We all know the old saying: cats have nine lives, however; though their actual longevity depends on more than simple folklore. The Internet is riddled with stories of cats in their 20s and 30s. While it is true that some cat breeds live longer than others, the average cat lifespan is something that can’t be pinpointed.
How to Increase My Cat’s Lifespan?
Statistics and WebMD show that the average lifespan of an indoor cat is much longer than an outdoor cat. On average, an indoor cat lives 9 – 15 years but some cats can live for as many as twenty years. In comparison, an outdoor cat’s life expectancy is less than five years.
There are many factors that play a part in determining how long a cat will live. Of course, genetics plays a role. Other factors include:
- Nutrition: Feed your cat a good quality, well-balanced diet according to its age.
- Keep up to date with vaccinations.
- Keep your cat healthy, that includes regular treatment for parasites such as worms and fleas. Regular veterinary check-ups (at least once a year) are vital in order to check the health of your cat and pick up diseases and health issues early.
- Dental care: Unhealthy teeth and gums have a greater impact on the body than just causing bad breath, pain, and infection. As the gums have a rich blood supply, bacteria are readily transported to other organs (such as the liver, kidneys, etc.) in the body causing damage and even organ failure.
Life Span for Indoor Living
An indoor cat’s world is a safe, cozy haven, with tasty meals dished up on time, and protection from the changeable weather. The only experience a cat can have with a predator is probably the owner who might mishandle them. Life with a clean litter box, a private place to catnap and attention from one or more humans who offer affection and care all help boister the cat’s lifespan? If the cat has grown up indoors, it’ll likely have no interest in exploring the great outdoors, especially with stimulating playtime and toys to keep her stalking instincts keen. With routine vaccinations and vet checkups, plus spaying or neutering can cause an indoor cat to easily thrive into their teen years or beyond! According to PetMD, the average lifespan for a cat is 10 to 15 years.
By contrast, an outdoor feline, whether a lifelong feral or one who’s been dumped by a former owner, experiences daily stress. The cat needs to rely constantly on their survival instincts keep them alert to avoid dogs, aggressive humans, and cars on a daily basis. Cats have to hunt birds or rodents for dinner or forage in trash cans for scraps of potentially dangerous food. They usually must shelter themselves exposed to the elements of nature and may make it hard for them to sleep. Cats may be struck by a car, poisoned, or killed in a fight with other animals. No wonder an outdoor cat’s lifespan is much less than an indoor cat which is usually around: two to five years.
Purchase High-Quality Cat Food
Providing a high-quality, balanced, and complete diet is one of the most important things you can do to keep your cat healthy and ensure a long life. The diet should also be appropriate for your cat’s life stage and lifestyle. For instance, a kitten should be consuming a diet that supports growth while an older cat may require fewer calories or even have health issues that require dietary restrictions or additions. The nutritional needs of each cat are different. In addition, it is important to avoid overfeeding your cat. Your veterinarian can help you choose a diet appropriate for your individual cat based on his age, reproductive status (i.e., neutered or spayed), health, and other factors.
Just as with humans, cats living a healthy lifestyle improve their chances of marking more birthdays. Felines may not take to the treadmill, but offering your cat regular physical activity helps keep her weight down, and provides mental stimulation too. It helps if your cat loves you as constant care helps make it feel more comfortable at home. Dental care, to avoid common oral issues that affect many cats, is key to overall health. Annual vet exams, especially as cats age, will spotlight any bodily changes or potential health problems. Older cats may also need a few dietary changes to accommodate their aging systems, and your vet may suggest supplements or vitamins. Finally, a tranquil home environment, populated by those she loves, will keep your kitty content at every life stage.