If you love your cat, you might be wondering about cat life expectancy as well as ways to help your cat live longer.
- How long do indoor cats live?
- What is an outdoor cat lifespan?
Let’s crunch the numbers!! So what is a cat’s lifespan? The answer is, ‘It depends’ on several factors.
Average Lifespan of a Cat
- Cat Life Expectancy Indoor and Outdoor Cats
- How long do indoor cats live? Indoor cats live a few years longer than outdoor cats, especially wild or homeless cats. This is because indoor pets are sterilized and vaccinated and generally get more protection from risks, diseases, stresses as compared to the wild ones.
- How long do outdoor cats live as compared to house cat lifespan? The life of outdoor cats depends on the predatory wildlife in the surroundings, the weather, the location and so on. They are more exposed to fleas, parasites, accidents and many other unpredictable variables, making the average of cats that live outdoors shorter than the domestic cats lifespan.
- Diet and Exercise
Female cats outlive male cats by one or two years
- Cat breeds
Mixed breed cats live longer than the purebred ones
- Health and Maintenance
- Spayed or neutered
The ASPCA states that the average lifespan of indoor cats is 13 to 17 years, but there are cats that live up to 20 years as well. It is a few years lesser in case of outdoor cats.
Now, we come to the next more important question. How can you help your cat live longer? Well, the good news for cat lovers is that there are many natural ways in which you can extend the longevity of your pet cat. So many life threatening diseases and injuries can be easily prevented if you can just take a few preventive steps. Let’s check out some of these.
Natural Ways to Help Your Cat Live Longer
#1. Regular Trips to the Vet for Long Cat Life
According to an AVMA survey, 44.9% of cat owners did not take their cats to the veterinarian and the primary reason given was that the animals were not sick.
Tip: Cats are great at disguising illness, so you need to tool for subtle signs of suffering.
- Old cats can suffer from arthritis; kidney or heart disease; hyperthyroidism, among others, thereby affecting cat lifetime.
- Veterinarians are trained to identify such signs of illnesses and can diagnose the problem, so that proper treatment can begin at the right time.
- If not detected and treated at the right time, your cat’s lifespan could be shortened.
- How long do cats live? In order to make them live longer, take your cat regularly for veterinary examinations and also keep it up to date with all the required vaccinations.
Also Read – How Do Cats Communicate With Each Other?
#2. Indoors Cats vs Outdoors Cats
If you leave your kitten or cat outdoors a lot, the life of cats is at greater risk of disease and accidents. Pet cats and kittens don’t have the skills to survive among wild cats and cats do fight a lot outdoors. However, living indoors all the time is not practical, nor is it advisable.
- Take your cats for outdoor walks on a leash or a harness in order to make your cats live longer.
- You can also keep your cat in an enclosed area, like a patio or a porch.
- Never let your cat outdoors unsupervised.
#3. Exercise to Increase Cat’s Lifespan
Obesity will surely shorten your cat’s life.
- Make sure your cat exercises for at least twenty minutes of high intensity activities.
- It helps burn fat and improves muscle tone.
- You can provide a multi level cat tree or a tower for her to climb on.
- Alternatively, get your cat laser toys.
- Think of activities that satisfy her craving for hunting and pouncing on a prey if you want cats living longer.
- You can also use ping pong balls or paper balls, or just drag a string in front of her to follow.
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#4. Balanced Diet for your Cat
Get the balance right and give your cat a nutritious, age appropriate diet. Which foods should you choose for your cat?
- Ensure your cat gets the right balance of proteins; fats; oils; vitamins; minerals and carbs.
- Cats need meat, so they cannot be vegetarians. Meat provides nutrition for heart, vision, skin and a healthy coat. However, avoid raw meat, as it can make the cat sick.
- Give kittens special diet rich in proteins and nutrients.
- Don’t go overboard on treats. Your kitty surely deserves a treat now and then, especially when she looks at you with those adorable eyes. Make sure that such treats form only 5 to 10% of her total calorie intake for the day.
#5. Mental Activities / Enriching the Environment Indoors
Cats are quite intelligent and you need to stimulate their brains regularly to improve skills like hunting; agility and attention in order to extend their lifespan.
- Buy toys that you can throw or roll to catch your pet’s interest.
- Have a regular playing session every day.
- If you’re not available most of the time, invest in interactive toys that the cat can trigger on its own.
- Use puzzles that dispense treats. There are mazes, diggers and balls that can keep it mentally occupied for a long time.
#6. Spaying and Neutering
According to reports, cats that are spayed and neutered live longer with neutered male cats living 62% longer!
- Female cats that are neutered have a smaller risk of getting cancer.
- Cats sterilized prior to their first heat are healthier. Do the spaying and neutering at a young age of about 8 weeks.
- Neutered male cats have a lowered risk of testicular cancer and prostate cancer.
- Does having kittens shorten a cat’s life? Not necessarily, but the longer you delay spaying a cat, the greater the risks of getting breast or uterine cancers.
#7. Bonding with Your Cat
Do cats live longer if they are loved? That’s an affirmative. Happy cats live longer.
- Show your cat that you love it.
- Spend quality time playing with your cat.
- Stroke your cat and give her a good massage. It also helps you check out to see whether it has any bumps, lumps or sores that need attention.
- Try communicating with your cat and understanding her meows and body language.
Also See – 10 Tips for Raising a Happy Pet
#8. Cat Grooming
Most cats have teeth and gum problems. If you don’t control plaque, it could lead to periodontal diseases.
- Brush your cat’s teeth regularly.
- Introduce dental care at the kitten stage, though not for the milk teeth.
- Make the grooming sessions fun. See that your cat’s ears, belly; tail, back, feet are all clean.
With advances in medicine, cats are now living longer than earlier. In addition to the above steps, take care of course, there are many factors that are beyond your control, but you can take the above steps to ensure that your cat is protected from illness, stress or dangerous situations, so that it can live a longer and healthier life.