Sooner or later many cat owners start thinking on the question: how long do cats live? And this is really a hot topic, because for all these years spent together cat is not just a pet, but a true friend and a family member.
A famous long living cat named Cream Puff from Texas lived at its owner Jack Perry as much as 38 years. Many cases when cats lived to 25 years were fixed in history. But, unfortunately, the average life expectance for a house cat is only 15 years. Stray cats rarely live even up to 9 years. Life expectancy of cats depends on different factors, and sometimes circumstances don’t depend on cat owners.
Breed as a factor
The opinion that pedigree cats live longer than stray cats or vice versa is wrong. However, there is certain regularity. Pedigree cats of exotic breeds live less than representatives of indigenous breeds: the structure of their body was changed by breeding and selection, and it usually has a negative impact on cat's health. Purebred kitten of so-called “natural” type born by genetically healthy parents is more likely to live longer than a stray kitten. Because of their uncontrolled mating stray cats may transmit negative genetic information to their descendants, while responsible breeders exclude weak animals from breeding.
The degree of sexual activity has a direct impact on how long cats live. Mature pets deprived of the possibility to mate suffer from overabundance of sex hormones. Every labor is a huge load on the cat’s body that reduces the life expectancy of a cat. Cats mating with stray females may get infected with STDs, which also leads to a reduction in life expectancy. Reasonable solution is to have your pet spayed or neutered in case you are sure it won’t take part in breeding.
Good health, as well as negative genes, is inherited through many generations. Knowing your pet’s ancestors, you can predict to what age the cat will remain active, how many years it will live (approximately), what organs or systems of the body are predisposed to diseases.
Cats having an opportunity to play a lot and to be active usually live longer than their counterparts, spending most of the day on the couch. Regular walks or large gaming complex is a prerequisite for keeping your pet in good shape. The average life expectancy of cats depends on the conditions of domestic animals: overcrowding, drafts, unsanitary conditions and other negative factors lead to general health condition deterioration.
Deficiency or overabundance of essential nutrients leads to a deterioration of the body systems. Over time the diseases reducing life expectancy may develop, such as gastritis, colitis, kidney failure, allergies, diabetes, obesity and so on. In order to keep your pet healthy for many years, you should make the diet of your cat balanced.
General emotional state also affects cat’s life expectancy. Pets truly loved and adored by their owners, pets that get sufficient attention usually feel safe and happy. Cat that constantly get punished, don’t have a chance to play with the owner, and all the communication is reduced to a couple of words throughout a day, most likely are in a state of chronic stress. It’s not a secret that stress is a reason for neurosis and internal diseases.
Any serious disease deprives a cat of lion's share of its vital resources. Viral and bacterial infections, trauma, parasites, diseases of internal organs etc. are much better to prevent than to cure. Timely immunization, prevention of flea and worming, regular visits to the vet clinic will help to prevent the disease or eliminate the problem at the very beginning.
These factors are arranged in random order and determine the life expectancy of a cat all together. For example, a pet with a great heredity may die young from enteritis. And a weak kitten with a bunch of negative genes can live for many years delighting its caring owners with the perfect health. Responsible approach to pet keeping is the best recipe for longevity.