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Calico Cat

Maryland State Cat

Calico cats may be found in any breed.  Scully is a calico Arabian Mau who makes her home in Baltimore, Maryland.  Photos of Scully were obtained by Kathy Shenkle of the Cat Tribune through the Maryland Office of Tourism. That office provided the photos with the owner’s permission to put them in the Cat Tribune, and on the State Symbols website.  Scully's photographer and owner is Kirk Amaral Snow with the Maryland Arts Council. 

Official State Cat of Maryland

Maryland designated calico as the official state cat in 2001. Cats are also recognized as state symbols in Maine (Maine coon cat); in Massachusetts (tabby cat), and in Colorado, Tennessee, and California (all have adopted shelter and rescued dogs and cats as state symbols). All State Dogs & Cats

Calico is not a breed of cat, but an unusual coloring (orange, black, and white) that occurs across many breeds. Its colors of orange and black are shared with the Baltimore oriole (Maryland's state bird), black-eyed Susan (state flower) and the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly (state insect); these colors reflect the Calvert family (Lords of Baltimore) coat of arms seen on Maryland's state flag and seal.

Virtually all calico cats are female; a male calico is a genetic anomaly, usually sterile, and live shorter lives. A calico cat must be a tri-color (with three colors in distinct patches, not mixed as in a tortoiseshell cat). Some standards specify what percentage of the body must be white; others allow tabby striping in the color patches. To be a true tri-color, a calico cat's colors must be: white; red or cream; and black, blue, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, or fawn.

Are you a cat owner interested in increasing your cat's lifespan? Check out our article: Lengthen Your Cat's Lifespan in Five Steps