Categories: cailcocalico

Are calico and tortoiseshell the same?

No, ‘calico’ is American terminology meaning a tortoiseshell-and-white domestic cat. This means a cat with some white fur mixed in with tortoiseshell fur. These cats can be purebred, pedigree cats or random bred cats.

Tortoiseshell and calico cats

There will be varying amounts of white and sometimes the colors are faint (diluted) but all are described as calico cats.

Tortoiseshell cats can be dark in colour (black torties) or lighter and sometimes faint (muted). All are tortoiseshell cats. Once again cats with this sort of fur can be purebred, pedigree cats or random bred cats (moggies).

I won’t go over these two types of cat coats in detail here because there are already two pages (and more – use custom search) on them:

  1. Calico Cats
  2. Tortoiseshell Cats

Some cat owners believe that cats with tortoiseshell coats have distinct characters (‘Tortitude’ meaning feisty).



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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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