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A calico cat is a domestic cat of any breed with a tri-color coat. The calico cat is most commonly thought of as being typically 25% to 75% white with large orange and black patches (or sometimes cream and grey patches), however, the calico cat can have any three colors in its pattern. They are almost exclusively female except under rare genetic conditions. Calico is not to be confused with a tortoiseshell, which has a mostly mottled coat of black/orange or grey/cream with relatively few to no white markings. However, outside North America, the calico pattern is more usually called tortoiseshell and white. In the province of Quebec, Canada, they are sometimes called chatte d'Espagne (French for '(female) cat of Spain'). Other names include brindle, tricolor cat, mikeneko () (Japanese for 'triple fur cat'), and lapjeskat (Dutch for 'patches cat'), calicoes with diluted coloration have been called calimanco or clouded tiger. Occasionally, the tri-color calico coloration is combined with a tabby patterning, this calico-patched tabby is called a caliby. 'Calico' refers only to a color pattern on the fur, from colorful printed Calico fabric, not to a cat breed or any reference to any other traits, such as its eyes. Among the breeds whose formal standards allow calico coloration are the Manx cat, American Shorthair, Maine Coon, British Shorthair, Persian cat, Arabian Mau, Japanese Bobtail, Exotic Shorthair, Siberian, Turkish Van, Turkish Angora and Norwegian Forest cat. Because the genetic determination of coat colors in calico cats is linked to the X chromosome, calicos are nearly always female, with one color linked to the maternal X chromosome and a second color linked to the paternal X chromosome.
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