How long will my cat live?
The answer to that depends upon several factors. The care that you give your cat, the quality of the food that your cat eats and the kind of lifestyle that your cat lives. All these things play their part in the chances of your cat enjoying a long life.
Veterinary medicine has made some great advances in recent years, and this is one of the reasons the average age of domestic cats is increasing. A well cared for cat that is kept indoors and is fed a good nutritional diet, would be expected to live for about 15 years.
Some cats do live to 20 plus years and there are records of a few cats reaching over 30 years. These sort of ages for a cat are very much the exception however.
The genetic make up of a cat can be a factor in determining its life span. Some breeds of cat appear to be more resilient than others. Selective breeding can have the effect that some breeds are genetically prone to ailments which shorten their life expectancy. Mixed breeds, the typical moggie or mouser, is usually more vigorous in its genetic make up and may expect to live slightly longer than a pure breed cat.
Cats that are kept strictly as indoor only cats stand a better chance of living to a ripe old age than cats that are allowed outside. The reasons for this are many. Outdoor cats face danger from traffic, from being attacked by other cats or by other animals. They run increased risk of being accidentally poisoned by pesticides or deliberately poisoned by malicious humans. Outdoor cats are also at risk from catching feline diseases particularly from the feral cat population.
The are many things to consider in deciding to keep your cat as an indoor only cat or an outdoor-indoor cat, life expectancy is only one of them.
Overfeeding your cat is a good way to shorten its life. An overfed cat stands more chance of health problems than a cat that is weight controlled. Diabetes, arthritis, breathing difficulties, heart and liver disease can all result as a consequence of overfeeding. All of these conditions may mean your little pet not living a long and healthy feline life. Your veterinarian can advise on the best diet for your cat.
Exercise too, is important for your cat's health and in maintaining its weight. Healthy cats mostly exercise themselves of course, but the playtime you enjoy with your cat can contribute to keeping kitty healthy. Elderly cats particularly benefit from gentle play-exercise.
Regular visits to the vets for routine checks will give your cat the best chance to live a long life, and to live that life healthily. Many life shortening problems can be tackled successfully if detected early.
Neutered or spayed cats often enjoy a slightly longer life than unaltered felines. This is particularly so for male cats as an unaltered male will often receive injuries defending his territory. There are many other good reasons for spaying and neutering of course, aside from extending the life of your cat.