You love your beautiful calico and take great care of her. You’ve had her since she was a kitten and, she’s always been active. As the years go by, she’s slowing down. You want her around as long as possible. So, how long can a calico cat live?
The average lifespan of a Calico Cat is twelve to fifteen years. However, some calicos have been known to live into their twenties.
No one can control the longevity of their cat. However, there are some things you can do to keep your calico healthy, safe, and happy. We have gathered some ideas to help you keep that tri-colored beauty around for a while.
Do Female Calico Cats Live Longer
Gender does play a part in how long a calico will live. Female calicos live longer than male calicos.
The calico color is gender-linked, the cat must have “XX” chromosomes to achieve those brilliant patches. Unlike a normal male with an “XY” chromosome, the male calico has “XXY” chromosomes. Therefore, they inherit the calico color pattern. Unfortunately, along with it, the male calico will most likely to inherit bad health.
Male calicos are doomed to have a shorter lifespan. This is due to Klinefelter’s Syndrome. Symptoms include:
- SterilityReduced bone mineral content (risk of fractures)
- Insulin resistance (leads to diabetes)
- Increased body fat mass
- Cognitive impairments (disorientation)
If you want a calico with the propensity to live a long healthy life, you might want to stick with a female.
Keeping Your Cat Healthy
The first step to helping prolong your calico’s life is to make sure she has adequate health care. This starts when she is a kitten.
Your kitten should always be spayed. Spaying can prevent some potential health problems, including:
- Mammary cancer
- Eliminates uterine cancer
- Eliminates ovarian cancer
- Prevents pyometra (infection of the uterus that can cause death)
Spaying is only one step to making sure your baby calico starts off on the right foot. Another element in prolonging your calico’s life is vaccinating.
Even if you are planning to keep your kitty indoors, you must have your baby vaccinated. Vaccines prevent some pretty nasty diseases. There are several vaccines that your kitten and cat should have they include:
Not only is this a dangerous disease for the cat, but it can harm you and your family as well. And don’t kid yourself, you may have an indoor cat, but escapes can and do happen. Many states have laws requiring that cats have the rabies vaccine. Discuss this with your veterinarian.
This encompasses three diseases, including:
- Rhinotracheitis-This is an upper respiratory disease and is also a common cause for conjunctivitis. It is spread through the saliva and discharge of the nose or eyes of infected cats. However, it can also be spread through contact with an object that has been contaminated. These objects could include furniture, clothing, water dishes, etc.
- Calicivirus-An upper respiratory disease that can also manifest into other problems. It can cause painful ulcers on the hard palate, tongue, nose, gums, or lips. Different results of the virus can be anorexia, fever, and lethargy.
- Panleukopenia-At one point, this was the leading cause of death for cats. This virus is everywhere in the environment. All felines are exposed to it at some time. But with the development of the vaccine, it has become less frequent. However, it is often seen among three to five-month-old unvaccinated kittens. Symptoms to look for are nasal discharge, high fever, severe diarrhea, and dehydration.
Feline Leukemia, as it is often called, is a deadly disease. It’s a virus that can cause cancer. This disease triggers severe anemia and suppresses the cat’s immune system. It is found in urban areas more often than rural. Because the immune system is so suppressed, the cat is susceptible to multiple and continuous infections.
Signs of the FeLV include weight loss, persistent fever, neurological disorders, eye conditions, various skin, and upper respiratory infections. There is no cure. And although there is a vaccine, it’s not one hundred percent effective. Discuss the risk of disease and vaccine with your veterinarian.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis is found in domestic and wild cats. White blood cells are infected. It causes inflamed areas around the vessels of the:
This disease is extremely aggressive and leads to death unless proper treatment is provided. Even so, treatment is not always successful. There are no distinct symptoms. Some have reported diarrhea, respiratory symptoms, and nasal discharge. Fifty percent of cats diagnosed with FIP are younger than seven months.
Whether you have an outdoor kitty or an indoor, don’t shorten their life by neglecting these vital vaccines.
Proper Nutrition Leads to a Healthy Life
A cat was not meant to eat vegetables in the wild; they eat meat. Cats are obligate carnivores. This means they eat meat strictly. So please forget about the trend in pet food to put in green beans and carrots. It’s not what your calico wants, and it’s not what her body needs.
Carbohydrates should be limited in your calico’s diet. This includes more than just grains. Some manufacturers put potatoes and peas in their food to give it bulk. Again, this is not what your cat was born to eat. Be careful with the dry food. It contains anywhere from thirty-five to fifty percent carbs. Most can foods have fewer carbohydrates. They run less than ten percent.
Read the label. Cat food is required to disclose what ingredients it contains. You want products that have meat, or seafood, at the top of the list. Most reputable cat food has a customer service number on the package. If you have questions, give them a call.
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
You may be doing everything right, but if your fur baby doesn’t receive enough exercise, health problems could develop. Outdoor cats are usually moving around pretty well. But what about your indoor kitty. They generally are sleeping in a sunbeam instead of working out.
It’s up to you to motivate for your calico to exercise. It could be a vigorous game of string or rolling a ball across the floor, but you need to keep your calico moving. In case the ball is a yawn to your kitty, try a couple of these:
The cat’s meow is combining a string and feather. This will keep her going for a while. You may even see a couple of leaps in the air. Don’t worry, it’s non-toxic and made from eco-friendly material. And it’s a set of several feathers and other attachments. Have fun!
A ball spins and rolls around a three-layer track. This is great for cats or kittens. It will tie in with your kitty’s hunting instinct. Since it’s interactive, it gives her both mental and physical stimulation. It’s passive on your part. You just sit back and watch the fun.
This one is a hoot. It’s a 360-degree rotating ball. It’s complete with feathers, birds, and mouse toys. It has a rechargeable battery with a USB port. It lasts for three to four hours. Because it randomly rolls around, your kitty will never know which way it’s going to go. This makes the hunt more exciting.
Keep Them Healthy, and They’ll Live.
You want your gorgeous calico to be around for a long time. Do the right things for her. Have her spayed and vaccinated. Make sure she’s eating the right food. And have fun with her by keeping her moving. You’ll both enjoy each other for years to come.