10 Top Calico Cat Names
Not everyone knows what kind of cats can be proudly categorized as calicoes. What colors should they actually have? In what ratio? Do all breeds produce calicoes? Some basic facts can be a good introduction to a difficult process of choosing a name, and make you a more informed pet owner.
What Are Calico Cats?
Calico cats are cats of any breed that are white in 25-75%, with black (or gray) and orange (or cream) areas. Patches of color can vary in tone and intensity. It is also possible for calico cats to have other colors, but they always have three color variants. Due to genetics, these exceptional felines are almost always female.
In rare cases, one in three thousand calico or tortoiseshell cats are male, according to a study at the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine. By and large, chromosome abnormality causes them to be sterile and unhealthy. Even if they happen to be fertile, cat registries don’t agree to accept them as show animals.
What Breeds Can Be Calico Cats?
If you are a feline stickler and aficionado, or take part in cat shows, you might want to know which breeds are listed to formally allow calico coloration. How thrilling would it be to purchase the cat that is both purebred and a callie? Let’s dig into the list of breeds:
- Manx cat;
- American Shorthair;
- Maine Coon;
- British Shorthair;
- Persian cat;
- Arabian Mau;
- Japanese Bobtail;
- Exotic Shorthair;
- Turkish Van;
- Turkish Angora;
- Norwegian Forest cat.
Are Tortoiseshell Cats Calicoes?
Diverse, wild and bewildering nature amazes us and rarely makes things easy for scientists. Classifications and nomenclature may vary depending on the source. It also holds true when discussing calico cats. We can lump all calicoes together or narrow their types down:
- calico: those kittens have white patches combined with two other colors; other names for calico cats include: brindle, tricolor cat, mikeneko (’triple fur cat’ in Japanese), or lapjeskat (’patches cat’ in Dutch);
- tortoiseshell: this type can be treated as a subcategory or a separate type – the cat’s coat is speckled with orange and black or gray and cream with little or no white;
- dilute: calico cats with soft shades of gray or orange on; also called calimanco or clouded tiger;
- calico tabby: it happens that a tricolor cat can also be adorned with a tabby patterning; this type of calico cat is referred to as a caliby or a torbie.
This breakdown of calico felines itself can give you a few ideas for your one and only tricolor friend. Mikeneko, for example, could be a unique calico cat name. If you struggle to pronounce its full name, don’t hesitate to create your own diminutive form, such as Mi. Remember, sky is the limit when it comes to picking the unique name for your calico kitten.
Our Reader’s StoryWhen we first adopted our calico cat, we weren’t sure what to name her. We wanted something that reflected her personality and her unique markings. After much deliberation, we settled on the name Peppermint. The white and black patches on her fur reminded us of the classic peppermint candy, and the name just seemed to fit.
We soon discovered that Peppermint was a curious and adventurous cat. She had an insatiable appetite for exploration, and she was always getting into mischief. We also found out that she was very affectionate and loved to cuddle up with us on the couch.
Calico Cats Genetics
Calico cats are gorgeous on the outside and mesmerizing on the inside. It’s due to their genetic makeup. What biological code is your tricolor made of?
X chromosomes carry the information about the fur color. Male cats have just one X chromosome, which means they are usually black or orange, sometimes with white as a base. Female calico cats, on the other hand, have two X chromosomes, which can result in a tricolor cat if her parents carried the genes for black and orange coloring. Simple, right? In reality, extremely complex. Scientists have even failed to clone calico cats because of a process called x-linked inactivation.
Calico Cat Symbolism
Unique and beautiful creatures excite admiration in people. Calico cats have therefore been treated as a symbol of luck in various cultures:
- Japanese sailors used to treat calicoes as lucky charms that were supposed to protect them against adversity at sea.
- Glückskatze means a lucky cat in German, and that’s what tricolor cats are called there.
- In the United States, people sometimes refer to calicoes as money cats; maybe they aid people in fulfilling the American dream.
- The maneki-neko figurines made in Japan are considered to bring good luck; they depict calico Bobtail cats.
If you are an owner of a uniquely beautiful calico cat, you might expect good things in life. Owning a tricolor kitty might already be the first such thing!
Calico Cat Names
Because male calico cats are so rare, we will skip the usual division into genders. Many names based on patterns, food, or nature can be used both for male and female cats. Even if you are fortunate enough to get hold of a rare calico boy, you will find something for yourself. How to choose a perfect calico cat name for your furry family member? Pay attention to small details of your cat’s fur, built, behavior and personality. Follow your gut and later train your animal to react to the chosen name.
Popular Calico Cat Names
First, let’s have a look at some of the most popular cat names for calico kittens. They are popular for a reason. These names are adorable and most people love them. Maybe you will settle for one of them:
Unique Calico Cat Names
This list is slightly more unusual, you will find here less popular and weird cat names. If you think that your kitty stands out from the crowd, consider one of these monikers:
- Little Bit;
Cute Names for a Calico Kitten
Cuteness is a subjective quality, but some things always reflect it. Charming kitty names may be based on other animals, onomatopoeic expressions, sounds and food, among others:
- Bear – if your calico kitty is fluffy and cuddly;
- Bella – if she likes to be the center of attention;
- Butter – if you want to emphasize her soft fur;
- Birdie – if she likes to jump and flap around;
- Bitty – if she is a tiny bit of fur;
- Boo – if her meow sounds like boo;
- Bunny – if she has long ears;
- Dumpling – if she has chubby cheeks;
- Fawn – if she is particularly graceful;
- Kiki – if she loves to meow;
- Mittens – if she has mitten-like paws;
- Momo – if she is soft and round;
- Paws – if she loves to climb on you;
- Peewee – if she’s small and playful;
- Polly – if she’s as talkative as a parrot;
- Poppet – if she’s pretty and delicate;
- Squeaks – if she’s squeaky and cute;
- Tinkerbell – if she’s small and magical;
- Turtle – if she’s slow and steady;
- Whiskers – if she loves to explore.
Food-Inspired Names for Calico Cats
Either fruits, vegetables and other edible produce or dishes we prepare can actually resemble calico cats in colors or shape. You can also think about your cat’s culinary choices when picking the perfect name. Your cat might know best:
- Apricot – for orange-dominant cats;
- Biscuit – for sweet and delicious cats;
- Blackberry – for black or dark gray cats;
- Brownie – for dark tabby cats;
- Carrot – if your cat loves vegetables;
- Cauliflower – for cats that are white-dominant;
- Coconut – if your cat is a tropical one;
- Coffee – for dark cats that give you energy;
- Cupcake – for sweet and fluffy cats;
- Dorito – for cats with a hint of spice;
- Honey – if your kitty is as sweet as honey;
- Toast – if your cat loves breakfasts;
- Lollipop – if your cat is sweet and round;
- Maple – if your cat is copper-colored;
- Marshmallow – if your cat is white and fluffy;
- Milk – for cats that love milk;
- Mustard – if your cat is yellow-dominant;
- Pepper – for cats that like to spice it up;
- Saffron – for cats with a hint of gold in their fur;
- Salmon – if your cat is an experienced fisherman.
Nature-Inspired Names for Calico Cats
We have selected elements of nature that are calico colors – black, orange and white. Look closer when you go for a walk next time:
- Beetle – for a small black and white cat;
- Charcoal – for cats with dark fur;
- Comet – for cats that dash around the house;
- Crow – for cats with a lot of energy;
- Dahlia – for cats with a hint of orange in their fur;
- Daisy – for cats that are curious and playful;
- Diamond – for cats that are rare and precious;
- Flame – for cats with orange fur;
- Flamingo – for cats with a pinkish tint;
- Fox – for cats with a fluffy tail;
- Koi – for cats with a hint of orange;
- Moonflower – for cats that are white and delicate;
- Obsidian – for cats with a dark coat;
- Raven – for cats with an impressive presence;
- Sandy – for cats with yellowish fur;
- Seal – for cats that love to swim;
- Snow – if your cat loves winter;
- Squirrel – for cats that like to hoard things;
- Swan – for cats with an elegant gait.
Names for Calico Cats Based on Patterns
Because calico cats are so unique, you may be surprised what patterns you will find on their fur. Do a little research and look for various shape combinations, as they can be what you base your calico cat name on:
- Bengal – for cats with leopard-like spots;
- Checky – for cats with checkerboard patterns;
- Circles – for cats with round patches of fur;
- Confetti – for cats with different color spots;
- Coral – for cats with a lot of orange coloring;
- Doodle – for cats with a scribbly pattern;
- Dottie – for cats with dots on their fur;
- Flora – for cats with flowery patterns;
- Glitter – for cats with a shiny fur;
- Honeycomb – for cats with a hexagonal pattern;
- Jumbo – for cats with large patches of fur;
- Mandala – for cats with a symmetric pattern;
- Moiré – for cats with a watery pattern;
- Rainbow – for cats with many colors;
- Patches – for cats with an uneven coat;
- Starburst – for cats with star-shaped spots;
- Trellis – for cats with diamond patterns;
- Wave – for cats with a wavy pattern;
- Wreath – for cats with a circular pattern;
- Zebra – for cats with stripes.
Names for Calico Cats Based on Popular Culture
Films, literature, games and alike have hundreds of names to choose from. You can look for a character that bears resemblance to your kitty in any way – personality or appearance:
- Ezri (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine);
- Felicia (The Great Mouse Detective);
- Goose (Captain Marvel);
- Haru (The Cat Returns);
- Katniss (The Hunger Games);
- Kitty Pryde (X-Men);
- Leela (Futurama);
- Lyta (Babylon 5);
- Marie (The Aristocats);
- Melisandre (Game of Thrones);
- Mochi (Big Hero 6);
- Pepita (Coco);
- Pom-Pom (Cinderella II: Dreams Come True);
- Sassy (Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey);
- Starbuck (Battlestar Galactica);
- Teyla (Stargate Atlantis);
- Ubasti (Treasure Buddies);
- Uhura (Star Trek);
- Whispers (Doc McStuffins);
- Zyla (World of Warcraft).
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Rarest Color for a Cat?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as cat coat colors and patterns can vary greatly. However, some of the rarer colors and patterns that have been reported include blue-gray, lavender, lilac, fawn, cream, and chinchilla.
Why Are Calico Cats So Special?
Calico cats are considered to be special because of their unique coloration. Calico cats are typically three colors – black, white, and orange – and these three colors are usually evenly distributed throughout the cat’s coat. This coat pattern is relatively rare in cats, which makes calico cats unique.
What Should I Name My Calico Kitten?
The cutest names for small calico kitties include: Buttercup, Nibbles, Tigerlily, Patchouli, and Pumpkin. Other than that, you can choose whatever you feel fits best!
What Is a Good Name for a Calico?
Some other good names for calicoes include: Trixie, Patches, Tuxedo (or Tux for short), Jasper, and Biscuit.
No matter what calico cat name you decide to choose, remember that cats are as intelligent and trainable as dogs. Using the clicker training, you can teach your pet to react to even the weirdest names you select. Remember that most cats are extremely food motivated. Use that fact to your advantage. Good luck and have fun. Don’t forget to share the name you’ve chosen on social media.
Lucas Taylor is a veterinary assistant, freelance journalist and single dad who lives in the suburbs with his three pups: Ruby, Nala, and Woody. He has one cat named Pepper. When he’s not writing articles or working at the vet clinic, Lucas loves cooking French cuisine for himself and friends at home. One of Lucas’ favorite things to do is paddleboard with his son Noah and their canine companions. Pepper is the homebody of the bunch – she loves chilling on the couch.