There is something about that tri-color coat. It can vary between the calico too, different colors and patterns. They are certainly a unique cat breed. It comes as no surprise that somebody would consider owning one. But how big do they typically get? Here is what you need to know.
So, how big are Calico cats? Calico cats can range anywhere from 6-25 pounds in weight, and 8-16″ in height. It primarily depends on what cat breed the Calico is bred from. As such, Calicos can be considered either a small, medium, or even a large cat depending on their final size.
Seems strange right.
Well, a Calico cat is not actually a ‘breed’ in its own right.
It can be a range of different breeds.
What makes them a Calico is in fact that beautiful tri-color coat.
This is where the name comes from actually. Referencing the pattern and its commonalities to Calico fabric.
And that can vary quite a bit too.
Interesting still is the fact that Calico’s are almost always female. It’s down to genetics, but it’s an important consideration nonetheless.
Let us now take a closer look at the different sizes a Calico can reach based on the breeds.
We will also be looking at when you can expect them to reach their final adult size and other aspects to consider if you do decide to keep one.
Its definitely worth hanging around for!
What Size Are Calico Cats?
There is not one definitive size, or even close average, of Calico cat. This is because as many as 12 different breeds of cat can make one. These 12 breeds possess the genetics to be able to provide the recognized standards of the Calico coat coloration.
With this in mind, by looking at the parental breeds we can get a closer estimate of what to expect:
|Average Height |
|American Shorthair||10-15 lbs||8-10″|
|Maine Coon||15-25 lbs||10-16″|
|British Shorthair||7-17 lbs||12-14″|
|Arabian Mau||9-16 lbs||8-10″|
|Japanse Bobtail||6-10 lbs||8-9″|
|Exotic Shorthair||7-13 lbs||12-14″|
|Turkish Van||10-20 lbs||10-14″|
|Turkish Angora||8-15 lbs||9-14″|
|Norwegian Forest||8-16 lbs||9-12″|
So for instance, a Calico cat from a Persian will be around 7-12″ in weight and 8-10″ in height.
They will also be significantly smaller, than a Calico cat from a Maine Coon, which can be as heavy as 25 pounds in weight and reach 16″ in height.
Then you will have individual variance too.
Not all cats of the same breed will grow to the same size.
This is why we get a breed average, but even then you have outliers that fall outside of that.
The truth is, it’s very hard to get a definitive expectation of a Calico. At least without seeing the parents and being familiar with those breeds.
At What Age Is A Calico Cat Fully Grown?
The average Calico cat will reach its full adult size between the ages of 8-15 months. Although smaller Calico’s have been known to reach their size smaller, and larger sometimes even a little bit later.
Again, it depends mostly on the breeds the Calico comes from.
Maine Coons for instance, one of the larger breeds, have been known to grow up to the 18 month mark.
Nevertheless, there are some rough guidelines that we can use and follow that is common to most breeds.
|Age of Cat||Weight|
|Newborn kitten||3 ounces|
|2-3 weeks||6-8 ounces|
|4-5 weeks||8-16 ounces|
|8 weeks||1.5-2 lbs|
|12 weeks||3-4 lbs|
|16 weeks||5-8 lbs|
|18-24 months||6-9 lbs (depending on the breed)|
Factors That Can Influence Calico Cat Size
There are numerous different factors that can influence the final size of a Calico cat. Some of them are entirely out of the owner’s control, whereas others relate to their care.
Let us now take a closer look at each one:
Without a doubt the most contributory of factors.
The size of the parental breeds largely defines the expected size of the Calico.
Ands it not just those parents too; its all the cats in the lineage.
Thus, to get a better understanding and expectation of a Calico kittens final size, speak with the breeder.
They should be able to provide some expectations, or at the very least, insights into the parental cats.
Calico’s are predominantly females, due to the fact that the genetic determination of coat colors is linked to the X chromosome, which is one of two sex-determining chromosomes.
We are not going to get into the science here. That would be too complicated.
Besides you are not likely looking for a science lesson.
However, what you do need to know and be aware of is that male Calicos often inherit a condition known as Klinefelter’s Syndrome.
This happens with Calicos that have an extra X chromosome (being XXY).
Klinefelter’s Syndrome can negatively impact a cats life, in quite far-reaching ways.
For starters, it is known to drastically shorten lifespan. It is also known to impact behavior too.
Plus, here is how it impacts their size:
- Causes a loss of bone mineral content which can result in broken bones
- Can increase body fat, which can result in other conditions including joint pain, heart disease, and diabetes
Of course not all Calicos will get this condition, but it is possible. Especially in males.
So, one of the most important things to do if you take on a Calico, particularly a male, is to get them examined by a vet soon after getting them.
Regular check-ups would be useful too.
Diet and nutrition is the responsibility of the owner.
As is the case with any cat, food must be appropriate for their age, weight and size and feeding should be provided more regularly for young kittens than older cats.
Foods should always be of highest quality, and fed appropriately.
For instance, kittens often prefer wet food, although should be transitioned over to dry kibble as they age.
But back to the Calico.
While the average weight of a calico cat will differ, some have been known to struggle with excess weight.
And being overweight is not good.
Its a lot of extra pressure on their joints, it also means their organs are working harder.
So, its important to keep on top of diet and nutrition, and ensure your Calico is not being overfed.
Keeping a check of their weight is always a good idea.
To do so, feel around the body and rib area.
You should feel the ribs; otherwise too much fat is being stored.
Alternatively, if there is not enough fat, the cat could be malnourished.
Nevertheless, the total size and mass of a cat will depend on what they are fed.
How Much Space Does A Calico Cat Need?
The amount of space you will need for a Calico cat will depend primarily on their size, weight, health, and age. However, the average domestic cat should have a minimum of 18 square feet. This is a good rule of thumb to go by if you intend to keep one cat.
Of course, if you intend to keep more than one Calico cat, then you will need to increase this space by at least twofold.
Thankfully, the majority of homes, even small apartments, will often provide this amount of room.
In fact, it is the layout of the space that is more important than the amount.
For instance, most breeds of cat love to climb and to hide.
So, if your home does not have the ability to do such things, its going to be a problem.
Calico cats are also quite playful.
So, you need to ensure they have enough open space for them to be able to do so and expend any excess energy.
As kittens, they’ll likely be more active, although will of course require less space as they are smaller in size.
The Calico cat can be big. The Calico cat can be small. The Calico cat can be somewhere in between.
Seems vague, right?
Well, that is because there is not a Calico cat standard.
The Calico is not a breed after all.
Its a specific color pattern.
Its a color pattern that can be produced by a long list of cats, that all range in body weight, height, length and size.
Thankfully, by taking a closer look at them we can set our expectations.
So, if you are considering this breed, perhaps the best thing you can do to get a better understand is talk to the breeder.
Identify what breed of cat your Calico is coming from.
At that point, you’ll be able to make some comparisons with the breed standard.
It makes it a lot more insightful.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.