In general, domestic cats tend to have a longer lifespan than dogs. That is why they are recommended for people who want a pet that is with them for a longer time.
Cats live longer than ever . But how many years can cats live?
With improvements in nutrition and veterinary medicine, including vaccines and therapeutic agents, cats live up to 15 years and, in some cases, up to 20 years. Life expectancy depends on many things, including whether your cat is an indoor or an outdoor cat .
Of course, this is not always the case. Genetics, luck, and whether or not you take your cat to the vet for regular check-ups all play a role.
In this article I will talk about how old they can be, what we can do to extend their life and the signs of aging in our cats.
Factors that will influence the average life of a cat
The question, how many years can a cat live, is not as simple as you might think? The lifespan of a cat depends on a number of factors, such as the environment where it lives, its diet and its state of health.
Estimates generally range from 10 to 20 years, so the average life of a cat is 15 years.
Below I list the factors that can influence the longevity of your cat.
Factors that decrease the life expectancy of a cat
To understand how long cats live, we must look at the most common factors that can decrease their life expectancy. A 2015 study found that the 3 most common causes of death in domestic cats were kidney failure , neoplasia and non-specific diseases.
Some other factors that can influence the longevity of cats include:
- The problem with obesity in cats: Poor nutrition, improvised feeding and lack of exercise can make your cat too fat. Data shows that an obese cat will have an average life expectancy of 5-10 years. This is because obesity determines that a cat can suffer from heart and respiratory diseases, as well as diabetes.
- Spaying:Studies show that neutering or spaying your feline will increase its years of life. Non-spayed cats are at risk for future testicular cancers, breast tumors, asthma, and abscesses.
- Indoor or Outdoor –Healthy and active indoor cats will live longer than outdoor cats, as they are less likely to contract pathogenic diseases.
- Purebred vs. Mixed:There is evidence that mixed-breed animals tend to live longer than purebreds. This is mainly due to genetic diversity in mixed breeds. With the crossing of races a breeder will introduce a new gene into the breeding group. Introducing new genes into an already narrow gene pool would mean that genetic diversity is increasing.
How long do indoor cats live?
One of the most important factors in determining how long a cat lives is whether you keep them indoors or allow them to go outside .
And all the data points to the fact that indoor cats tend to live much longer. Research overwhelmingly suggests that indoor cats live nearly three times longer than outdoor cats. It can be established that indoor cats live from 14 to 20 years. Therefore, the average lifespan of an indoor cat is 16,875 years.
Indoor cats are often spayed, vaccinated, and avoided the risks and dangers of the outside world. They feed regularly and have easy access to fresh, clean water.
Cats that are kept indoors are generally kept in a clean and safe environment. For the most part, they are less likely to come into contact with deadly pathogens, viruses, and parasites. Also, they are less likely to suffer a traumatic injury.
On the other hand, they require more attention, more distractions and dedication and must be motivated to exercise to avoid obesity.
How long do outdoor cats live?
Several factors tend to limit the average lifespan of a cat outdoors. Of course, “outside, outside, outdoors” means different things depending on where your cat lives.
Do you live in an urban, suburban, rural or isolated place? How many neighbors have outdoor cats? Do you live in a place with abundant predators? Are there wild or stray animals nearby? Is the year-round climate suitable for outdoor life? Do you live near public roads and highways?
All of these factors are limiting, as is increased exposure to fleas, ticks, and other parasites and diseases. Outdoors, cats can also get into fights and with other cats, or get run over by cars, putting them at higher risk of accidents.
Some diseases that a cat can acquire outdoors are:
- Fleas and ticks.
- It had to eat dead mice or rats.
- Heart worm.
As outdoor perks, they can explore, mark favorite perches, and get natural exercise. Because there are so many more unpredictable variables, the numbers are generally not good, and the lifespan of cats varies much more, between three and ten years. The average lifespan of the cat outdoors is 5,625 years.
How to know how old my cat is?
Trying to figure out the age of your cats can be quite difficult. Before giving you some tips to know how old your cat is, in “cat years”, you must first control its growth stages.
Female cats become sexually mature around 6 to 10 months. Males, on the other hand, reach sexual maturity at 5 months of age. A cat can be considered an older cat when 10 years pass.
So how do we know how old our cat is?
The best way to estimate a cat’s age is by looking at its teeth. I offer you some clues to determine the years, although this is not infallible:
- In 2 to 4 weeks, you will see their small incisors appear . And, in general, between 3 and 4 weeks you will be able to see how their canines turn out.
- Between 4 and 6 weeks,kittens will begin to have their premolars in the lower jaw. And, at 8 weeks, all the teeth will come out.
- By 4 months of age , your kitten will have her permanent incisors. And, at 5 to 7 months of age, all the permanent teeth will come in.
- A 1-year-old cat will have white teeth, without tartar or plaque formation. However, by age 2 , your teeth may be dull yellow.
- By 3 to 6 years,a cat will have worn down its teeth. May have tartar and plaque buildup
- Finally, cats that are 10-15 years oldcan have missing teeth, gum disease, bad breath, or even severe plaque buildup.
How can you help your cat live longer?
As in humans, there will be things that will be out of your control. Things like cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, etc.
But there are a few things you can do to give your cat a chance for a long and happy life.
For one thing, keeping your cat indoors helps improve his odds.
Grooming and grooming your cat often helps you identify potential health problems and catch them early.
Routine vaccinations and parasite control can help reduce your cat’s chances of suffering from certain diseases, and frequent check-ups allow your vet to monitor her health.
We must know that the lifespan varies and we cannot control everything, but by following some tips and simple strategies you can do everything possible to keep your cat safe and extend its life as much as possible.
We all want our cats to live forever, and while feline immortality is still out of our reach, it’s not unusual for cats to live to be 20 years old.
Signs of your cat’s aging
As your cat ages, it is common for him to experience various behavioral, appearance, and functional changes related to his physical health.
Here is a summary of some “normal things” that an older cat can experience:
Behavior changes: sleep disturbances, altered vocalizations, reduced stress tolerance. Social interactions can change between the pet and the owner or with other pets. They can become more clingy, or more distant and irritable.
Changes in appearance : changes in the eyes, including lenticular sclerosis, and atrophy of the iris. A decrease in the elasticity of the skin and brittle and thick nails. Slight changes in weight and vision. Teeth may experience thickening of the tooth walls, causing them to appear yellow, whitish, or even glassy.
Daily functional changes: change in activity patterns, a general decrease in activity levels and less interest in play, or restlessness and repetitive behaviors such as licking. Eliminate where you normally wouldn’t.
As in humans, many of the changes that occur with aging in cats are not considered pathological and do not negatively affect general well-being or quality of life.
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