Cat Life Expectancy: How long do we have?

Cats, unfortunately, do not have nine mystical lives. Instead, the average cat life expectancy of your average domestic cat is 13 to 17 years.

However, many variables can shorten or lengthen cat life expectancy. For instance, indoor cats tend to outlive outdoor cats by an average of 10 to 15 years.

Neutered cats also live longer lives as neutered cats are less likely to roam and encounter dangers. It’s also worth a mention that neutering prevents reproductive diseases. 

But here’s some excellent news for the ailurophiles: cats live longer than ever. The oldest cat was known as Cream Puff; this cat lived to the ripe age of 38 years and 3 days. Many cats live well into their 20s and 30s. 

So, what can you do to ensure your cat lives a long and healthy life?

The Secret to Cat Life Expectancy: Ways to Lengthen Your Cat’s Life

Cat life expectancy depends on breed, size, and diet. Siamese, Burmese, and Ragdoll cats, for one, are known to live longer than others. That said, purebred and domestic mixed-breed cats can surpass the average life span of the species. 

With advancements in nutrition and veterinary medicine, cats live well over their average lifespan. Here are some things to consider:

1. Cat nutrition

Cats are obligate carnivores, which should reflect in the food you feed them. A protein-rich diet ensures your cat gets the essential amino acids and vitamins they need to be healthy. Conversely, lack of a healthy diet exposes your cat to parasites and diseases that can shorten its lifespan. 

It can be difficult to choose quality cat food, considering the wide varieties on the market. As such, it’s a good idea to discuss your cat’s diet with the vet so you can choose the food that’s best for them. 

2. Routine medical care

You’re unlikely to notice something wrong with your cat until it’s too late. That’s why routine and preventative veterinary care is so important. Without such care, cats are left open to various infections and diseases.

Ideally, adult cats should have a complete veterinary examination once a year, while kittens must visit the vet every four weeks until they are about four months old. Doing so ensures they get the necessary vaccinations, parasite control, dental care, and proper nutrition to keep them healthy.

Geriatric cats may need more care as illnesses are more common in cats over 10. Here’s an interesting fact: a 10-year-old cat is about 56 human years old. 

3. Keeping your cat indoors vs. outdoors

Outdoor cats generally live shorter lives as they face more dangers than indoor cats. They encounter predators more often and are more likely to ingest something hazardous or be involved in traumas such as motor vehicle accidents. Moreover, they’re more vulnerable to infectious diseases like the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). 

However, life indoors isn’t without its dangers. Indoor cats are more susceptible to feline obesity as they’re less active than their outdoor counterparts. Obesity can compromise a cat’s quality of life, leading to osteoarthritis, diabetes, and cardiovascular health problems. Therefore, it’s essential to watch your cat’s food intake closely and provide her with as much mental enrichment as most cats tend to overeat out of boredom.

More Good Years with Your Feline

Even though cats like to maintain a sense of independence, it is possible to increase their odds of living past the average cat life expectancy. All they need is a healthy diet and a safe and loving environment.

Contact Hebron Veterinary Hospital 

Contact us at (860) 228-4324 or visit our contact page to discuss your cat’s life expectancy and what we can do to help prolong it. Also, be sure to give us a call if it’s time for your pet’s regular wellness or preventative care visit.