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Home > Cats > Does Maryland Have a State Cat? Facts & FAQs

Does Maryland Have a State Cat? Facts & FAQs

Annapolis Maryland

Not many states have their own state cat, but Maryland does! Maryland’s state cat is none other than the stunning Calico. This is a wonderful breed, marked by its gorgeous tri-color coat that includes patches of white, orange, and black.

This piece is dedicated to unearthing the delightful details and history of Maryland’s official state cat, the Calico. Prepare for a fascinating journey into the world of Maryland’s favorite feline.


All About the Calico Cat

Originating from a range of breeds, the Calico isn’t actually a breed in itself but is named for its distinct color pattern. This coloration is linked to the X chromosome, meaning nearly all Calico cats are female!1

These lovely creatures are most notably recognized for their vibrant coats, often described as a cheerful blend of autumn colors. Their personality is as dynamic as their coats, known to be loving yet independent, smart yet occasionally aloof, making them an intriguing addition to any household.

old calico cat at home
Image By: Kristi Blokhin, Shutterstock

Maryland and the Calico

So why is the Calico the official state cat of Maryland? The link may not be immediately apparent, but it’s actually quite an interesting story. The Calico cat was made Maryland’s state cat thanks to the initiative of a group of elementary school students.

These students noticed that the Calico’s coat matched the colors of the Maryland state bird, the Baltimore Oriole, and the state insect, the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly. This was reason enough for them to initiate a legislative process that eventually led to the Calico cat being declared Maryland’s state cat!

On October 1, 2001, the bill was signed into law by the then Governor Parris Glendening, cementing the Calico cat’s status as the official state cat of Maryland.

The Symbolism of the Calico Cat

There’s a bit of symbolism tied to the Calico cat that adds another layer of depth to its association with the state of Maryland. In several cultures, Calico cats are seen as symbols of good luck.

Similarly, the Baltimore Oriole and the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly, the two symbols that share their colors with the Calico, are often associated with positivity and transformation. This link adds a sweet note of charm and positivity to Maryland’s state symbols.

Calico Cats and Maryland Today

Today, the Calico cat holds a special place in the hearts of Marylanders. This isn’t just because of their status as the state cat but also because they make excellent companions. Their vibrant personality and striking looks make them a favorite among cat lovers across the state.

In honor of their state cat, many Maryland residents have taken to adopting Calico cats. This has also led to increased awareness and care for the well-being of these lovely creatures.

Animal shelters and rescue organizations across the state often hold special events and initiatives aimed at promoting the adoption of Calico cats and other felines.

Calico Cat with green eyes lying on cardboard scratch board
Image By: Firn, Shutterstock



The Calico cat, with its tri-color coat matching the hues of the state bird and insect, is indeed the official state cat of Maryland. This designation, born out of the curiosity and initiative of a group of elementary school students, has added a vibrant symbol to the state’s cultural tapestry.

It serves as a reminder of the state’s love for nature, its commitment to education, and its penchant for embracing the unexpected.

Featured Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

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