Myth has it that cats have many lives. This is found in many cultures around the world where cats have six or seven or even nine lives. In ancient Egypt, cats were even sacred and worshiped as gods. But myth aside, how old do cats get, and on what factors does it depend how long a cat lives?
- Indoor house cats live on average around 15 years
- Life expectancy depends, among other things, on the diet, environment, proper care, and whether its kept indoors only or roams outdoor too
- Mixed breeds often get older than purebreds
- Cats that are overbred, can suffer hereditary defects which often reduce the life expectancy
- Outdoor cats are exposed to many dangers and may not live as long as indoor cats
How old do cats get depends on many factors
Indoor cats live the longest
Cats living in the house can live to be 15 years or older if properly cared for. Occasionally one also hears of very old cats that are over 20 years old. Such an old age is the exception.
Outdoor cats that have a home and are well cared for have a life expectancy of about 10 to 12 years. Cats that roam outside have a much more exciting and adventurous life than those that stay inside al the time, but there are also many more dangers that the animals have to watch out for so their life is not cut short.
The world looks different for cats that live on the street and that no one cares about. They have a tough life. Street cats only reach an average age of 3 to 5 years.
But these are all just statistics and there are many factors that influence how old do cats get. A safe environment, good food, regular visits to the vet, vaccinations against diseases, good care, are the requirements for a cat reaching old age.
Not all indoor cats get old
Indoor cats are much less exposed to danger, no dog is chasing them, and they cannot be run over by cars. They also have minimal risk of contracting diseases or picking up parasites because of lack of contact with other animals. They also do not have to fight with their own kind to establish territories.
Cats Diet – Prevent Overweight
All in all, the indoor life is quite comfortable compared to the adventures that outdoor cats have. But this often comes with the disadvantage that the cat is bored. It lies around all day, sits behind the window and stares outside, and doesn’t move enough. A properly balanced diet is essential for indoor cats, otherwise wrong nutrition and lack of exercise lead to overweight. This can greatly reduce your cat’s life expectancy. Don’t be too generous with treats and try not to overfeed your cat. You should also provide opportunities to play for your cat. so that it has an incentive to move. An active cat is a healthy cat.
What food should my cat eat?
The right food is an important factor in helping your cat to a long healthy life. Cats are naturally carnivores and as such, they should be fed mainly meat. Some cheap cat foods, especially dry foods, contain unnecessary amounts of carbohydrates and sugar-based ingredients to increase the total amount in the packing. Too much of it can lead to digestive disorders and protein deficiency symptoms. Better to feed less, but of better quality. High-quality wet food with a high protein content improves the health and thus the life expectancy of your cat.
Avoid boredom – playtime is important
Cats are born with playfulness and curiosity. They love to be active, to run around, jump, climb, explore toys and their surroundings and also do nonsense and nonsense. Cats are very curious and active creatures. It is important that an indoor cat has enough opportunities to live out this instinct and boredom must be avoided. Boredom makes cats dull and makes them lose interest in their surroundings. This is why the little felines who live indoors need a lot of attention, playtime, and toys.
This is even more important for the development of kittens. Like all young animals (and humans), they have the drive to play and to get to know the world through curiosity. This must be encouraged otherwise the cats cannot grow and develop properly. A bored cat can become depressed. This can have a significant impact on how old your cat will get.
If the cat can’t play, boredom and lack of activity can lead to obesity with all of its side effects. Indoor cats need plenty of space to run around, as well as cat toys to play with and be active.
Yearly Visits To The Vet Increase How Old Do Cats Get
A cat may have seven or nine lives, it should still be taken to see the vet once a year. Even if your pawed friend seems to be in top shape, vaccinations should be regularly boosted and routine examinations can identify any problems in good time.
If the pet suffers from a chronic illness, regular visits to the vet are unavoidable anyway. The medication dose may have to be reset or changed to a different one. For those cats that suffer from persistent problems, these inevitable regular visits to the doctor will become a routine that they can endure calmly.
The most unpleasant reason for a visit to the vet is after accidents, which tends to be the main reason to affect how old outdoor cats can get.
In general, visits to the vet can be quite costly. A pet health insurance may be a good idea to cover unexpectedly high expenses. There are many different pet insurance plans to covers veterinary bills for chipping, accidents, vaccinations, chronic illnesses, and much more. It pays to compare insurance companies to find the best pet insurance plan.
Signs Of Old Age In Cats
Aging is a natural process that’s part of life in every living being. But how old do cats get and what changes when a cat gets old? As with any old living being, old felines too become more susceptible to physical illness, and as physical fitness slowly decreases so the risk of injury increases. In addition, behavior changes, curiosity, and the hunting instinct decrease, the need for sleep increases, the cat eats and drinks less, all of which are signs of increasing age.
- The fur loses color and shine and turns gray
- Sensory perception – seeing and hearing decrease
- Losing muscle mass and getting thinner
- Reaction decreases Movement slows down
- The teeth will go bad or even fall out
- Loss of appetite, it eats and drinks less
- Changes in behavior, the animal becomes stubborn, disinterested, docile, doesn’t play or hunt anymore
- Increased need for sleep, while kitties sleep a lot anyway, even more, when they get old
So how old do cats get when cared for well?
Getting a cat needs to be carefully considered because it has a fairly high life expectancy of 12 to 15 years and will be your companion for many years. The little feline can be a good companion that brings life into the house, that can be full of fun or nonsense you can laugh about, and with whom you can cuddle too. But felines are also very headstrong and usually not as tame and obedient as dogs. A cat is a very special animal and needs a lot of time and attention, especially if it lives exclusively in the house. Think carefully about whether it is the right pet for you because it may well be with you for the next 15 years.