Official State Cat of Maryland
Maryland designated calico as the official state cat in 2001. Cats are also recognized as state symbols in Maine (Maine coon cat); in Massachusetts (tabby cat), and in Colorado, Tennessee, and California (all have adopted shelter and rescued dogs and cats as state symbols). All State Dogs & Cats
Calico is not a breed of cat, but an unusual coloring (orange, black, and white) that occurs across many breeds. Its colors of orange and black are shared with the Baltimore oriole (Maryland's state bird), black-eyed Susan (state flower) and the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly (state insect); these colors reflect the Calvert family (Lords of Baltimore) coat of arms seen on Maryland's state flag and seal.
Virtually all calico cats are female; a male calico is a genetic anomaly, usually sterile, and live shorter lives. A calico cat must be a tri-color (with three colors in distinct patches, not mixed as in a tortoiseshell cat). Some standards specify what percentage of the body must be white; others allow tabby striping in the color patches. To be a true tri-color, a calico cat's colors must be: white; red or cream; and black, blue, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, or fawn.
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