The life expectancy of cats has many different factors, but there is one common thread among most of these factors; you can control them.
Cats are much different that dogs when it comes to breeds, as large breeds of dogs live a much shorter life span than medium or small breeds.
There is no real breed difference in cats concerning life expectancy, but there are still several factors that are involved. And as the owner, you can literally control most all of them.
Cats today live a much longer life than they did just a few decades ago and by a spread that is surprising to most owners.
Less than twenty years ago, the average life span of a cat, regardless of the most ideal of conditions, was just five to six years of age on the average.
However, today the average age is as high as fifteen years old or more in several cases. Some cats live into their twenties.
There are several factors that can and have indeed improved the life expectancy of cats, but there are two extremely important factors that are the main contributors.
The two major factors are where your cat lives; indoors or outdoors, and their weight.
If your cat is overweight, some experts suggest it can take as many as three to four years off of their overall life expectancy.
Indoors or Outdoors
Life expectancy of cats has no one single more important factor than where your cat lives.
In fact the numbers are starting.
Unless they are kept as strictly a working cat on a farm, ranch, or another environment to control mice, you would have to question why you would ever allow your cat to live outdoors.
Several years of research has indicated that domesticated indoor cats live an average lifespan of between twelve and eighteen years of age.
Their counterparts, live a lifespan about one third of this time frame; only between four and five years.
Outdoor cats face several dangers that indoor cats will never face.
It is estimated that over one half of all of the outdoors cats are killed in accidents such as getting hit by a car, or are attacked and killed by other animals, including dogs or other wild cats.
However, cats that may live most of their lives outside still face several other dangers that indoor cats are protected from, such as disease.
Outdoor cats are much more likely to be exposed to bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, as well as other wild animals that are infected.
Indoor cats, on the other hand, have virtually no chance of being hurt or killed in an accident. Even if you let your cat out for only a brief period to roam, the risk increases dramatically.
It made sound odd to some owners, but there is absolutely no reason you cannot leash your cat and walk them. By doing this simple step, it dramatically increases their life expectancy.
However, even if your cat is an indoor only cat and will not be exposed to potential viruses, you still need to have them vaccinated.
Life expectancy of cat’s next biggest enemy is obesity. Although genetics and breeds can play some role in obesity, it is not near as common as it is with dogs.
breeds seem to have a much higher chance of becoming obese than do purebreds, but it can still be controlled.
Regardless of the breed or purity, most cats begin their trek to obesity between the ages of five and six years of age.
If an owner is aware of this tendency, they are much better prepared to combat it. However, it is also very important to understand the difference between overweight and obese.
If your cat is simply overweight, you can tell this by checking their ribs. If they show only a slight increase of fat over the ribs but you can still them, they are overweight, not obese.
If they are obese, both their ribs as well as their backbone are either disappearing or have totally disappeared, as layers of fat have overtaken them. If this is the case, it is time to react.
If you do not, your cat has a very little chance of living their full lifespan.
However, there are several other things you can do as well to improve he life expectancy of cats as it will not always be possible to have your cat indoors at all times.
Declawing will also be a debated topic, but when it comes to the life expectancy of cats, there is no real debate. If your cat will live every minute of their life indoors, then by all means declaw them.
However, if you let your cat outdoors at all, even with you at their side and supervising, declawing takes away the only natural defense they have.
If they are attacked by another cat or a dog, they will now have absolutely no method of protecting themselves.
Spaying and Neutering
Life expectancy of cats also has a much better chance of extension if your cat is neutered or spayed. Once this has been done, cats are much more likely to stick close to home.
It also preforms one other critical task; it takes away most of your cat’s natural aggression.
If your cat is not as aggressive, they will be a lot less prone to get in a fight and be injured.
However, it also accomplishes something else just as important.
It reduces the chances of become pregnant and then dealing with litters that were not planned for.
Grooming is not just for show; it is for the overall health of your cat.
If your cat is a long haired breed, it could do wonders for their overall health and thus their life expectancy.
If a cat is not properly groomed at least two to three times a year by a professional or by an owner that really understands the process, it can develop into health issues.
Matting as well as a myriad of harmful material can easily become caught in their fur.
Even indoor only cats need to be properly groomed and as meticulous as cats are, most hairballs are self-induced; and because of this, they need to be groomed.
One of life expectancy of cat’s biggest allies is a continual and always fresh supply of water.
can live days without food, but if they lose as much as ten percent of their bodily fluid, their health is at risk.
If they lose fifteen percent or higher, it is now not just at risk, it is compromised and in severe danger.
There are several nutrients that are critical in your cat’s daily life, but all of them combined are not as important as fresh water.
If you do not have a self-filling natural water source for your cat that supplies at least several days’ worth of water, buy one as soon as possible.
You never know what life will bring and when you may be detained for a day or two.
Keep your cat away from the trash; period. There is not a cat alive that will not explore your trash if given an opportunity.
However, although discarded food is dangerous enough for your cat, your trash contains all types of potential poisons.
You may try your entire life to train your cat to stay away from the garbage, but quit wasting your time.
Given the chance, nature is nature and they will go for the garbage. Invest in a trash receptacle where the lid locks.
Outside of fresh water, the two most important nutrients for improving the life expectancy of cats are Taurine and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Omega 3 fatty acids benefit several parts of your cat’s body, especially their brain.
Your cat’s brain is made of 60 percent fat and needs this nutrient to function properly.
The cell membranes of all of your cat’s nerve cells as well as the sheaths that surround them also reply on a constant source of this nutrient.
Supplementing it will ensure that the supply is never depleted.
Taurine stays in a free form, different form other essential amino acids, and your cat has several tissues that are rich in taurine, including the heart and the central nervous system.
It is also critical in the formation of biliary salts.
While most animals can simply utilize other acids to perform the functions of taurine, your cat cannot. For this reason, they most have it in their diet in ample supplies or supplemented.
The life expectancy of cats has changed dramatically over the last twenty years.
It can also be controlled if you take some very simple precautions with your cat in their early years and then extend them into their mid years.
As they reach their golden years, both of you will receive the rewards of a much longer lifespan.