Photograph by Beverly Valcovic
Both the House of Delegates and the Maryland Senate voted to designate the Calico Cat as Maryland's State Cat. Governor Glendening signed the bill and it became law. The law went into effect on October 1, 2001.
The Calico cat was chosen as Maryland's State Cat because of the colors. They are the colors of Maryland's flag and founding families--red, black and white.
Calico is a color combination on a cat, not a breed of cat. They are tricolored (3-colored) cats. A true tricolored cat must have
The most common color combination in calicos is white, red (orange), and black. A calico has a significant amount of white fur with two other colors broken up into distinct patches.
- one of its colors come from the red gene--red (which looks orange), or beige (a light orange)
- white, and
- a shade of black, blue (a blue-gray color), chocolate, lilac (a light rosey beige), cinnamon, or fawn.
Tricolors are primarily female cats. The red (or orange) color gene can only be carried on the X (female) chromosome. About 1 in 3,000 tricolors is a male and only about 1 in 10,000 of these males is fertile.
- The genetics of a calico cat