There are numerous stories online about cats that have lived to their 20’s and even 30’s. In England, the Daily Mail ran an eye-catching piece about a cat that was 24 years old believed to be the oldest in Britain.
There is also an account of a cat known as Cream Puff, that breathed it’s last at age 38 that is believed to be the oldest feline.
While many people are overjoyed when their cats reach teenage years, the adage that cats have nine lives can only be true if they are well taken care of.
Cats can live to be 15 years, and in some instances, more than 20 years with proper nutrition and medical care.
There are a number of factors that affect their longevity but most important is if your cat is a domestic pet or an outdoor animal.
Determining the Longevity of Cats
The lifespan of a cat is determined by a number of factors. These include their surrounding, health and maintenance, and if the cat is vaccinated and sterilized.
When a cat is sterilized, it can live much longer. This is because the risks of getting illnesses that can affect the feline’s reproductive organs in old age are eliminated.
On average, outdoor cats tend to live for about 7 years, while indoor cats can reach the age of 15.
Indoor VS Outdoor Cats
Indoor cats live in a snug and secure environment with delicious, and nutritious meals served at the appropriate time. They are sheltered from erratic and unpredictable weather, and they hardly ever go through predatory experiences. They sleep in clean environments and have the affection and care of a pet owner. They are subjected to cyclic vaccinations and regular vet checkups and are probably neutered. As a result, an indoor cat can live to a good old cat age of 12, or probably 15.
Outdoor cats, on the other hand, must go through everyday ordeals and must always remain alert. They go through life-threatening experiences on a daily basis because they have to outwit dogs, encounter unfriendly and insensitive human beings, and dodge automobiles that threaten to end their lives prematurely. The might wage war with fellow outdoor cats and can get poisoned by chance or design. They easily pick up ailments from other stray cats that might remain untreated and could end up getting caught by animal control and could end up getting euthanized. Outdoor cats also suffer starvation and there is no doubt that any of the above factors, as well as many others, might end its life short.
Breed as a Determinant of Age
Another important factor in determining the lifespan of cats is its breed.
Some studies seem to suggest that mixed breed cats are typically stronger and might enjoy a longer lifespan as compared to cats that have been bred from parents of their own breed or a similar variation.
The ancestral diversity of mixed breed cats protects them from some hereditary complications, although Siamese cats and the Manx breeds are popular for their longevity.
The female feline is said to outlive its male counterpart by one or two years.
While breed can be a determining factor in the lifespan of cats, ensuring that your cat is healthy and fit will add to its span of life. Nonetheless, some cats that have an extraordinary longevity that did not come from the pure breed or the mixed breed.
Some of the oldest cats that have lived were aged between 34 to 39 years. A cat named Lucy was the oldest at age 39. Crème Puff, a 2010 entrant into the Guinness World Record lived to be 38. A cat named Baby from Duluth, Minnesota, US lived to the age of 37, and another on named Puss is believed to have lived for 36 years. Grandpa Rex Allen, a Sphynx and a descendant of Crème Puff, lived for 34 years. Due to his pedigree, he is one of the few cats with a comprehensive account of his birth.
How your cat can live longer?
There are a number of ways in which feline fans can enhance the lifespan of their pets.
Cat owners need to have the responsibility of remaining watchful so that they can notice slight shifts in the mannerisms of their pet as well as its general health.
This can be achieved if the owners undertake small periodical checks to determine the cat’s health. Pet owners can seek advice from vets during visits if they are not certain about what should be done. Some of the changes that should be observed include the intake of water, the cat’s inclination to eat, or rather not to eat, its respiratory performance, and the quality of the cat’s fur. Other things to look out for are lumps and bumps, if the cat is coughing, its toileting behaviors, as well as its grooming manners.
Keeping Your Cat In Good Physical Condition
- The cat must be taken for regular vaccinations and must be subjected to regular veterinary examinations which must include a physical analysis.
- With the help of the vet, it is essential to determine which diet is suitable for the cat depending on its age. Pet owners must also ensure that the cat maintains a healthy weight that is appropriate for its age.
- The cat will also need to be engaged in routine physical exercises as well as provided with sufficient playtime. This is the best way to ensure that the cat’s weight remains within range and he or she is mentally stimulated.
- The owner must ensure that the cat stays in an atmosphere that is free from stress.
- Cats also require dental care as this helps to avert dental problems.
- Older cats might need dietary modifications as well as supplements that can help with their aging frame.
Keeping Your Cat Alive and Kicking
While the above examples of cats that lived to be more than 30 years can give hope to cat owners, they are exceptionally rare. There is no secret remedy for longevity or fountain for cat youthfulness.
Nonetheless, cat owners can ensure that they add to their cat’s life expectancy by following a few simple rules.
- Since domesticated cats live longer than cats that live in the outdoors, it helps to ensure they remain indoors.
- Letting cats go outside will expose them to contagious diseases and can be a contributing factor in reducing their life expectancy.
- Cats are highly social animals and it helps them when they have companionship. You can get your cat a companion and this will contribute largely to its fulfillment and enriched and lengthen its life.
- You should also ensure that you take time to bond with your cat and help them with the progression of the phases of aging that cats experience.
Cats grow from kittens and get to a stage where they are juniors between the ages of six months to two years. They then move to another stage between the ages of three to six, where they are at their prime. Between the ages of seven to ten years, they are at a stage of maturity, and between ages eleven to fourteen, they are in the stage of seniority. They then enter into the final stage, referred to as the geriatric stage when they are between ages fifteen to twenty-one. At this stage, the cat’s age is equivalent to the human age of 60 or more.
As long as cat owners are able to take good care of their pets, the cat shall love life as a whole.