Fascinating Calico Cat Behavior and Personality Traits

Updated April 5, 2022
calico cat lying on a scratching post

Some pet owners report that calico cats' personality traits are distinct and dramatic. If you own a calico cat or plan to adopt one, it's a good plan to familiarize yourself with the behaviors you might see in cats with this color pattern. Remember, calico is a color pattern and not a breed, and reports of temperamental behavior are primarily anecdotal, though documented scientific studies on the relationship are emerging.

Calico Cats Personality Traits

There have been long-standing rumors within the world of cat breeding that calico cats possess a certain personality type that differs from that of cats with a solid color, regardless of the breed.

Fiery Personalities

Calico cats are said to be more fiery, strong-willed, and altogether more temperamental than cats of the other colors and color combinations within a breed. In fact, this is an observation founded by a veterinarian-documented research.

Based on a survey of more than 1,200 cat owners, veterinarians from the University of California, Davis discovered a link between a cat's color pattern and possible aggressive behaviors. Calicos were among the coat colors reported to challenge their pet parents at home and other scenarios, like a trip to the vet. Many people who have bred the calico color within a breed have also observed this difference in personality.

Calico Cat Relaxing on the Pavement

Personalities May Be Related to Being Female Cats

An interesting aspect regarding the calico pattern is that these color combinations almost always occur within females. A male calico is a rare find, but it is still possible. Researchers say only 1 in every 3000 calico cats is a male! However, the fact that most calicos are female is not necessarily a huge factor in a cat's personality. Even within the realm of female cats, personality characteristics are vastly varied.

Cats With Attitude

A calico cat's behavior is rumored to have more attitude than cats of other colors. Some pet owners affectionately refer to these behavior characteristics as "cattitude." All puns aside, many people who are thinking of purchasing a kitten will keep these rumors in mind when selecting between calicos and other colors.

What to Expect From Calico Kitties

If the rumors regarding the disposition of calico cats are true, purchasing a calico cat will make life more interesting. Laidback, mellow-type pets can be loyal and comforting, but a cat with an attitude will spice up your existence.

Calico Cat with green eyes lying on cardboard scratch board

Quirky Kittens

Finicky cats may possess an array of quirks and idiosyncrasies that are both fun to discover and observe. The calico cat is rumored to be of the more quirky and neurotic nature, which can mean that bath times could be the equivalent of nuclear warfare, and you'll likely spend the next ten years unveiling your cat's strange play habits. Regardless, this does not mean you will have an inadequate pet!

Calicos Can Spice up Your Life

Cats with an attitude can be all the more lovable because their peculiar behaviors give you endless stories to discuss with your fellow pet owners. Pet forums are simply teeming with tales of calico catastrophes. Coworkers likely won't care about the average cat's nap schedule, but if your calico will only nap upon the remote control for your ceiling fan, that will provide you with at least two minutes of dialogue during your next lunch break.

Prepare for Your Calico

If you bring a calico kitten home and find out the rumors are true, be ready to handle your kitten's unbridled personality. This means having lots of toys at your disposal to keep them occupied, a clicker to train some fun tricks, and cat trees galore to give them safe spaces to explore and burn off their energy.

All Cats Are Individuals

Also, don't be disappointed if your calico kitten turns out to be distressingly normal and not the psychological terra incognita that you've been led to expect. Every cat is an individual. Most cats possess at least one adorable little characteristic that leaves you chuckling from time to time. There are no official studies regarding the behavior of calico cats. However, if breeder rumors or veterinarian-conducted surveys hold any truth, you may increase your chances of having a fiery, furry companion by choosing a calico over a solid color.

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Fascinating Calico Cat Behavior and Personality Traits