The life expectancy of a pussycat depends, to a large extent, on the attention we devote to it. Among the most important aspects to ensure that our cat friends accompany us for many years is an adequate diet, a healthy lifestyle and regular visits to the vet.
The race is another fundamental point, since some varieties have genetic determinants that can condition their health. Habits and environment also play a role: cats that usually go out for walks in the neighborhood and stray cats tend to be less long-lived. Do you want to know how long a cat lives? Read on for the details.
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The growth stages of felines
It is widely believed that cats, like dogs, age seven years for every human year. The reality is different: it is considered that, in its first twelve months of life, a cat develops until it reaches the equivalent of fifteen years of a human , while the two years of a feline are similar to twenty-four years of a person.
After two, each cat year counts as four of ours. This information is important to learn to respect their needs at every stage of life. A ten-year-old cat is an adult who will not like a child jumping on him and who cannot be required to jump like a puppy. In these cases, a quiet environment and a relaxed life will positively influence you to live longer.
How long does a domestic cat live?
The comfort and security that a home provides are critical factors for longevity. Domestic cats live, on average, 12 years and, if they are well cared for, they can reach 20 or more . In fact, there are records of cats that even reached the third decade: Scooter in Texas, United States, died at 30, while the Englishman Nutmeg died at 32.
But what do we mean by well cared for? To have their vaccinations up to date , eat a healthy and balanced diet and exercise appropriate to their age range. This also means avoiding night walks, which can lead to territorial fights between male cats or the possibility of getting pregnant if they are female.
Diseases such as feline immunodeficiency or leukemia, which are transmitted through the exchange of fluids, are other risks of being related to cats that are not properly immunized.
Neutering is a good solution to eliminate your instinctive need for adventure. In addition, according to specialists, the removal of the reproductive organs helps prevent infections and tumors in the ovaries if they are female cats and eliminates the risk of prostate or testicular tumors in males.
Finally, race also plays a role. There are some that are more long-lived, such as the European cat or the American Shorthair, and others with less expectation, such as the Bengali or the Ukrainian. The reason is that some have a genetic predisposition to develop diseases that lower their expectations.
Diabetes, for example, is more common in Burmese, Siamese , Russian Blue and Abyssinian specimens ; Persian and Himalayan cats have a high incidence of polycystic kidney disease, while Maine Collins and Ragdoll varieties tend to suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy .
What is the life expectancy of a cat that lives on the street?
Unfortunately, stray cats have a life expectancy that is not even half that of domestic cats. 50% die before reaching the age of two and, at most, live to be six or seven. It is logical, if it is considered that they are exposed to extreme climatic conditions, to a constant risk of falls or accidents and to the fight for survival with other specimens.
Few know that abandoned kittens quickly forget their status as domestic. The first generation of felines born outside the home have all the characteristics of the wild cats from which they are descended.
Obviously, they don’t eat a healthy diet either. Stray cats live off their game and, if there are no rats, mice, or birds nearby, what they can find in the trash. Poor nutrition, diseases from eating spoiled food and also poisonings are among the main causes of death in this group.
It is not uncommon to find these cats, also known as ferales, in all the cities of Spain. The number of stray kittens in our country increases every year and in many localities feline colonies are already operating, managed by neighbors and volunteers from the protectors. However, the fundamental thing is to educate people so that – under no circumstances – they leave a cat or its young in the lurch.