How Long Do Cats Live?
It is a tricky question to deal with, even experienced veterinarians cannot tell exactly how long a cat will live?
Life expectancy of cats depends on several factors such as: genetics, diet, lifestyle, diseases, accidents and others. They all have a direct effect on their physical health.
It's also important to note, that if you take good care of a cat when they are a senior, this will lengthen their life expectancy.
1. Average Lifespan Of A Cat
Some studies produce an average life span for cats at around 10 to 15 years (source).
The oldest cat reported in Guinness book of World Record was 38 years old, which is quite impressive. On the other hand, there are cases when newborn cats died just a few weeks after delivery or lost their lives during the labor process.
Average Cat Lifespan Indoors
On average, indoor cats lives between 12-18 years. This is due to their stress-free environment and daily nutritious meals, plus proper medications.
Indoor felines are given daily meals at a schedule, provided with fresh water to drink, taken to medical check ups, and life in a danger free home, where it's warm and safe for them. Therefore house cats, which live at home are provided with much better care than outdoor ones.
Meanwhile, wild and outdoor cats live in more difficult living conditions. Here are some of the problems and hardships outdoor cats have to face: accidents, scarce food, no medical attention, battles against other wild animals. Normally, these cats live up from few months to several years.
How to Prolong a Cat's Life?
There are several things cat owners have control over and can positively effect the health of their felines and thus prolong their life expectancy:
- Feed them with the best cat food. Make sure the food has nutritious ingredients, vitamins and minerals, and is free of preservatives, artificial colorings and flavors. We've already covered why we recommend wet food vs. dry kibble food, and if possible feed them at least once a day with wet food.
- Provide them with water to drink daily. Being hydrated is important for cats, the best way to offer felines water is by getting them a cat water fountain.
- Have them exercise daily. This might seem like a no brainer, but many pet owners overlook the importance of exercise. Make sure they have enough interactive cat toys to keep them playing, jumping and keep them active every day.
- Take them to regular vet clinic check ups. Make sure you take your cat to regular vet check ups, to get their routine vaccinations and have their overall health looked at by a veterinarian.
- Provide them with love and attention. Felines are living animals that just like humans need live and attention. Make sure you spend quality time with them and show them that they are part of your family too.
2. Cat Years vs Human Years
Felines grow and age much faster than humans. As a general rule of thumb, the first 2 years of a cat's life equal to 25 human years, every year after that equals 4 human years.
For example, if you have a cat that is two years old, this would be 25 in human years, if it's three years old this will be 29 in human years.
Kittens, will be nursing in the first four weeks after they are born, after that they will begin weening other types of food. Depending on how cats grow up, people can tell the lifespan of cats.
At this point, the time cats take to become sexually maturity and come to aging distinguishes, some cats will need more time to get to a mature size and some just need few years to do so.
For example, Maine Coons and Persians take two years commonly to be mature then after that, they will step to age, their average life expectancy is about 17.
On another hand, a female Siamese only need about six months to be sexually mature, and normally, her life is supposed to be 15 years length.
Around seven years of age cats will be considered "adult", when they will experience aging and changes inside their bodies. Maturation in cats last up to ten, after that, cats are welcomed to senior world, when they are in need of special care.
Babyhood, teenage, maturation and adulthood are common stages of development and at each phase, cat owners need to watch and offer them suitable diet, care and mediation schedule, in order to improve their health and prolong their life expectancy.
3. How Long Do Cats Live – Approaching The End Of Their Life
You will notice that once your feline enters the adult/senior stage of their lives, their body and behavior will begin to change.
Some of the changes you'll notice are: lack of appetite, loss of vision, being inactive and lazy, dental problems, diabetes, etc.
Dental Problems and Loss of Appetite
If you have an senior cat that has dental problems, it's best to feed them with cat food for seniors with bad teeth. They are usually softer and easier to chew, so your feline can consume them easier.
Your feline will prefer to lay and rest more, and won't be jumping and enjoying play activities as much as before. They may be moving more slowly and have their legs dropping and dragging.
Hygiene and appearance
Senior felines will spend less time grooming themselves, and their hair will begin to look messy, the may have skin odor and inflammation. They won't be doing much grooming as they did then they were younger.
Senior felines will have a weaker immune system and may develop diseases such as: diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and others. Make sure you take your senior feline to frequent vet check-ups, so they can be prescribed the proper medication and supplements.
Indoor domestic cats have a life expectancy of around 12-18 years. However, this all depends on factors just as eating healthy food, exercise, their breed, lifestyle, medical conditions, etc. Make sure you provide them with suitable care and attention, so they life a healthy and active life.