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What Can Affect A Cat's Lifespan?

How To Keep Your Cat Happy, Healthy and Around For Years to Come

By Meredith Alling. July 31, 2013 | See Comments

What Can Affect A Cat's Lifespan?

Cats have the ability to live a very long time, as long as pet parents keep them safe and healthy. Learn what can affect your cat's lifespan and what you can do to make the best out of your feline's 9 lives.

Cats make excellent family pets, and owning one can bring a great deal of joy to your heart and your home. However, with that ownership comes responsibility and commitment, especially considering how long a cat can live. To learn about the average cat lifespans of both indoor and outdoor cats, the breeds that live the longest, and what you can do to ensure a long and healthy life for your feline friend, read on.

Average Indoor Cat Lifespan

According to the ASPCA, the average lifespan of an indoor cat is 13 to 17 years, and cats who live up to 20 are not uncommon. One famous tabby cat named Lucy even lived to be 39 years old! A number of factors can determine the lifespan of your indoor cat, such as breed, diet, lifestyle, and veterinary care.

Average Outdoor Cat Lifespan

In general, cats who are let outside to roam during the day have shorter lives than indoor cats. This is because they are susceptible to a number of dangers that do not affect indoor cats, including certain diseases, traffic accidents, and attacks from other animals. The outdoor cat's lifespan can be 2 to 3 years shorter than their indoor counterpart.

Cat Breeds with the Longest Lifespans

One of the primary factors that will determine your cat’s lifespan is their breed. In general, mixed breed cats like American Domestics live longer than purebreds, since their genetic diversity protects them from certain hereditary diseases. However, among the purebreds, the Manx and the Siamese are widely known for their longevity. Despite this fact, some of the oldest cats on record aren’t of either breed. Creme Puff, who previously held the record for oldest cat at 38 years old, was most likely a mixed breed. Also, a Burmese named Kataleena Lady lived to be 35 years old, and Grandpa, a Sphynx, lived to be 34.

A Long Life For Your Cat

The best way to ensure a long life for your cat is to keep them healthy and away from danger. The outside world can be a hazardous place for a cat, full of threats like feral disease, traffic accidents, and attacks from other animals. Keep your cat safe by keeping them indoors.

Diet and exercise can also affect your cat’s lifespan, so make sure that you are feeding your cat the appropriate amount of healthy food and providing regular exercise. Exercise can take place in the form of playtime, and some cats can even be trained to walk on a leash. Proper diet and exercise are important to stave off obesity, which can lead to diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, arthritis, and breathing issues.

And of course, your cat’s life can be better and longer with regular trips to the veterinarian to prevent and catch any health problems.

More on Cat Health

The Importance of Taking Your Cat to the Vet
How To Prevent Dental Health Problems in Cats
Maintaining a Healthy Cat Weight
5 Common Cat Problems and Health Issues

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