Because the majority of calico cats are female, male calico cats are not readily available for purchase. An available male calico can occasionally be found with an online search. Calico refers to variations of a color pattern on the fur. It is not a recognized breed of cat.
Three distinct blocks of color — black, white and orange — must be present for a cat to qualify as calico. Variations of those colors — gray, cream and ginger — can also be present. When the colors are blended or swirled together, the coloring is called tortoise shell. Fur color is a sex-linked trait, related to gender and genetics. Females have two X chromosomes, while males have one X plus one Y chromosome. The ability to display orange or black coloring is determined by the X chromosome, so females are more likely to appear multicolored. White fur occurs when a completely separate gene is present. For a calico to be male, it must have two X chromosomes and one Y, which means the cat is sterile and unable to breed.
Not all pure breeders embrace calicoes. They are not allowed in Himalayan and Siamese cats or in solid color breeds, such as the Russian blue or the British shorthair.