30+ Great Names for a Calico or Tortoiseshell Cat

Updated on August 8, 2019
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Penelope has a calico or tortoiseshell cat named Tinka. Tinka showed up on Penelope's doorstep and earned her name in this manner.

Tinka, my pussy cat.
Tinka, my pussy cat. | Source

Special Names for Special Cats: Calico and Tortoiseshell

Calico cats (sometimes called tortoiseshell cats) are not a breed of cat as, say, ginger cats or Persian cats are. They are 'calico' cats because of their coloring. What defines 'calico' cats are their splendid orange, black and white splodge markings (and their two X chromosomes instead of one).

This article has lists of special names for your really special calico cat, mostly female names—because they are almost always female (for those X and Y chromosome reasons)—and there are some original male names, too. Calico cats ask to have names that no other cat has (or very, very few cats have!). Looking around the world and peeking at history, I found the inspiration for great names for calico cats from the following list of 'ideas':

  • Names from Egypt and around the Mediterranean where the calico cat is traced to have originated (where 'Tinka' still lives).
  • Names of famous calico cats through time and literature.
  • Pretty names because they are 'pretty'.
  • Original names because they are quite special and the Japanese people consider them lucky (maneki-neko).
  • Names of cats that have gone down in the history of cats and would make great names for a calico cat.

Baltimore Orioles Buck Showalter

Baltimore Orioles Buck Showalter in the colors of the calico cat.
Baltimore Orioles Buck Showalter in the colors of the calico cat. | Source

Calico Cat Names From Egyptian History

  • Ta Miu: She was so revered that her owner Crown Prince Thutmose mummified and buried her in a decorated sarcophagus after she died. (The Prince was a priest in ancient Memphis).
  • Isis: Princess Isis because she was Prince Thutmose's sister. Why not call her Princess Isis? My mother always titles her pets. Her Westie, for instance, is called Lady Anges!
  • Cleopatra: She was the last pharoh of Egypt 69 BC. The most beautiful queen.
  • Selene: Cleopatra's daughter, so she must have been very beautiful too.

Kitten Names

Your calico cat is going to grow into quite a big cat—with a famously independent personality and loving character. You might want to give her a name that's as important as the following calico cats, which have gone down in international history:

  • Maryland: The Baltimore Orioles of Maryland wear the colors of a calico cat (black orange and white).
  • Selima: Belonged to Earl Horace Walpole and inspired the poem by Thomas Gray (1748) "Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat Drowned in a Tub of Goldfishes" because, very sadly, she drowned—in a goldfish bowl!
  • Tama: Is the station master (and calico cat) at a Japanese railroad station— Kinokawa, Wakayama.
  • Delila: Freddie Murphy (Queen) paid tribute to this cat in his last album "Innuendo".
  • Marzipan: Lives in the Astor Theatre in Melbourne and enjoys being petted by patrons as she watches movies—or waits for them in the lobby. She has her own Facebook page.

Or you might like to give her a Japanese sounding name since the Japanese consider a calico cat lucky. The sound of the following names are sort of Japanese sounding and cat-cute, accent and all!

  • Jápana: From Japan (pronounced also Ya Pa Na)
  • Kôh-lina: Means "good luck" in Japanese
  • Manéki (Neko): Is a Japanese figurine that also means "welcome"

I asked my eldest son what he would name a calico cat, since all his life he has called his pets by the most endearing and unusual names—his guinea pig was Sgwench, for instance, and his dog was Lello. These are the names that he came up with, which are worth a serious mention because they're so remarkably odd—but cute.

  • Loffa
  • Mickya
  • Buffina
  • Lu Lu
  • Piga Pigu

Maneki Neko

Maneki Neko
Maneki Neko | Source

Tortoiseshell Male Cat Names

If you have a male calico or tortoiseshell cat or kittens, these names are both original and full of personality!

  • Bronx
  • Flynn
  • Lord Lem
  • Taco
  • Granger
  • Quincy

Names From the Mediterranean

Since a calico cat's history takes her back to the warm coasts of the Mediterranean (where Tinka and I live), here are a few really pretty European names:

  • Margarita
  • Regina
  • Zelda
  • Piña
  • Channel
  • Bella

And a few Mediterranean names for male calico kittens, too:

  • Rigatoni
  • Pino
  • Eduardo

My cat has a grand personality.
My cat has a grand personality. | Source

My Calico Cat, Tinka

I called my cat "Tinka" because when she turned up at my doorstep, forlorn and skinny, she was a thief and not much to look at.

"Tinka" came from the word Tinker, (from the old English children's poem):

Tinker, tailor

Soldier, sailor,

Rich man, poor man,


I fed her. We began to love each other, and she became a loving, faithful, beautiful cat with a grand personality, massive pride, yet tender and sweet. When she was younger, she was the best mice catcher in Italy. She stopped being a Tinker and became a special "Tinka".

Calico Cats as Pets for Children

Do you Think That Calico Cats Make Great Pets For Children?

See results

Questions & Answers

  • What are creative names for female calico cats?

    I think there are quite a few creative female calico cat names in my article, but how about Gertrude, Edmonia, Lavinia, Fede, Berthe?

  • I have a tabby cat named Phoenix and I'm getting a female calico but not sure of a name. What does everyone think of the name Seleah?

    What a gorgeous name Seleah, so poetic, like a soft wind.

© 2012 Penelope Hart


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    • profile image


      13 months ago

      we named our calico barn cat Star

    • profile image

      Pepper Pots 

      15 months ago

      We picked Pepper Pots for our calico cat.

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      Our Calico is called Cinamon :)

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      I have a new Calico kitten and I can't find the perfect name!! She is a beauty, very playful, sweet and nosey!! Lol I have named her everything and nothing seems to fit

    • profile image


      22 months ago

      I named my calico cat Pichu after both the Pokémon and the parrot from a cartoon my mother used to watch and I watched as well. She was so sweet, affectionate, loved to be pet and held (but only by me) and she was my only friend for very long periods of my life. I still miss her... She was very loyal and social, always welcoming people when entering the house like a dog. She couldn't handle other cats, but always made dogs follow her. She was the Alpha and they obeyed her! I loved her so much.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Our Calico was born in June so we named her "Junipurr". I want another one and name her "Purrdy"!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      My beautiful calico is the sweetest, most affectionate cat I've ever had (I've had 5 cats). Her name is Caboodle — and (sometimes) she actually comes when I call her!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I've had two calico's in my lifetime. Sheena was my first. She was very loyal and regal. Calypso is the one I have now. She's very loyal and has the softest fur I've ever felt. Both of them have the sweetest personalities. My son named Sheena because at his young age he mispronounced Shee-Ra. Calypso just fits her sweet, yet spunky, personality. When Sheena passed away at 18 years my son never left her side. We loved her deeply. Calypso is my sweetheart who I love very much.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      My little calico is named Amazing Gracie! I just got her after my little black rescue cat, Lovey, died of mammary cancer. God sent Amazing Gracie to me to ease my broken heart. :)

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Chelsea is the most adorable wonderful name for a Calico cat. Wishing you all the happiness in the world together.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Im getting a calico kitten and i thought of naming her chelsea ..is that a cute a good fit name for her?

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Love Chewbacca name - Chewy too! (rhymes with meeooi). Thank you so much for commenting. Happy life together and let's hope she lasts as long as Tinka does, who surprises even the vet! Amazing cat.

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 

      7 years ago from UK

      I only discovered recently that calico cats are what in UK are tortoiseshell and white. When I was a kid we had a calico cat for a while and her ginger and white kitten - he was my cat. Then 9 years ago when my kids were little and we wanted to get a new cat, one of my daughters wanted a calico. I didn't hold out much hope because where we live there are not a lot of cats available. But then someone at my husband's work moved and we got their 2 cats: a calico and her ginger and white son! I'm afraid to say that instead of a glamorous Mediterranean names ours has a slightly silly name - Chewy, short for Chewbacca from Starwars. We thought about changing it, but she knew her name, so it stayed.

      I love your suggestions from Egyptian history so if we ever have another she will get one of those names!

      I enjoyed this hub, great stuff!

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Thank you so much!

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      7 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Love your hub and the vieeo. Tinka is a cute name and she is a beautiful cat! :)

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Wish you could remember her name. Please come back when you do and I will add it to this hub! Thanks so much for visiting here Natashalh.

    • Natashalh profile image


      7 years ago from Hawaii

      I didn't know that calicoes come from the Mediterranean - that's cool. I had one once, a long time ago. It had a mythological name, like many of my pets, so I guess that was fitting-ish.

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      I'm really, really sorry about losing your beautiful Calico. Such beautiful and clever cats. What was her name?

      Many thanks for popping by.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Beautiful cats. I had a Calico that died about 6 years ago and I still miss her. Interesting hub.

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Nina's an adorable name, though I've had Tinka for 18 years, so her name is stuck on us!!! Thanks for commenting alice.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i think Nina sounds better and its spanish name means little girl

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Kitty is a wonderful name for your lovely calico cat.

    • innerspin profile image

      Kim Kennedy 

      7 years ago from uk

      We have a calico cat, but I didn't realize it until seeing Tinka. Just thought she's a splotchy girl, who's vey beautiful. Our cat could be Tinka's little sister. And funnily enough , she's called Kitty like angela's cat was. Small world!

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Tinka isn't mean at all - she's just too wonderful and when my baby grand daughter tried playing with her she just let her as though she knew she was just little.

      Thaks for chat tu comment.

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 

      7 years ago from United States

      I had one calico cat, and I named her Kitty. No, not very original, but I figured that's what I would call when I wanted her to come to me, so why choose a different name. I was twelve. She had kittens, and not a single one was calico. There was a black and white one as well as four orange ones. I heard calico cats can get kind of mean though.

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Janis Lola is a sweet name and the name of the mother of two dogs we had. Thanks for votes and pin.

      Twins. The rating capsule helps with G I think!

      Alicia hi. Tinka thanks you for the compliments and so do I.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love the video and photos of Tinka, GoodLady! She's a beautiful cat. The colors and patterns of her coat are very attractive. The cat names are interesting, too. My favorite name is Selene.

    • twinstimes2 profile image

      Karen Lackey 

      7 years ago from Ohio

      I have never thought of using the rating capsule outside of recipes. Great idea! I enjoyed your article and Tinka is a pretty cat!

    • Janis Goad profile image

      Janis Goad 

      7 years ago

      I love cats, all of them--Calico are beautiful with the orange splotches, and I love black and white tuxies! We have a long-haired grey cat named Poppy, a black short hair with gold undercoat, like the stone mica, and a little, furry black and white tuxie named Lola. I usually get cats from someone else, and have kept the names they came with.

      Voted up and pinning. I love the pictures.

    • GoodLady profile imageAUTHOR

      Penelope Hart 

      7 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Judi. Lord Lem's good! Thanks for votes

      KathyH Glad you like Tinka's name. Love it too. Bless for voting and words.

      hecate-horus Hi! We love Tinka too. Nice of you to drop in. Thanks.

    • hecate-horus profile image


      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Love this hub, especially the video of Tinka. What a sweetie!

    • KathyH profile image


      7 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Excellent and interesting names! Tinka is SO beautiful! :) Thanks for sharing! Voted up and across!

    • Judi Bee profile image

      Judi Brown 

      7 years ago from UK

      Tinka is very beautiful! I envy you - a beautiful cat and a gorgeous WHFT! Love some of those names - "Lord Lem" is my favourite.

      Voted up etc.


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