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The secret of three-coloured cats

Updated: May 8, 2022

Everyone of us has probably seen the three-coloured cat. And I'm sure we can all agree that this colour has a lot of charm. But what you may not know is that the so-called "tortoise" (the name of this colour) is overwhelmingly female. What else should you know about these beauties?


A tri-coloured cat is one that boasts white, black and rust-coloured fur. But if we look at cat colouring from a professional point of view, a tri-coloured kitty actually has only two colours - black and rust. White is not a colour from the point of view of the experts, but the result of the absence of colour. The chromosomes are responsible for the coat colour, females have the XX combination and males the XY. Thanks to this, feline cats can indulge in more than one colour and can even be tri-coloured. However, this does not mean that a male cat cannot have this colouring. But it is very rare. A tri-coloured male is about one in 3,000 cats and only one in 10,000 is fertile.

Species of tri-coloured cats

Tri-coloured kitties are widely represented in different breeds. They are found with both long and short hair. Accordingly, we distinguish two groups - Calico and Carey cats. The Calico has three easily recognizable colours and tends to be more successful in selecting owners. The latter, the Carey, are predominantly red and black. This colour is often called tortoiseshell and unfortunately is not so popular. Some people even claim that these cats are ugly.


Tricolour cats are usually very sweet and affectionate. They are also playful. So, if you are looking for an active companion that you won't get bored with, a tri-colour could be a good choice for you.

Myths and secrets

Tri-coloured Mice are abundant in different cultures. In Japan, for example, they are credited with supernatural powers. In fact, the Japanese believe that these cats bring money and good luck to the house. You must have noticed the Maneki-neko cat, a typical cat-shaped figure that moves one paw.

The American state of Maryland has even declared the three-coloured cat as one of its emblems. In fact, its colours match those of their flag.

The Irish also believe that tri-coloured cats have certain supernatural powers. But not in a positive way this time - according to Irish culture, a cat coloured this way can cause warts.


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