A calico cat's behavior is gauged more by the consensus of pet owners than by any scientifically documented study. Many cat breeds are distinguished by certain overall behavior patterns, but it is important to remember that calico cats are not a breed of cat. The term "calico" refers to a cat color type and not a breed. Hence, your cat's personality is likely more determined by its breed pedigree and the tides of fate. Still, many pet owners and breeders have reported that the behavior of calico cats differs from other colors and breeds.
A Calico Cat's Behavior
There have been longstanding rumors within the world of cat breeding that tortie or tortoiseshell cats possess a certain personality type that differs from that of cats with a solid color, regardless of the breed. Tortie cats are said to be more fiery, strong-willed and altogether more temperamental than cats of the other colors and color combinations within a breed. This isn't necessarily an observation founded by veterinarian-documented research, but many people who have bred the tortoiseshell color within a breed have observed this difference in personality.
The calico cat is similar to the tortie cat in that its coat features three colors. Whereas the tortie cat features a mix of these three colors blended together in a mottled swirling pattern, the calico cat boasts more of a color-blocking scheme. Colors appear in bold blocks and spots, side by side. Again, it is important to remember that calico cats are not a breed of their own. They are simply a color combination that can appear within many breeds just like tortoiseshell coats.
An interesting aspect regarding the tortie and calico patterns is that these color combinations almost always occur within females. A male calico is a rare find, but it is still possible. The fact that most calicos are female is not necessarily a huge factor in a cat's personality. Even within the realm of female cats, personality characteristics are vastly varied.
A calico cat's behavior is rumored to be similar to the behavior of the tortie in that these animals have more "attitude". Some pet owners affectionately refer to these behavior characteristics as "cattitude". All puns aside, many people who are thinking of purchasing a kitten will keep these rumors in mind when selecting between calicos and other colors.
What to Expect
If the rumors regarding the disposition of calico cats are true, purchasing a calico cat will make life more interesting. Laidback, mellow-type pets can be loyal and comforting, but a cat with an attitude will spice up your existence. Finicky cats may possess an array of quirks and idiosyncrasies that are both fun to discover and observe. The calico cat is rumored to be of the more quirky and neurotic nature which can mean that bath times will be the equivalent of nuclear warfare, and you'll likely spend the next ten years unveiling your cat's strange play habits. Regardless, this does not mean you will have an inadequate pet!
Cats with an attitude can be all the more lovable because their peculiar behaviors give you endless stories to discuss with your fellow pet owners. Pet forums are simply teeming with tortie tales and calico catastrophes. Coworkers likely won't care about the average cat's nap schedule, but if your calico will only nap upon the remote control for your ceiling fan, that will provide you with at least two minutes of dialogue during your next lunch break.
Also, don't be disappointed if your calico kitten turns out to be distressingly normal and not the psychological terra incognita that you've been led to expect. Every cat is an individual. Most cats possess at least one adorable little characteristic that leaves you chuckling from time to time. There are no official studies regarding the behavior of calico cats. However, if breeder rumors hold any truth, you may increase your chances of having a fiery, furry companion by choosing a calico over a solid color.