Tri-colored and beautiful, calico cats are unique. It’s a popular misconception that calicos are their own breed. In fact, all breeds of cat can be calico, as the term just refers to the fur pattern. They have patches of white, orange, and black (as opposed to tortoiseshell cats who have a blend of black and orange). You can find Persian calicos, British Shorthair calicos, Siamese calicos, and more!
If you’ve ever owned a calico, there’s a large chance that it was a female.
That’s because there is a genetic marker for calico coloring, and that genetic marker appears on the X chromosome. A cat needs two X chromosomes to express the calico fur color. But, rarely, male calicos are born, and this only occurs when they have two X chromosomes and a Y chromosome.
Unfortunately, having three total chromosomes means that male calicos suffer from Klinefelter’s Syndrome, which comes with a myriad of health ailments that affect their lifespans.
They typically have increased body fat, cognitive and developmental issues, reduced bone mineral content, and more. This means they frequently suffer from heart disease, diabetes, and joint pain.
The average lifespan of a cat is 10-15 years, but male calicos only live a few years on average.
Luckily there are ways to lengthen the lifespan of a male calico cat. The best way to do this is to take them to the vets regularly, so you can stay on top of their health issues. Many diseases improve with medication and have a better outcome when caught early.
You should also feed them a good diet, made of a protein-rich animal source like chicken, beef, or duck. Cats need to eat meat primarily in order to thrive, so ensuring your male calico is eating this will help them get all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
Because male calicos are prone to weight problems, it’s important to give them regular exercise. Take them for a walk on a leash, play with them using a feather toy, or use a laser pointer.
Though male calicos don’t live as long as other cats, you can give them a great life regardless. Keep up on their vet visits and feed them good food, and they will do well for years.
About the Author
Ashley is the co-founder of CatProductGuide.com. She is a professional writer, whose work has been seen in many top publications and websites, like Digital Trends, Opposing Views, Men’s Health, and more. She is passionate about all animals and loves her cats, Felix and Lola. Ashley enjoys finding the best products and foods to ensure they’re living their best lives possible!