If you are a proud owner of a calico cat, and you have been taking good care of her since she was a kitten, you might be wondering about her life expectancy as she ages and becomes less active.
Calico Cats typically live for around twelve to fifteen years, although there have been instances where they have survived into their twenties.
While the lifespan of a calico cat cannot be controlled, there are measures that can be taken to ensure their well-being and happiness, ultimately increasing the chances of having your beloved tri-colored feline companion for a longer period of time.
Do Female Calico Cats Live Longer
The lifespan of a calico cat is influenced by gender, with female calicos having a longer life expectancy than their male counterparts.
The Calico Cat‘s distinctive coloration is linked to its gender, requiring the presence of “XX” chromosomes for those vibrant patches. Unlike a regular male with an “XY” chromosome, the male calico has “XXY” chromosomes, which gives them their unique coloring. Unfortunately, this also means that the male calico is likely to suffer from poor health.
Calico cats that are male have a reduced lifespan, which is caused by Klinefelter’s Syndrome, and the symptoms of this syndrome include:
- Infertility and decreased bone density (increased risk of fractures)
- The development of diabetes is caused by insulin resistance.
- Increased body fat mass
- Mental disabilities (confusion)
To increase the chances of having a long and healthy life, it is advisable to choose a female Calico Cat.
Keeping Your Cat Healthy
Ensuring your Calico Cat‘s longevity begins with providing her with proper healthcare, which should commence during her kittenhood.
It is recommended to spay your Calico Cat to avoid certain health issues such as:
- Mammary cancer
- Prevents uterine cancer
- Prevents ovarian cancer
- Averts pyometra, a fatal infection of the uterus.
Vaccination is an essential factor in extending the lifespan of your Calico Cat after spaying.
It is crucial to vaccinate your Calico Cat, even if they are an indoor pet, as vaccines protect against various harmful illnesses. The recommended vaccines for kittens and cats include:
The rabies disease is not only hazardous for Calico Cats, but it can also pose a threat to you and your loved ones, even if your cat is an indoor pet as they may escape. It’s worth noting that some states mandate cats to receive the rabies vaccine, so it’s advisable to consult with your vet.
This includes three illnesses, which are:
- Rhinotracheitis– An upper respiratory illness that is a frequent cause of conjunctivitis in Calico Cats. It spreads through the saliva and discharge from the nose or eyes of infected felines, but it can also be transmitted by contact with contaminated objects such as furniture, clothing, and water dishes.
- Calicivirus-A contagious upper respiratory illness that can lead to other issues. It can cause painful sores on the roof of the mouth, tongue, nose, gums, or lips. Possible outcomes of the virus may include anorexia, fever, and fatigue.
- Panleukopenia-This virus was once the primary cause of death for cats. It is present in the environment and all cats are exposed to it at some point. Fortunately, with the invention of a vaccine, it has become less common. However, it is often seen among three to five-month-old kittens that have not been vaccinated. Signs to look out for include nasal discharge, high fever, extreme diarrhea, and dehydration.
Calico cats have a disease commonly known as Feline Leukemia, which is fatal and can lead to cancer. This virus causes severe anemia and weakens the cat’s immune system, making it more prevalent in urban areas than rural ones. Due to the weakened immune system, calico cats are vulnerable to frequent infections.
Symptoms of the FeLV consist of consistent fever, weight reduction, upper respiratory infections, neurological disorders, eye problems, and different skin conditions. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease. Although a vaccine exists, it’s not entirely effective. It’s best to consult with your veterinarian about the risks of the disease and the vaccine.
Calico cats and other domestic and wild felines can contract Feline Infectious Peritonitis, which infects their white blood cells and leads to inflammation around their vessels.
Unless given appropriate treatment, this ailment is highly aggressive and fatal, with uncertain success rates even with treatment. While some have reported symptoms such as respiratory issues, diarrhea, and nasal discharge, there are no clear indications of the disease. FIP affects half of all calico cats diagnosed under seven months old.
If you have a Calico Cat, whether they stay indoors or outdoors, it is important not to decrease their lifespan by disregarding necessary vaccinations.
Proper Nutrition Leads to a Healthy Life
In the wild, Calico Cats are not supposed to consume vegetables as they are obligate carnivores and strictly feed on meat, hence the trend in pet food to include green beans and carrots should be disregarded as it is not what their body requires or desires.
To ensure a long lifespan for your calico cat, it is important to restrict the intake of carbohydrates in their diet, which includes not only grains but also potatoes and peas that some manufacturers add to increase the volume of food, as these are not part of their natural diet. It is advisable to be cautious while feeding dry food as it contains around thirty-five to fifty percent carbs, whereas canned foods have fewer carbs, typically less than ten percent.
Check the label. Cat food must list its ingredients. You should look for items with meat, or seafood, at the top of the list. Most reliable cat food has a customer service number on the package. If you have any queries, give them a ring.
Because cats take most of their water from their food, it’s essential to have food that provides that. Let’s face it; dry food doesn’t have a lot of water. Can food that is low in carbs and high in meat or seafood greatly benefit your calicos’ health.
Work that Calico’s Body
Even if you take good care of your Calico Cat, lack of physical activity can lead to health issues. While outdoor cats tend to be more active, indoor cats often spend their time napping in the sun instead of exercising.
Encouraging your Calico Cat to exercise is your responsibility. Whether it’s playing with a string or rolling a ball, you must ensure that your cat stays active. If your cat finds the ball boring, you can try some other activities.
Playing with a set of eco-friendly, non-toxic string and feather attachments can keep your calico cat entertained for some time, allowing her to jump around and have fun.
A three-layer track with a spinning and rolling ball is an excellent toy for calico cats of all ages, as it appeals to their natural hunting instincts and provides both mental and physical stimulation. The interactive nature of the toy requires no effort on your part, allowing you to sit back and enjoy watching your feline friend play.
Introducing a fun and interactive toy for your calico cat, the 360-degree rotating ball comes with feathers, birds, and mouse toys, and has a rechargeable battery with a USB port that lasts for three to four hours. With its random rolling movements, your feline friend will be kept on their toes during playtime, making the hunt more thrilling.
Keep Them Healthy, and They’ll Live.
To ensure a long lifespan for your beautiful calico cat, it is important to take proper care of her by spaying and vaccinating her, providing her with the right nutrition, and engaging in physical activities together to strengthen your bond and enjoy each other’s company for many years.