a cat harness and take her out on walks with you.

Oriental Cat

Key Features

Weight: 8 to 12 pounds

Lifespan: 12 to 15 years

Calico Patterns: Blue cream calico, calico

Temperament: Affectionate, active, lap cat

Oriental cats are medium-sized cats, weighing around 8 to 12 pounds. They have large bat-like ears and a body structure identical to Siamese cats. Oriental cats are highly interactive and have no regard for their owners’ privacy—they would jump in bed with you or in your lap. They do not care if you are attending an online meeting or busy on call; they would like to snuggle up in your lap, and that’s what they are going to do. They get attached to their owners pretty quickly, and when left alone, they develop separation anxiety.

Oriental shorthair cats shed very little and are often classified as hypoallergenic cats. So if your allergies have been keeping you from adopting a cat, an Oriental cat is your way to becoming a pet parent.

Persian

Key Features

Weight: 7 to 12 pounds

Lifespan: 15 to 20 years

Calico Patterns: Dilute calico, calico, calico smoke, dilute calico smoke, shell calico, shell dilute calico, shaded calico, shaded dilute calico, chocolate calico smoke, Lilac calico smoke, shell chocolate calico, shell lilac calico, shaded chocolate calico, shaded lilac calico

Temperament: Sociable, affectionate, calm, sweet-tempered

Commanding an air of royalty with their longhaired coats, Persians are one of the fluffiest cat breeds. Persians are easygoing cats with a calm disposition. However, their long hair coats need a lot of daily grooming. Besides, Persians are flat-faced cats and are prone to feline respiratory infections. So you should think twice before bringing home a Persian cat, especially if you are a first-time pet owner.

Scottish Fold

Key Features

Weight: 6 to 9 pounds

Lifespan: 11 to 14 years

Calico Patterns: Dilute calico, calico, van calico, van dilute calico

Temperament: Calm, sweet, affectionate, lap cat

As indicated by their names, Scottish Folds originate from Scotland and have folded ears. Scottish Fold cats are prone to several congenital health issues and are banned by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy. However, they are not banned in the U.S. and many other parts of the world.

Scottish Folds are clam, sweet, and affectionate cats and make a great pet. Because of their calm and sweet disposition, they are experiencing a surge in their popularity, especially after the adoption of Scottish Folds by Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift cats’ pack includes two Scottish Folds and one Ragdoll cat.

Selkirk Rex

Key Features

Weight: 6 to 16 pounds

Lifespan: 15 t0 20 years

Calico Patterns: Dilute calico, calico, van calico, van dilute calico

Temperament: Lively, energetic, friendly

Often called ‘cat in sheep clothing,’ Selkirk Rex is one of the four true curly-haired cat breeds. Selkirk Rex cats are highly intelligent cats and are always up to learn new tricks. These fuzzy beauties love to snuggle in the laps of their loving owners.

Because of their high intelligence, they get bored easily. Therefore, you should provide your cat with interactive cat toys and have daily interactive play sessions with them.

Siberian

Key Features

Weight: 12 to 15 pounds

Lifespan: 8 to 10 years

Calico Patterns: Dilute calico, calico

Temperament: Mellow, moderately active, quiet

Achieving the CFA championship status only in February 2006, Siberian is quite a new cat breed. They are one of the most slowly growing cat breeds. Where most cats stop growing by the time of their first birthday, Siberian cats can take up to five years to fully mature.

Unlike most cats which hate water, Siberian cats love to play in the water. So, where bathing a kitten is a challenging task for most cat owners, for Siberian owners, it becomes a fun activity.

Siberian cats don’t shed much, making them a good choice for people with allergies.

Sphynx

Key Features

Weight: 6 to 14 pounds

Lifespan: 9 to 15 years

Calico Patterns: Dilute calico, calico, van calico, dilute van calico, lavender van calico, cinnamon van calico, chocolate calico, chocolate van calico, lavender calico, cinnamon calico, fawn calico, lavender-cream van calico, cinnamon-cream van calico, fawn van calico

Temperament: Bold, affectionate, intelligent, silly

Weirdly unique, Sphynx is a hairless cat breed. However, they are not always completely hairless. As these cats have little to no hair to shed, they are considered a hypoallergenic cat breed.

While you do not have to comb the hairless Sphynx, you have to give your Sphynx regular baths. Their skin secrets bodily oils that are normally absorbed by the fur, but as Sphynx doesn’t have any fur, you have to bathe them to get rid of the oils.

Bathing might sound overwhelming but worry not, Sphynx cats are known for tolerating water more than other cat breeds. If you acclimate your Sphynx to bathing at a young age, bathing them would become a fun activity.

Turkish Angora

Key Features

Weight: 8 to 15 pounds

Lifespan: 9 to 14 years

Calico Patterns: Dilute calico, dilute calico smoke, calico, calico smoke

Temperament: Highly intelligent, sociable, active

Highly sociable, Turkish Angora is considered one of the most affectionate cat breeds. They make a good pet for families with children and seniors. They are highly intelligent creatures and love to play interactive games with their owners. They get along with other pets living under the same roof as long as no one meddles with their alpha role.

Turkish Angora is one of the rare cat breeds of the feline world. These fluffballs come in a variety of colors; however, white Turkish Angoras are the most popular. As far as the calico Turkish Angora is concerned, they can have dilute calico, dilute calico smoke, calico, or calico smoke pattern.

Share:

Table of Contents