Are Calico Cats Hypoallergenic?

Do you want to know about the Calico cats whether they are hypoallergenic or not? The answer is simple: Calico cats are not hypoallergenic. No cat is completely hypoallergenic

Calico is a pattern of coat colors and it is not a breed, so the cats of different breeds can be calico. 

First, let’s have a look at Calico cats and their characteristics. 

Calico cats are some of the most wonderful and colorful cats in the world. They are the only cats that produce a large number of color patterns in the coat.

History of Calico Cats

The tri-color (black-white-orange) cat is a genetic mutation traced from the country Egypt. This genetic mutation was found in port cities such as the Mediterranean Sea, France, Italy, and Spain as well. These cities and countries are famous for trade cities and they brought the Calico Cats to other countries such as the United States.

According to research, calico was a social influencer in ancient times. Those social influencers sailed with Japanese fishermen in order to get protection from storms and other disasters. 

calico cats have been used as paintings in different countries around the world such as Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin. A Beckoning cat, which is known as a sign of good fortune, is based on the calico cat. In the same way, calico cats are also known as good for fortune and other works. It is said that a Train station was saved in Kinokawa in 2007 because of the calico cat. 

Calico Cats Cannot be bred: Calico cats have unique genetic mutations and genes which cannot be bred again. Only nature can produce these types of joyful, playful, and colorful kittens, but breeds cannot. 

Calico cats do not share their traits

The calico cat is not produced from a single breed and then they cannot be bred again so they do not share their personality traits, tendencies, and temperaments. Many other breeds of cats can be calico but make sure to determine and read the traits of the cat such as American shorthairs, Maine coons, Japanese bobtails, and many other breeds. 

The average lifespan of a calico cat is amazing just like a normal cat. The life span is 12 years to 16 years with a happy and healthy life. The key to a healthy and happy life for a Calico cat is a good, healthy, and nutritious diet with an excellent lifestyle. Calico cats are loving and caring cats and in return, they also need protection, shelter, and a lot of love and care. 

The calico cat is an official state kitten

There are 3 states in the United States which have official feline delegates such as Maryland, Maine, and Massachusetts. 

Due to the color of calico cats, they are declared as the official state cats of Maryland. calico cats have the same color patterns and coats as the official state bird (Baltimore oriole) of Maryland. 

Characteristics of Calico cats

Calico cats are known as domestic cats with tri-color coat patterns. Colors can carry from cat to cat but the common colors are red, black, and white. Different shades of colors may exist such as blue, gray, chocolate cream, or fawn color. 

The hair of cats depends on the breed of calico cats such as long-haired cats or short-haired cats. The breeds of calico cats that have color patterns are;

  1. Persian
  2. Siberian 
  3. Arabian Mau 
  4. Manx
  5. Turkish Van 
  6. Maine Coon 
  7. Norwegian Forest 
  8. Scottish fold 
  9. Turkish Angora

Almost all of the calico cats are females. The genetic characteristic of Calico cat colors is associated with chromosome X. One color of the Calico cat is linked with the parental chromosome and the other color is linked with the mental chromosome. 

Male calico cats are rare as compared to female calico cats and male cats require two X chromosomes. Mostly, the male cats have only one color pattern and have only one X chromosome. 

According to cat experts, male calico cats have a shorter life span and are sterile. 

One in 3000 calico cats is male.

One in 10000 male cats is fertile and the rest is sterile.

The personality of Calico cats

Calico cats have spunky nature and they are famous because of their spunky personality. Calico cats have independent nature and personalities. They are loving, caring, and loyal to their owners. As compared to other cats with color patterns, calico cats are more temperamental and strong-willed cats. 

Some calico cat owners say that they have an attitude and because of their attitude they are also known as “cattitude cats”. These cats are neurotic and quirky for strange plays and habits. 

Energy levels of Calico cats: Calico cats have low energy levels and they prefer lounging instead of playing and running. Despite this, they live around 12 years to 16 or 20 years as well. 

Myths about Calico Cats

In different cultures around the world, calico cats are known as good luck for people. In Germany, Calico cats are referred to as “Gluckskatze” and it means lucky cats. In the United States, Calico cats are known as Money cats. In Japanese, these are known as protectors against misfortunes and bringers of Good luck. 

Calico cat appearance

Most of the calico cats have tri-color patterns such as black, white, and orange. But there is the possibility that some of the cats may have shades of blue-black, red-cream, or chocolate-brown color patterns. 

Calico cats that have dull or less intense color patterns are known as dilute Calico cats. These cats have light colors in their coat with patches of blue-gray or strawberry blonde colors. 

Size of Calico Cat

Calico cats can be of small size, medium size, or large size. They are not from the specific breed that’s why size can vary in calico cats. Each calico cat has a different size and weight. They can weigh as little as four to eight pounds. Larger calico cats can weigh nine pounds to 12 pounds such as the Maine Coon breed of a calico cat. 

The weight and size based on the varieties of female calico cats and the male calico cats are very rare. 

Health needs and Grooming of Calico Cat

Like other cats, calico cats also need attention and grooming with proper healthcare. There is fur present on the body of the calico cat and you have to brush and trim it on a weekly basis. Calico cats also have fur and color patterns, so it is recommended to check the skin of the cat closely if there are any issues with skin or not such as fleas, patches, or rashes. It is better to have a regular checkup with the vet as well. 

If your calico cat is female then generally she will be healthy but if your cat is male then make sure to have an appointment with a vet in order to check if everything is good with health or not. 

male calico cats can be diagnosed with Klinefelter’s syndrome because in their genes XXY chromosome is present. If your cat has this syndrome then it can lead to abnormal weight gain, health issues, weaker bones and joints, and developmental problems. 

What causes allergies in cats?

It is a common belief or myth that the fur of a cat causes allergies but the reality is different. The thing that triggers allergies in the cat is Fel d1 protein which is also known as secretoglobin protein. It is a protein produced by the salivary and sebaceous glands of cats. 

It is also produced in the saliva, dander, sections on a cat’s skin, and urine. Every time when a cat licks her fur the allergens spread on the body of the cat and it can cause the stickiness of allergens on different body parts of cats for a longer period of time. 

People who have allergic problems or have sensitive immune systems can have problems from cats that are hypoallergenic. When those people come in contact with the allergens start producing immunoglobulin E which is an antibody that defends the human body from viruses. 

The common symptoms of cat allergy are:

  1. Coughing
  2. Sneezing
  3. Wheezing
  4. Irritation in eyes 
  5. Rashes 
  6. Itchy or runny nose 

Why are calico cats not Hypoallergenic?

Calico cats are not hypoallergenic. Every breed of the calico has fur and dander. Calico cats who have long hairs may have allergy suffers due to more shedding of fur and dander in the house. You should not think that short hair calico cats do not shed but in reality, they shed more and you would be surprised how much they shed. 

There is no true hypoallergenic cat. No cat is 100% hypoallergenic.

If you want a cat that is full hypoallergenic then it should have any hair that sheds. For example, when you look at the breeds of Devon Rex and Sphynx, they are bald but in reality, they also have some fur present on their body. 

These breeds are recommended for minor allergy sufferers but these are also not 100% hypoallergenic. 

In short, no one can determine how much a calico cat will shed but only a true breed can determine it. But you should keep in mind that calico cats are not true hypoallergenic. 

Calico breeds and levels of shedding

The calico cat is not an actual breed but it comes from different breeds exhibiting different beautiful color patterns and coats. 

Before choosing a calico cat, you should look at the details of the breed because some calico cats shed more than others. You should determine the level of shedding and also check whether you maintain it at your home or not. 

Let’s have a look at the different Calico breeds and their levels of shedding so you can choose the cat easily. 

  • Calico Manx 

It originated from the UK (Isle of Man) that’s why it is known as Manx. It is a medium to large breed of cat. It comes in both long-haired cats and short-haired cats so you should expect medium or high shedding levels.

  • Calico Maine Coon Breed 

It is a large breed of cat and it has long hair around the area of its stomach and tail. It has fluffy and smooth hair that is shed moderately. This breed shed more in the season of spring and fall. It has long hair, which means it can shed more as well. 

  • Calico American Shorthair Breed

This breed of Calico cat is smart and active, and likes to hunt. It has medium to large-sized hair and a coat. This breed also sheds moderately in the season of fall and spring. 

  • Calico British ShortHair Breed

As the name indicates, this breed is famous among British people. It has medium to large hair and thick fur which needs brushing for the grooming of a cat. This calico cat breeds sheds but in specific seasons only and the shedding level decreases day by day. 

  • Calico Persian breed

It is a large cat breed and it has long and thick hair with a glossy coat. It is expected that this cat sheds a lot and shedding will increase day by day and in seasons as well. If you are an allergy sufferer then this breed is not suitable for you as it can cause serious problems. 

  • Calico exotic shortHair cat Breed 

It is a medium-sized cat breed and it has short, neat fur. This breed is not like the other Persian cats, and it does not shed more with the coat. It has a medium level of shedding. 

  • Calico Japanese Bobtail Breed 

As the name indicates, it is a Japanese breed. The Japanese Bobtail breed is medium in size and can have both short and long hair. You can easily groom the coat and hair of the cat. The level of shedding is very small and they shed in fall or spring seasons only. 

  • Calico Siberian Cat Breed 

This breed can be medium or large-sized with no fur, semi fur, or long fur on the body. This breed has a triple coat that is water-resistant and they shed at moderate levels only. They shed in seasons of fall and spring and do not shed much the rest of the whole year. 

  • Calico Turkish Van Breed 

It is another breed that has medium or large cats with a long and fine coat. Despite the long coat, this breed does not shed more. If you do the proper grooming of the cat on a weekly basis then everything will be in order and sufficient for this breed.

  • Calico Turkish Angora Breed 

This breed is famous for cats that are medium-sized and have semi-long coats. Calico cats of this breed shed moderately. It is good news that the coat of the cat does not get tangled and matted like other cats which have long hair and coats. 

  • Calico Norwegian Forest 

It is a large and sturdy cat. It has a thick and long cat as compared to all other breeds. The thickness of the coat increases in the winter season. It has a bushy tail. The level of shedding is moderate and they shed in the winter season when they are losing their lush coat. If you brush the cat once or twice a week then it can decrease the level of shedding in this breed. 

Types of Calico Cats 

There are various types of calico cats but the famous types are:

  • Tortoiseshell cat
  • Dilute 
  • Patched Tabby 


They have a white coat which is small in size. They have white patches on the paws, chest, or face as well. The colors of the cat are spread throughout the coat. The common combination of colors of this type is orange, black, and white. 


As the name indicates, this type of cat has no intense colors. The dull appearance of the cat gives this type a dilute name. There are white, dark black, strawberry blonde, and charcoal grey patches throughout the body. Brighter colors such as bright orange are rare in this type. 

Patched tabby

This type of Calico cat has stripes on the body with black and ginger patches. 

Calicoes cats have a rivalry with tortoiseshell cats because they have the genetically same appearance. If you see both at the same place then it is difficult to tell whether the cat is Calico or tortoiseshell. 

Calico cat Food and Allergies

It is true that calico cats are less likely to trigger allergies but these are not 100% hypoallergenic. Calico cats need proper care, and diet for their healthy coat. If you do not take care of the diet of your calico cat they can shed a lot and can also shed a lot of fur due to a poor diet. 

Cat urine and cat saliva are the main things that can trigger allergic reactions, not only the cat dander that can trigger allergies. Similarly, due to poor diet calico cats can suffer from health problems such as reduction in minerals of the body and diabetes. Calico cats require a lot of attention for staying healthy and fit. 

Facts about Calico Cats Breed

Some of the cool facts about cat breeds are: 

  • 99.9% of the calico cats are female due to chromosomal arrangements. 
  • Calico cats are known with different names in different areas such as in the Netherlands, it is known as “Lapjeskat”, in Japan it is known as “mi-ke”.
  • One in 3000 male calico cats is non sterile. 
  • They cannot be bred and if this happens then it will be due to random chromosomes arrangement not genetically engineered. 
  • The famous character that is known as “Beckoning Cat” is based on the Calico Cat. 
  • The American shorthair calico breed is playful and they are believed to come to America with their pioneers. 
  • Maine coon’s calico breed can survive in Maine’s cold weather because of its long fur. 
  • The British blue breed has a grey-blue and thick coat with orange eyes. It is the inspiration for John Tenniel who is the illustrator for “Alice In Wonderland.”
  • Calico cats are more vocal and feisty than other cat breeds. 
  • In rare cases, the owner reports that calico cats have aggression. 

Frequently Asked Questions about “Are Calico Cats Hypoallergenic?”

  • Can a person with an allergy problem live with a cat?

Yes, you can live with a cat if you have an allergy problem but you should ask your doctor if you have severe allergy problems such as asthma. People can live with cats by taking a few medications such as antihistamines but people with moderate or severe allergy problems think twice before living with a cat. 

  • Are male calico cats too rare?

Yes, male calico cats are very rare. There are only 0.1% chances that the born calico cat will be a male cat.

  • How many years does a calico cat live?

The average lifespan of a calico cat is 12 years to 16 years. They have a normal life span like other cats. 

  • Are Calico Cats hypoallergenic? 

No, these are not hypoallergenic in fact no cat can be 100% hypoallergenic. A bad diet and poor lifestyle can trigger many serious allergens.

  • What are the major differences between a calico cat and a tortoiseshell cat?

Both of the cats have similar coating and colors such a black and orange patterns and colors but the difference lies in the base and coating. Tortoiseshell cat has a black-based coat and spots of orange and white color on the whole body. On the other hand, calico cats have black, white, and orange color patterns on the whole body. 

Final Verdict

Calico cats are famous domestic cats and have a multi-color pattern. They are not hypoallergenic and can trigger allergic reactions. Most of the calico cats are female. 

If you have a calico cat then you have to take care of your cat because a poor diet and lifestyle can cause serious health problems. They have an independent and spunky nature and have caring personalities. 

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