If you are deciding whether to get yourself a gorgeous calico cat, you might wonder how much your pet will cost you. Of course, there are the upfront costs and the long-term costs for the right kind of care. Here’s all the financial information you need so that you can plan accordingly.
So, how much does a calico cat cost? Calico cats cost between $400 to $2,000 to buy. You can adopt a Calico cat for much less: from $60 to $125 on average. The amount of money you’ll spend depends on the age, sex, and whether your Calico is a mixed breed or a purebred cat. Male Calicos usually cost significantly more than females, as they are not as common.
Of course, we’ve just focused on the upfront costs of the cat so far.
But as you know, you’re going to need to make other purchases too; both to provide for their needs and to take the best care of them.
We’ll get into these shortly, but first.
Why does the upfront cost range so dramatically? Let’s find out!
- 1 Factors That Influence Calico Cat Cost
- 2 Can You Adopt A Calico Cat?
- 3 Other Upfront Costs When Buying a Calico Cat
- 4 Ongoing Costs When Owning A Calico Cat
- 5 Finally
Factors That Influence Calico Cat Cost
There are several basic factors that can impact the cost of a Calico cat, such as where you get your cat (from a breeder vs. a pet store or adoption center), breeder reputation, and whether your Calico cat is pedigree or a mixed breed.
Where You Get Your Calico Cat
Calico Cats From A Breeder
If you get your Calico cat from a breeder, you will usually pay more, especially if your breeder is registered and has an excellent reputation.
Breeders have a lot of fees to pay for their certification, in addition to the health checks, premium food, and other expenses for breeding their cats and raising healthy kittens.
Calico Cats from A Pet Store Or Other Source
There are chains of pet stores as well as places like kitten farms (which are best avoided!)
You may pay less from pet store chains or kitten farms, but these places tend to put profit before care.
Typically, the animals will not be looked after with the same amount of love, respect, and attention as you would usually find at a breeder’s or a private home.
Calico Cats from An Animal Shelter
The cheapest option is usually to get your Calico cat from a shelter.
Some shelters will pay for spaying or neutering fees, too.
Check near you to see what is available locally.
Pedigree Vs. Mixed Breed Calico Cats
Calico cats are not a breed unto themselves: the term ‘calico’ refers to the patches of colors these cats have on their fur.
Typical Calicos have between 25% to 75% white fur, with either orange and black or cream and grey patches.
There are other combinations of the three colors, but these are the most common mixtures.
The patches of color are caused by a natural genetic process and are unique to each cat.
Because the X chromosomes carry the genes for these color combinations, most Calicos are female.
This is also why this cat can vary quite a bit in terms of size.
Mixed breed Calicos tend to fetch similar prices to domestic tabby cats, whereas purebred Calicos will go for much more, depending on the breed.
Here are the most common breeds which can include Calico cats:
- British Shorthair
- American Shorthair
- Exotic Shorthair
- Maine Coon
- Norwegian Forest Cat
- Japanese Bobtail
- Turkish Angora
- Turkish Van
Can You Adopt A Calico Cat?
You can, indeed, adopt a Calico cat. Private homes and animal shelters may have Calicos, so it’s worth doing a Google search if you are looking to adopt an animal in need.
Some organizations online (including on Facebook) rehome Calico cats, so a careful search can hopefully help you find one!
At the time of writing, there are many, many Calico cats looking for caring owners, so adopting a Calico cat can give an animal another chance at a loving home.
Other Upfront Costs When Buying a Calico Cat
Other initial costs that you’ll have when you first get your Calico cat include toys (essential to keep your pet stimulated), food and water dishes, a cat bed, a litter box (for indoor cats), etc.
Most items have budget versions as well as more elaborate ones, but here’s a rough guide to costings:
- Food and water dishes. You can get these dishes for as little as $3, or go for something fancier that can cost as much as $70. Of course, it depends on your taste: and if you get good quality items, you hopefully won’t have to buy them again.
- Cat toys. Start with maybe some simple toys, especially as you’re getting to know your cat. Different cats prefer different types of toys: some make noises, others have pleasing textures or items like feathers, and others have laser lights to chase. See what your pet prefers before spending too much money, and expect to spend at least $10 to start with.
- A scratching post. If you know that your cat is going to spend a lot of time indoors, a scratching post can mean the difference between furniture that is ravaged or not! Cats need to scratch to naturally trim their claws, and there are many different types of scratching posts starting from $10. Some people make their own using a sturdy piece of wood and covering it with carpeting.
- A litter tray and scoop. For indoor cats, you’ll need these items right away, along with cat litter (see ongoing costs below). Expect to spend at least $12 for a simple litter box and scoop unless you want the ‘scoop-free’ versions, which are closer to $100.
- A cat bed. You don’t have to get a cat bed, but some cats enjoy them. If you don’t want your cat sleeping on your bed, then a soft, comfy bed can provide extra comfort. Cat beds start at $12, with heated models or beds that include scratching areas that go for $100 and up.
- A cat carrier. For vet visits, you need a cat carrier to keep your pet safe while out and about. Cat carriers range from $14 for the simplest models (the carrying cases) to $30 and up (backpacks). If you expect you may be traveling a lot, you may want to get an airline-approved cat carrier.
If you were to add all these up, you are looking at between $60 on the low end, to $400-$500 on the higher end.
Of course, you may be able to get a greater discount by buying items all at once, or you could find some great promotional offers.
Perhaps you’ve owned a cat before and have all, or at least some of these items already.
Ongoing Costs When Owning A Calico Cat
When owning a Calico cat, the main ongoing costs are food, cat litter, pet insurance, and vet bills.
Food Costs For Calico Cats
You will probably spend, on average, about $120 to $500 per year on food for your pet.
However, if your Calico cat requires a special diet (for instance, Maine Coons often require a prescription diet because of their size), then expect to spend more.
Prescription diets can cost up to $500 per year and are also useful for cats with chronic medical issues.
However, most Calicos will be okay with the standard types of cat food available at pet stores or grocery stores.
It’s worth knowing, though, that high-quality nutrition can usually save you money in the long run.
Your cat won’t need as much food per serving, and you could save money on potential vet bills.
Check with your vet if you aren’t sure which food is best for your Calico cat – particularly if you have a purebred cat.
A rule of thumb for most cats is to provide them with dry and wet food (not just one or the other).
Cat Litter For Calico Cats
You’ll need to consider the cost of cat litter if your cat will live primarily indoors.
Cat litter costs from $100 to $250 per year, depending on what cat litter you buy.
Make sure the cat litter doesn’t contain artificial scents – we may like scented kitty litter, but cats prefer odorless litter.
Most people get insurance for their cats to be able to cover unexpected costs due to accidents or illness.
The average cat pet insurance for sickness and accident cover is about $29 per month for young, mixed breed cats.
Purebred cats and more senior cats (no matter their breed) tend to cost more to insure, as the health risks are more significant.
When choosing pet insurance, look at the deductible. If the deductible is a sum you would be able to pay quickly, that’s fine.
Otherwise, consider paying a bit more per month for a lower deductible.
In addition, some pet insurance policies will cover the cost of spaying or neutering.
You will need to bring your Calico cat to the vet for regular checkups to make sure your pet is in good health.
Most yearly routine visits cost from $90 to $200 for indoor cats.
If you have an outdoor cat, add in the costs of additional vaccines and anti-flea, tick, and worm medication, which is usually an additional $150 per year.
If your pet insurance doesn’t cover spaying or neutering, you’ll need to include the cost.
Spaying (for female cats) averages out at $300 to $500 when done in a private veterinary practice.
Neutering costs about $200 (for the rare Calico male cat).
Depending on what’s available in your area, you may be able to get your cat spayed or neutered at an animal shelter for as little as $50.
Male Calicos can be more expensive to look after since their extra X chromosome makes them subject to Klinefelter’s Syndrome, which can carry higher risks of heart disease or diabetes.
Like with most pets, the cost of a calico cat can vary quite dramatically.
It really does depend on the breed you go for, where you get them, and other external factors like the supply and demand at the time of your search.
Nevertheless, the good news is you should be able to find one of these majestic-looking felines regardless of your budget.
Just consider the cost of care over their lifetimes.
These are cats that can live anywhere from 10-20 years, on average.
And with yearly expenses, you do need to ensure you can cover them.
Oh, and then there is the potential of shedding too.
Also, consider that if you have allergies!
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.