Tortoiseshell and Calico Cat

Tortoiseshell and Calico - Cat Facts

Cat Varieties: Tortoiseshell and Calico

The Tortoiseshell and Calico cat is also known as a Calimanco cat or Clouded Tiger cat, and by the nickname "tortie".   A tortoiseshell cat is randomly patched over with red (or a dilute form thereof), black (or a dilute) and cream, mottled throughout the coat. Also, the cat may have white spots in its fur, which will make it a "tortoiseshell and white" cat or, if there is a significant amount of white in the fur and the red and black colors form a patchwork rather than a mottled aspect, the cat will be called a "calico". All calicos are tortoiseshell (since they carry both black and red), but not all tortoiseshells are calicos (since they requires a significant amount of white in the fur and patching rather than mottling of the colors).


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The calico can sometimes be called a "tricolor cat".  A tricolor cat consists of three colors: a reddish color, dark or light; white; and one other color, typically a brown, black or blue, as described by American breeder Barbara French, writing for the Cat Fanciers community.