How much is a male calico cat worth?

I am going to argue that a male calico cat may be worth upwards of £2000 (or US$2000). I will explain why I have come to this conclusion but at the same time please read Sarah Hartwell’s comment. She has a different opinion and I respect her opinion.

UPDATE: this is an important update which completely transforms my view on the matter. It pretty much wipes out what I’ve written beyond this point. Having done some research on male calico cats I have discovered that they often suffer from a rare genetic, inherited condition, called Klinefelter’s Syndrome because of the presence of XXY chromosomes. This makes the value of a male calico cat almost zero. You can read about the condition by clicking on this link. It’s a serious condition which shortens the lifespan.


Firstly, it needs to be mentioned that calico cats can be either purebred or random bred cats and the word “calico” refers to the cat’s coat which is tortoiseshell-and-white. The word “calico” is an American term.

Most of us know that male calico cats are rare. It is said that about one in every 3000 calico cats are male. It is considered by many that the reason why nearly all male calico cats are infertile is because they have XXY chromosomes (but see below). It is said also that they are not particularly desirable in purebred breeding programs.

On the basis that the male calico cat is rare but infertile then the value of this cat will be solely on his rarity. If a person likes a rare cat they may pay handsomely for that cat and it depends on whether the cat is random or purebred.

The position is made more confusing by the fact that modern science has come to the conclusion that the most common cause of male tortoiseshell cats and calico cats has been found to be chimerism. Sarah Hartwell, a well-known expert on cats and cat genetics says that when chimerism is the cause the result is fertile males.

I will quote Sarah Hartwell if I may and provide a link to her page on the subject.

“A chimera is the result of two fertilized eggs fusing to become a single kitten. If the two fertilized eggs are both XY, this gives an XY/XY male chimera…. an XY/XY chimera would be fully fertile.”

Therefore, it seems to me, that the percentage of fertile male calico cats may be higher than we believe. If we are to value a fertile, male, purebred calico cat of handsome disposition and appearance then I would have thought that he could be worth up to $2000 or more to the right person

Updating note: Please see Sarah Hartwell’s comment. Click on this link to read it. It debunks to a certain extent my arguments! I don’t mind that although it is a little disappointing. Sarah is a renown expert on cat genetics and highly reliable.

It depends of course on whether the buyer has the money and particularly likes calico cats and in addition particularly likes rarity. If the cat is a purebred that too would enhance his value.

So under the right circumstances a male calico cat who is fertile could be worth up to $2000 or £2000. Under different circumstances the value of a male calico cat would depend on whether he is random bred or purebred in my opinion. The coat type would not have an influence in this instance.

Random bred cats are almost valueless relatively speaking while purebred cats can be purchased for around $500-$1500 depending upon the cat’s quality.

I would be happy for people to comment on this assessment. I have deliberately tried to state a price. This is unusual and perhaps foolish 😉 .

29 thoughts on “How much is a male calico cat worth?”

    • Super cat and a rare cat. He is probably worth the same as most purebred cats ($500-$1000 about) plus a bit extra to take into account those people who are interested in owning a rare cat. So maybe he is worth around $1,500 but that is speculating. He worth is what the market dictates ultimately. You’ll have to prove pedigree with genuine documentation if you sell on the basis that he is purebred.


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