Humans and cats have lived side by side for thousands of years. Cats have established themselves as cherished and well-cared-for family members and pets during that time.
The length of a cat’s life relies on a variety of circumstances, which we’ll discuss in this article. Cats live an average of 15 years, though this varies from cat to cat.
Let’s examine cat lifespans in detail.
Life Expectancy Of Cat
Cats’ lifespans have increased because of significant advances in veterinary medical care. With more emphasis on preventive care, many cat parents proactively maintain their cat’s health and well-being, helping cats live longer and healthier lives.
Factors Affecting the Life Expectancy Of Cat
Here are the factors that affect how long a cat will live:
Indoor cats live much longer than outdoor cats, with an average lifespan of 14 to 20 years.
Comparatively speaking, indoor cats live in the lap of luxury. They don’t have to hunt for their food, receive routine medical care, and are fully protected from outdoor dangers, including wild animals, toxic plants, and cars.
With all of these luxuries, though, indoor cats can get lazy. Lazing around all day without much exercise can lead to obesity, which can cause chronic health problems like diabetes.
2. Living Outside
Outdoor cats lead difficult lives. They have to find their food, which may be scarce. They are exposed to harsh environmental conditions, have to fend off wild animals, and are at risk of eating toxic plants or getting hit by cars.
Outdoor cats also have to fight other cats to defend their territory and protect resources, exposing them to infectious diseases like feline immunodeficiency virus. Outdoor cats usually have short lives, with an average lifespan of 5 years.
3. Medical Care
Routine medical care includes vaccinations, parasite prevention, and physical exams. Of course, receiving this care won’t completely prevent your cat from getting sick.
But it does mean that you and your veterinarian will be able to proactively manage your cat’s health and provide your cat with the best care possible throughout its life.
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they require lots of animal-based protein in their diet. Other than animal-based protein, cats need various vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids like taurine. The right nutrient balance keeps a cat healthy and can promote a long lifespan.
With so many available diet choices and formulations (dry, wet, freeze-dried), it can be challenging to know which diet to choose for your cat. Your veterinarian can help guide you through the cat food maze and recommend a diet that will be best for your cat and their individual health needs.
5. Positive Status
Cats that are spayed or neutered tend to have longer lives than those of intact cats. Spaying and neutering decrease the risk of developing reproductive diseases later in life that could shorten lifespan.
6. Health Status
Good health often equates to a long life. However, some health conditions can shorten a cat’s lifespan. For example, kidney disease, which affects older cats, shortens lifespan because the kidneys eventually reach the point of not working at all.
Unfortunately, cats don’t make it easy to notice when they’re sick. They will do their best to disguise their pain and discomfort. By the time you notice that something’s not right, your cat’s illness could be quite advanced, making treatment more difficult and expensive.
Some breeds live very long lives. For example, American Shorthair cats can live as long as 15 to 20 years, while Burmese cats have an average lifespan of 16 to 18 years.
Compared with purebred cats, mixed breed cats tend to be hardier and less susceptible to hereditary diseases, helping to extend their lifespan.
A cat’s genetic makeup can affect lifespan. For example, genetics can increase a cat’s risk of developing cancer or other chronic health conditions that could shorten its lifespan.