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Cats have nine lives, sure, but what happens when they reach the end of their tether? This is something that pet owners often ponder and it is the question that veterinarians end up getting asked the most. Of course, it is difficult to tell how long an individual will live, but statistics can give you a pretty fair idea.The average feline life expectancy is around 15 years. Cats that are left unsupervised and roam about freely outdoors tend to have an average lifespan of 7 years, whereas indoor cats make it to the age of 15. Outdoor cats are susceptible to dog attacks, vehicle accidents and life threatening viruses.Before you start protesting, remember that these numbers are what we typically see across the entire spectrum. Most of the owners who pamper their cats think that these projections are too low, but you have to factor in the cats that die from accident or disease. However, with the improvements in veterinary medicine and nutrition, their life expectancy has increased considerably.What happens as your cat grows older?
The aging process is accompanied by a number of behavioral and physical changes:
- Their immune system grows weak and they are not able to fend off foreign invaders as well as they could when they were young.
- Their skin loses elasticity and becomes thinner, their blood circulation slows down and they become more prone to infection.
- Older cats also groom themselves less frequently than younger cats and this can result in skin odor, hair matting and inflammation.
- Their claws become long and brittle, and will have to be clipped more regularly.
- Cats that are really old also suffer from hearing loss.
- Hazy eyes are commonly observed in older cats. However, it does not impact their vision in most of the cases. On the other hand, if your cat suffers from high blood pressure, then it can severely impact his ability to see.
- Dental diseases are common in senior cats and it can cause a lot of pain. If your cat seems to have lost his appetite with age, you need to take him to the vet to have his teeth and gums checked.
- Cats also lose their sense of smell with age and this can lead to appetite loss. However, dental disease is the more common cause behind their reluctance to eat.
- Kidney failure is quite common in older cats and the signs can be extremely varied. Preventative kidney monitoring will ensure that they have a better quality of life.
- Arthritis and degenerative joint disease is common in senior cats. Although most of the arthritic cats do not become completely lame, they experience a lot of difficulty getting into their litter boxes, especially if they have to climb up the stairs to get to them. A litter box with steps will make it easier for him.
With proper hygiene and exercise, you can ensure that your cat lives for a long time. Make sure that he is fed high quality food
that is wholesome and free of additives.