If you and your family are ready to add an adorable kitten to your family, you might have already started researching different breeds and colors. If you’ve been tempted by the thought of a gorgeous Calico kitten, we wouldn’t blame you at all! These sweet cats are white, black, and orange. Calico cats come in all sorts of different breeds too!
While the cost of your new Calico kitten might vary depending on their breed, your ongoing costs will likely be similar. We broke down the typical monthly costs for owning a Calico cat, so you can be prepared for how much you’ll need to budget. Bear in mind that prices for specific services like veterinary care can vary region by region, but other expenses like food and cat litter will be fairly consistent. So, before you go ahead and reserve that fluffy little kitten, make sure you’re fully informed and prepared for the ongoing costs of cat ownership.
Bringing Home a New Calico Cat: One-Time Costs
Once you’ve decided to own a cat, you’ll need to be prepared to invest a fair amount of funds in one-off initial costs. If you’ve never owned a cat before, then the list of items you’ll need to buy before you can bring your kitten home could be quite long. If you have owned a cat, you can decide if you’re going to reuse items or invest in something new.
Besides all the items that your kitten needs, you’ll also need to budget for their healthcare, including vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and check-ups. First, let’s take a look at how much you should expect to pay for your new Calico kitten.
As Calico is a color and not a specific breed, you may see Calico kittens advertised as free to a good home. These kittens may come from an accidental litter or from a feral cat mama whose babies were rescued by a Good Samaritan. Bear in mind, though, that these kittens may not have had any health checks, and the health of both parent cats may not have been considered either. If you are looking to rehome a kitten in need, then adopting one from a shelter is probably a wiser investment.
Most shelters will have a good selection of Calico cats of all different breeds. They may have kittens and older cats looking for a loving home. If you’re not worried about what breed your Calico cat is, this is a great place to find your new cat! All cats in a shelter will have had their health checked before they’re adopted. The cost of adoption goes toward covering the costs of running the shelter and veterinary care.
Depending on the breed you’re looking at, their prices will vary, but typically, a Calico costs between $200 and $2,000. Even if you choose a breed with a premium price tag, this initial cost will still be small compared to the costs of looking after your cat for their entire lifetime. As an example, though, different breeds with Calico coloration include:
Almost all Calico cats are females because the color is related to the X chromosome. Two copies of this gene are needed for a cat to have a Calico coat. Rarely, a male cat is found with an X chromosome, which they don’t normally have. This causes Klinefelter’s Syndrome, which can result in serious health issues. For that reason, you’ll probably never see a male Calico cat advertised.
Initial Setup and Supplies
The cost of your initial setup and supplies will vary depending on if you’ve had a cat before or not. We recommend getting everything on this list. For some supplies, there will be a wide range of prices to choose from. For others, like vet care, you’ll have to pay the standard rate for your region.
List of Calico Cat Care Supplies and Costs
Before you bring your new Calico kitten home, make sure you’ve invested in everything listed here. Check out options online to find something to suit your budget, or head to your local pet store to see what they have on offer. For veterinary services, go to your local vet and ask for a quote.
|ID Tag and Collar||$15|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10|
How Much Does a Calico Cat Cost Per Month?
$20-$250 per month
After you’ve invested in your initial setup supplies, the monthly costs of keeping a Calico cat can vary. You can choose to get budget food and supplies or splash out on premium ranges. Some cats will need ongoing monthly medication, which will increase your monthly outgoings.
$15-$200+ per month
Your Calico cat’s monthly healthcare costs will typically include things like:
Emergency treatment, like if your cat ate something poisonous or had an accident, can increase the costs for a specific month. It’s a good idea to plan for how you could meet unexpected bills. Some cat owners have a savings account, while others choose to take out pet insurance. Your vet may also accept payment plans, and this is a good question to ask them when you’re visiting for a routine check-up.
$20-$75 per month
There are so many different cat foods to choose from, you’ll have no trouble finding one to suit your budget. Make sure that the one you choose always has real meat listed as one of the first five ingredients and that it contains a high percentage of protein. Budget brands may use fillers, like grains, to bulk out the foods while keeping costs down.
You may decide to choose a premium brand, with organic or high-quality ingredients designed to give your cat the best nutrition.
$0-$15 per month
How much it costs to groom your Calico cat each month will depend on if they’re long- or short-haired. Long-haired cats will need more investment in terms of specialized brushes, or you may choose to book them in for an appointment with a professional groomer.
Shorthaired cats will simply need a quick brush once a week or so to keep their skin and coat in good condition.
Medications and Vet Visits
$0-$50+ per month
Many Calico cats are healthy and won’t need any specific monthly medications, apart from flea and parasite control. Some breeds of Calico cat may suffer from health problems, however, so it’s always best to familiarize yourself with the health problems that may affect the specific breed that you’re interested in.
Whatever your cat’s breed, making sure you brush their teeth regularly can reduce the chance of them suffering from dental disease.
$5-$25+ per month
This is an optional extra, and not all Calico cat owners choose to insure their pets. It might seem like an unnecessary expense, but if your cat does need expensive and unexpected treatment, pet insurance can help cover those costs. It’s always worth taking a look at a few policies and seeing if there’s one to suit your budget.
$15-$100+ per month
After food, this is probably going to be one of your larger expenses. Depending on what brand and type of cat litter you use, you’ll need to up 20 pounds of litter per cat per month. You may also choose to use litter mats, liners, or other accessories.
Offering your cat a fresh cardboard scratcher each month is also a good idea, so we recommend budgeting for that as well.
|Litter box liners||$5/month|
|Deodorizing spray or granules||$5/month|
$0-$50+ per month
When it comes to entertainment, you can either spend very little or splash out on all kinds of things! All cats need a good variety of mental and physical stimulation, so make sure your house includes plenty of interesting things for your Calico to explore and play with. Toys can be something cheap or free like an old cotton reel, or you can treat your cat to the latest interactive toys.
Cat subscription boxes can keep your cat entertained, and most offer a monthly selection of treats and toys.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Calico Cat
$20-$100+ per month
How much it costs you to keep your Calico cat each month will depend on whether you buy premium products, budget products, or a blend of both. There’s no need to think that you have to spend tons of money on your cat every month, once the essentials are covered, you don’t necessarily need to spend more.
The main thing that could increase your monthly costs is vet care. Your cat may develop a condition that requires regular medication, or they could have an accident with an expensive bill. Our final monthly estimate hasn’t accounted for unexpected vets bills, so it’s always worth bearing that in mind.
Additional Costs to Factor In
Besides your regular monthly costs, you may want to consider occasional costs, including:
Owning a Calico Cat On a Budget
It’s totally possible to own a Calico cat on a budget. Once you’ve invested in your initial setup costs, you can keep costs down by buying budget cat litter, making homemade toys, and even creating DIY scratching posts or cat trees if you have spare materials lying around.
One area in which we always recommend spending the majority of your budget is your cat’s food. Spending the time to find the best food that you can afford is time well spent. Always choose a food that’s high in protein, features real meat, and is free from meat by-products, artificial colors, and fillers.
Saving Money on Calico Cat Care
Look out for items like cat carriers and food bowls at yard sales. These can easily be cleaned up and should last a long time. You could make your cat a bed out of fabric scraps or an old bedspread, instead of buying an expensive new one.
Consider switching to a cheaper cat litter, or decide which items, like litter box liners, you may be able to do without. Look at cat food reviews, and see if it’s worth switching brands to save a few cents.
Remember that what all cats want, more than the latest fancy cat toys, is plenty of interaction with their owners. Spend time playing with your cat, and we guarantee that they won’t be worried that you’re trying to save money!
Once you’ve invested in your new cat’s initial supplies and vet care, their monthly costs can be as little as $25 or so. There’s no need to spend tons on items like automatic litter boxes and fancy cat beds — unless you want to, of course!
Something that can create unexpected expenses is if your cat needs veterinary treatment. You might decide that pet insurance is a sensible investment, or you can set up a savings account for your cat and put in extra money whenever you can.
Do your research when it comes to choosing food and litter, and reassess these costs every 6 months to see where you can make savings. But remember that what your cat cares most about is spending time with you!
Featured Image Credit: Sylvia Aruffo, Pixabay