If you have ever owned a pet, then you know how much a pet can mean to a person. They are like an extended family. And, many studies show that losing a pet can hurt as much as losing a person you love.
I would love for my kitty to live as long as I would. But, no matter how much we want to extend our pet’s life, unfortunately, very often we outlive them.
The best thing we can do for our cat or any pet is to give them a life full of love, care, and fun.
Cats, however, can sometimes outlive doggies. Maybe they don’t live as long as humans, but they can have a long and happy life.
How long do cats normally live? That depends on many factors that can influence their longevity. Also, it makes a difference if the cat lives indoors or outdoors.
The content below answers the question of how long is the average cat lifespan, and, as well, it will give you some insight into the major factors that play role in your feline friend’s length of life.
So, what do you think? How long do cats actually live?
I believe everybody, at some point in their life, has heard the saying “A cat has nine lives” (in some cultures it maybe six or seven lives). Do they really have nine lives? I’m sorry to disappoint you, but cats, like any other living being, have only one life.
The saying refers to the fact that a cat might be the most resilient pet, but also to its anatomy. They have great flexibility in their joints which enables them to withstand minimal injuries from various accidents.
Have you ever wondered what the oldest cat that ever lived is? That would be Creme Puff, and it lived for thirty-eight years and three days. Although that’s a very fascinating fact, we can’t expect that all our feline friends would live that long.
A cat’s lifespan depends on many factors, including whether it has been neutered or spayed. By sterilizing your cat, you will protect it from many diseases that may affect its reproductive organs when it gets older.
Furthermore, with the advances in medicine, as doctors are able to help people live longer and healthier lives, vets are more equipped with the knowledge to do the same for your kitty.
So, as a cat owner, you can do a few things to ensure your feline friend has a better quality of life, like providing good nutritious cat food, visiting the vet when there is a necessity, and cleaning their litter box often to prevent developing of certain diseases.
Let’s not forget the most important thing you can do for your kitty, and that is to give them all the love and care you can because that will greatly improve their quality of life.
In relation, based on conducted surveys, it has been concluded that an average cat lifespan is fifteen to sixteen years. With the advancements in nutrition and science, it has been known for cats to live even up to twenty years or more.
What factors can influence a cat’s lifespan?
Although results show that an average cat lifespan is between fifteen and sixteen years, there are various factors that play role in your cat’s length of life.
One study shows that the mortality rate of cats at the age of one and sixteen would be higher than normal. That means that one and sixteen years are periods considered to be high risk.
What are some of the factors that can decrease your kitty’s life expectancy and is there something you can do about it? If you are interested, the answer is below.
What breed is your feline friend?
In general, crossbreed cats live longer than purebred. On average, they might live one and a half years longer than purebred kitties.
However, there is a difference in lifespan within breeds as well. For example, the American shorthair cat is one of the most popular breeds, and their lifespan can reach up to the twenties, whereas Bengal cats are considered to be the shortest living breed at an average of seven years. This is because Bengal cats are prone to health issues like polycystic kidney disease and some infections.
Siamese cats are another breed that is very liked by pet owners. Their average lifespan is fourteen years, and they could have some respiratory issues, heart disease, cancer, and also they might have problems with their teeth.
So, you might want to consider the breed of the kitty before taking one home, because as cute as they are, they still need a lot of care and commitment.
Take a look at your cat’s fur and skin color
Another factor that may impact the length of your feline friend’s life is its fur and skin color. Although common colors like white or brown won’t make much difference, some cats with unique colors could have certain health challenges that may play a role in their lifespan.
For instance, tortoiseshell kitties can often be sterile and the various health issues they may face can influence the length of their life. Also, these cats are more frequently female than male.
Similarly, calico cats have two X chromosomes, which is why they have calico coloring. Consequently, because of this, male cats have XXY chromosomes, and this is linked to sterility and other issues with their health, which can shorten their life expectancy.
What should you feed your cat?
Nutrition is a major factor in a cat’s lifespan and this is something that you as a pet owner can influence. Admittedly, the better quality food your cat eats, the healthier it will be.
Check the cat food you are buying. Many brands include a lot of fillers and additives. This type of food won’t provide any nutritional value to your kitty.
On the other hand, there might be some good quality cat food brands that your feline friend doesn’t tolerate. You will need to offer it several options, but it is crucial to find nutritious food that will satisfy its needs.
Avoid giving your kitty milk and any other kind of dairy, because they can’t tolerate it. If milk is given, it should be cat milk that is made for them.
If a cat doesn’t eat fresh raw meat, it may get dehydrated. Although, they prefer drinking from a moving water source, ensure you have a little bowl with water for them.
Another food that should be avoided is carbohydrates. They don’t provide any nutritional value to cats, and they can be bad because carbs can limit the quantity of protein your kitty digests. Protein is what gives them energy and keeps them healthy.
And, one more thing, don’t forget to keep your cat active. Staying in shape is of paramount importance for your kitty’s lifespan.
Why does an indoor cat live longer?
Yes, cats that are kept indoors live almost double longer than outdoor cats. And, the reasons are quite simple.
Indoor cats live in a generally clean and safe space. They are less likely to get into a dangerous situation, and they are less exposed to deadly viruses and parasites. There are fewer chances to be attacked by another animal or get hit by a car. Moreover, they are free from the stress that is in the outside world.
The fact that they have fresh, clean water and food at all times, considerably increases their chances of living longer.
A vaccine is another reason for a longer lifespan. Pet owners normally ensure their kitties are vaccinated, which protects them from various diseases. In addition, they get regular veterinary check-ups and care when needed.
Indoor cats are generally spayed or neutered. As we mentioned, this protects them from health issues related to their reproductive organs as they get older.
However, all of this doesn’t mean that you have to keep your cat indoors. Cats are curious animals and they can become unhappy if they don’t have anything to explore. Outdoor adventures are a crucial part of a cat’s life. Also, they can become overweight from lack of physical activity. That’s why some pet owners allow their feline friends to go outside as well. If you want to let your kitty outside, first consult with your vet.
What about outdoor kitties?
If you decide to keep your cat outside, you need to be aware of the various challenges that can limit the average cat’s lifespan.
If you live near a road, this might pose a danger to your kitty because it can be hit by a car. Unfortunately, this is a very common occurrence with stray cats.
Stray animals are another thing to consider. Cats can also get into fights with other cats or even dogs, and this can lead to a lot of injuries and infections.
Outdoors, your cat will be more exposed to ticks, fleas, and other parasites and viruses. My cat got a virus by interacting with other outdoor cats, even though it was vaccinated.
To sum up…
As you can see, there isn’t a definitive answer to the question about how long is the average cat lifespan.
It really depends on many circumstances and factors, and there are things you can do to extend it, but not everything depends on you.
Just give them the love they deserve, shower them with attention, and they’ll live a happy life no matter how long.