Do Calico Cats Have More Health Problems?

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Calicoes are known as the world's most vibrant cats. But, you might wonder if their unique chromosome patterns make them more prone to health issues. We've researched male and female calico cats' genetic tendencies to learn if they have health issues for you to monitor.

Calicos have no unique health issues since they come in 10 distinct breeds. Due to an extra X chromosome, male calicos are prone to Klinefelter syndrome. Klinefelter syndrome is linked to a shortened lifespan, higher body fat, bone fragility, and behavioral issues. They may still live happy and healthy lives but need special attention.

Read on to learn more about calico cats and their associated health problems. We'll also provide the science behind them and tips that will help calico and all cats healthy. Get ready for your science lesson today. We'll simplify it by making and explaining it gradually.

gorgeous Calico Cat looking up. Do Calico Cats Have More Health Problems

Why Male Calicos Live Shorter?

To comprehend why calico males live shorter, one must first understand their genetic structure.

Rare Calico Males

Male calicos are unusual since the calico color pattern is inherited on the X chromosome. According to Dr. Marty Becker's feedback on Vetstreet, calico cats need two X chromosomes (XX).

Females inherently have XX chromosomes; that’s why most calico cats are female. Male cats typically have XY chromosomes, thus to be calico, a male must have an additional X chromosome (XXY).

male calico cat laying down on the table

Klinefelter's Syndrome Effects

The additional X chromosome might impair a male calico's health. According to research published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Pub Med website, X-chromosome males had an increased risk of developing Klinefelter’s Syndrome. Another study published in the Oxford Journal stated that male calicos decreased life expectancy due to Klinefelter’s Syndrome.

In humans and other mammals, Klinefelter syndrome is considered a male hereditary disorder commonly identified in maturity. It may cause smaller-than-normal testicles, resulting in reduced testosterone production.

The condition may cause loss of muscular mass, hair loss, and enlargement of the breast tissue. However, the indications and symptoms of Klinefelter syndrome differ in every individual.

Male Calico Cat Health Issues

The above-mentioned condition poses several health problems related to their characteristics, including:

  • Cognitive limitations cause disorientation and behavioral issues
  • Insulin resistance could trigger diabetes
  • Difficulty in lipoprotein metabolism (dyslipidemia)
  • Increased body fat accumulation may cause heart disease, diabetes, and other problems
  • Destruction of the bone mineral content, increasing the risk of bone fractures

Whether your calico is a male or a female, you can improve their quality of life by giving appropriate housing, healthy nutrition, and excellent veterinarian treatment.

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How Long Do Calico Cats Live in Human Years?

Both Web MD and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) agree that the ordinary cat may live 15 years or more with a good diet and regular veterinarian treatment.

Calicos aren't a breed and are a complex color pattern seen in many cat breeds. Like any other cat, female calicos have a life expectancy of about 15 years if properly cared for. But male ones aren't as fortunate.

chubby male calico cat on wooden desk

What Is the Average Weight of a Calico Cat?

The usual healthy weight of a calico cat varies, yet some of these cats may be obese, affecting their size. Feel the calico's body and ribs to see whether she's overweight. The fat on an obese cat's body prevents you from feeling her ribs, whereas a starving cat's ribs are thin or nonexistent.

Obese cats have a spherical form with no discernible waist below the ribs. A healthy cat's tuck indicates a waistline.

A normal-sized calico cat weighs between 7 and 9 pounds, but an obese one weighs much more and needs a commercial diet. Obese cats, like overweight humans, are more prone to diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, heart disease, and some cancers.

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How To Feed a Cat for a Healthy Weight?

Knowing your calico cat's optimal weight is crucial since it determines how much food to give them. Adult cats, for example, need roughly 1-ounce of canned or dry food per pound of body weight every day.

The weight measurement should be based on a healthy weight, not the cat's actual weight. Here are some quick tips to help your cat maintain a healthy weight:

  • Keep an eye out for feedings.
  • Follow your vet's recommended diet.
  • Don't go crazy; many cats prefer affection over food. Instead of a reward, give your cat a belly massage.
  • Keep an active life for your cats; spend at least 10 minutes playing with them. You may even make mealtime a game or teach them tricks.
  • Weight-check your cat regularly.
  • Keep track of your cat's development and see your vet often.

Nutrition Advice for Cats

These are the tips and advice you may consider to improve your cats’ health and quality of life, especially calico ones:

  • Ask your vet for a nutrition plan tailored to your cat's requirements and health. Calorie-reduced meals and feeds intended to boost your cat's metabolism are fantastic alternatives for an overweight cat.
  • Weird cat food labels abound. With your vet's advice, you can interpret the labels and pick food that meets your cat's nutritional needs.
  • Simply giving your cat more diminutive of the same food may not be enough.
  • Ask your vet how many calories your cat needs each day, and then balance accordingly.
  • Always give your cat water; it might help them forget they're hungry.
  • Substitute low-calorie sweets with high-calorie goodies. Treats should not exceed 10% of your cat's daily calorie intake, and food should be lowered.
  • Smaller meals distributed throughout the day might help with weight reduction.
  • Cut snacks into pieces. It doesn't matter how big the treat is. If your cat asks for a reward, try a belly massage instead.

Exercise for Obese Cats

Ask your doctor for a safe workout regimen for your cat's weight before changing its activity habit:

  • Just 15-20 minutes of playtime with your cat every day may help. Mix things up to keep it interesting, anything that gets him/her moving: feather toys, laser pointers, paper sacks, and even boxes.
  • Keep your cat's feeding dish away from favored snooze locations to make them walk to it.
  • A few elevated areas for your cat might assist keep his muscles toned. Running up and down the stairs with them gives you and your cat some workout.
  • A harness (not a collar) and leash may be used to teach cats to walk outside, but don't expect them to run like dogs.

What To Do With a Sicked Cat?

Encourage your cat to consume small, regular portions of tasty, high-energy food. Warming food to body temperature usually improves its taste. Hand-feeding some ill cats may help them eat.

Your vet will tell you which foods to avoid. The syringe may be used if your cat would not eat on its own. Alternatively, your cat may be hospitalized and fed through a feeding tube instead.

Give your cat's medicine as directed by your veterinarian, and finish the course. Medication administration is covered in separate handouts.

If you're having trouble feeding your cat medications, crumble them and mix them with water. Ask your vet whether this is safe for your cat's medicine. If this doesn't work, ask your vet about a liquid formulation.

Are Calico Cats High Maintenance?

Cats are known for being low-maintenance pets. They do clean themselves or with other cats and do not need regular walks. However, male calico cats often have nutritional, health, grooming, and behavioral difficulties that make owner care more difficult.

Are All Calico Cats Female Only?

The College of Veterinary Medicine researchers at the University of Missouri estimated that just one in every 3,000 calico cats is born male. Therefore, most calico cats are females.

X-chromosomes are passed down to males and Y-chromosomes to females. For example, a girl inherits both X-chromosomes from her parents, whereas a boy inherits both X- and Y-chromosomes.

Why is this relevant to the discussion? Because the X-chromosome controls most hair color in cats (with the potential exception of white). The X-chromosome is the only gene that determines a male's fur color.

But females get an X-chromosome from both parents. Because each cell only requires one X-chromosome, one of the two is inactivated early in the feline embryonic development, forming a “Barr Body.”

Why Does My Calico Cat Meow So Much?

Attention-seeking is the most prevalent cause of a cat’s excessive vocalization. Many cats learn to meow to go outdoors or be fed. This method works well in the morning or at night when you are weary.

You may give in to your cat's requests to silence the noise. Cats will continue to vocalize even if you try to ignore them. As you surely know, most cats outlive you, and you may cave.

Excessive vocalization may potentially suggest a medical or behavioral issue. It is common for cats to meow excessively while in discomfort or with neurological or sensory issues. It may also be caused by anxiety or other behavioral problems such as rage or frustration.

Calico Scottish Fold cat looking at camera. Do Calico Cats Have More Health Problems

Keeping Calicos and All Cats Healthy

Regardless of gender, all cats may have longer, healthier lives if given good care and love. It includes excellent housing, nutritious food, primary veterinarian care, and special treatment for specific ailments and diseases. Consider your investment in your cat's care as an investment in your bond.

Please check out these linked articles if you're fascinated in understanding more about the calico cats:

How Long Do Calico Cats Live?

Do Calico Cats Change Color As They Age?

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