One of the hardest parts of being a pet owner is realizing that your furry friend is not going to be there forever. So, how long do domestic cats live? This is a hard question because you can’t ever know exactly for how long your cat’s going to live. The age of your domestic cat may vary depending on different factors such as size, climate, diet, genetic predispositions and whether they are outdoor or indoor cats.
The average lifespan of a cat is somewhere between 9 to 15 years and the most important factor besides the genetics of your pet is whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, so you can’t know for sure how long cats can live. If you keep your cat indoors there are big chances of your pet hitting 20 years of age. But if your cat prefers to roam freely, or is even an indoor/outdoor cat, his or her lifespan drops by 5-10 years.
Methods of increasing your cat’s lifespan
Vaccinating your cat is the easiest way to help him or her live a long and healthy life. Feline panleukopenia was the leading cause of death in cats before vaccination became regulatory. If your cat is an outdoor cat it is mandatory to regularly check the pet’s health status by going to the vet’s office and by performing regular vaccinations. Living outside makes your cat permanently exposed to diseases and viruses.
Spaying and neutering your cat greatly reduce the chances of developing testicular, ovarian, or prostate cancer. According to a State of Pet Health Report from 2013, neutered male cats live 62 percent longer than unneutered ones.
Make sure your cat has a rich diet, with a measured amount of wet and dry food daily. This food should be moisture rich, meat-filled, high in animal-based proteins and nutrients.
Your feline companion should have access to fresh water so it doesn’t get dehydrated, a common issue among cats. If you are wondering how long a cat can live without food, the answer is about 2 weeks if the animal is well hydrated, but you should never test this.
Naturally, there are exceptions to the rule, too. The oldest recorded living cat was Crème Puff, from Austin, Texas. This cat lived for 38 years and it is even listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Your pet should be seen by a vet at least once a year and more often as the cat ages.
A less intuitive method is by checking your cat’s oral hygiene constantly, as the animal’s gums are a useful sign of how the pet’s blood flow is going. If any dental or oral diseases show up, these can result in bacteria being transferred into the bloodstream.
Interesting facts about cats
If you always believed your cat is a special, complicated and fascinating creature, you are totally right! Your favorite feline friend has a lot of great qualities and we compiled a list with a couple of interesting facts about cats.
Cats have over 20 muscles that control their ears and they can move them to 180 degrees, even though they can figure out the source of sounds easier when they are still.
Cats have an amazing night vision, allowing them to see light on levels up to six times lower than what humans are able to perceive. Also, cats can make up to 100 sounds, compared to just 10 sounds that dogs can make.
A cat’s brain is more complicated than a dog’s, and according to Psychology Today, cats’ brains have astonishing surface folding and a structure that is about 90 percent similar to ours. Cats have somewhere around 300 million neurons while dogs have around 160 million neurons.
Cats can’t taste sweet treats because of a defect in a gene that codes part of the mammalian sweet taste receptor. The defect occurs in domestic cats as well as cheetahs and tigers.
The ability of a cat to find his or her way home is called psi-traveling and experts think that cats use the angle of the sunlight to find their path back home. Another supposition to motivate this type of behavior is that cats have magnetized cells in their brains that act as compasses.
Cats use their whiskers to determine if they can fit through certain spaces, so that’s why you should never trim the whiskers of your furry pet.
Cats have been domesticated for about 4,000 years. They were highly valued for their hunting abilities, while now they are valued more for their companionship.
Felicette was the first cat in space. In 1963 France sent her into space and implanted electrodes in her brain which sent neurological signals back to earth.
During the Spanish Inquisition, Pope Innocent VII considered cats evil and thousands of them were burned. Unfortunately, this widespread killing of cats led to an increase in the rat population, which increased the effects of the Black Death, which was a widespread epidemic of the Bubonic plague that passed from Asia to Europe in the fourteenth century.
In 1888 more than 300,000 cats were found mummified in an Egyptian cemetery. Their wrappings were stripped off and used by farmers at that time as fertilizer for their soil.
The relationship between felines and humans
Cats seem to do good to their owners. A study showed that cat owners tend to have lower risks of cardiovascular disease compared to people who are not cat parents. The presence of cats seems to also moderate blood pressure.
Cat ownership seems to improve psychological health and the emotional state of the owner by alleviating bad moods. They seem to provide emotional support and according to a Swiss study from 2003, a cat’s company is comparable with that of human beings from a psychological point of view.