Pets are full-fledged family members, to whom you quickly become attached. For this reason, many owners are interested in how many cats and cats live on average. Life expectancy in the home and outdoors is very different, as it is influenced by multiple factors. Knowing all of them, you can not only avoid the premature death of your pet but also extend its life.
The life cycle of baleen pets
The entire life cycle can be divided into 6 stages. Please note that they are all very conditional. Many cats remain playful and active even in old age.
Infancy (up to 1 month)
For up to 1 month, the kitten is completely dependent on the mother. In the first days after birth, he is blind and toothless, so communication with the outside world is very limited.
Childhood (up to 7-8 months)
With the appearance of the first milk teeth, the kitten begins to show more independence. He tries the first complementary foods and actively learns new things for himself.
At 2.5-4 months, the baby finally leaves the mother and learns to live independently. He gradually grows molars and puberty begins. By 7-8 months, cats have their first heat, but they are still babies until the third heat.
Youth (up to 2 years old)
At 1-1.5 years old, cats and cats grow up to the first mating. They give and raise their first offspring.
Youth (up to 4-5 years old)
At this stage, breeders are actively breeding the breed. By the age of 5, most animals are removed from it for health reasons.
Maturity (up to 8 years old)
The first behavioral changes appear. The cat becomes calmer and more restrained. She is less likely to run crazy around the house but still does not give up games.
Old age (8-9 years and older)
At the final stage, there is a gradual attenuation of activity, an increase in the duration of sleep and the appearance of dental problems. The general well-being of the animal depends on the state of health.
In the absence of chronic diseases, no strong changes are observed. An elderly pet can be picky about food and show their devotion to the owner brighter with the help of affection and increased attention.
What determines the life expectancy of cats
The lifespan of cats depends on a number of external and internal factors. Some contribute to its increase, while others – reduce it.
What promotes longevity
Everything that favorably affects the state of health is responsible for longevity. This includes:
- balanced diet;
- timely vaccination, deworming, and treatment from external parasites;
- lack of hormonal surges;
- safe maintenance, excluding injury;
- regular visits to the veterinarian for preventive purposes.
All of the above is completely unavailable for street cats. For this reason, they always die earlier than domestic ones.
Which shortens the years of life
The opposite effect is exerted by factors that reduce immunity and undermine health. These include:
- living in unfavorable conditions (frequent temperature drops, dampness, unsanitary conditions);
- lack of regular nutrition, the use of low-quality foods, and a lack of vitamins;
- genetic predisposition to certain pathologies;
- frequent pregnancies and childbirth;
- infection with infections;
- free walking, fraught with injuries or death under the wheels of transport;
- frequent and prolonged stress;
- excess weight, provoking problems with the musculoskeletal system and hormonal disorders.
All of the above can significantly reduce the allotted years by more than 2 times.
How many years do domestic cats live: on average and maximum
A secure roof over your head and regular food intake allow you to extend the average age to 12-15 years. But subject to certain recommendations and the absence of chronic diseases, this indicator can be increased to 20 or more years. The upper limit here is conditional, as the record holders from the Guinness Book were able to live to a more advanced age.
How old do street cats live?
Approximately 85% of animals born on the street are killed by kittens. This is due to weakened immunity, low temperatures, infections, parasites, and poisoning. Stronger individuals usually live up to 4-8 years.
The worst case is for domestic cats that are lost or thrown away by their owners. Unadapted to such harsh conditions, they die from stress, cold, and hunger within the first 3 years.
The life expectancy of cat breeds at home
Longevity directly depends on the breed. Most artificially bred breeds are characterized by hereditary diseases that reduce the number of years allotted. This explains why the average age of outbred cats that have escaped human intervention is often 5 years older.
Average and maximum indicators: table
The average and maximum age indicators characteristic of pedigree animals can be found on the example of the table. It presents 10 of the most popular representatives of the feline family.
Most of these breeds do not live up to the maximum available age due to chronic renal failure, urolithiasis, polycystic kidney disease, and cardiovascular pathologies.
Long-livers include all representatives of the Siamese-oriental group, Maine Coons, Siberians, and other aboriginal breeds. All of them were able to avoid direct human intervention in their long history of development and went through the most reliable selection – natural selection. Thanks to him, the aboriginal cats received strong immunity and good health.
How castration or sterilization affects longevity
Contrary to popular belief, deprivation surgery does not shorten but prolongs the life of your pet. This is due to:
- softening of character (the cat stops getting into fights and looking for adventure);
- prevention of oncology and sexually transmitted diseases;
- lack of hormonal surges due to taking medications, pregnancy, and childbirth.
Frequent birth and rearing of kittens drains the body. He suffers not only physically but also emotionally. After sterilization, this problem completely disappears, as does the possibility of developing cancer. Thanks to the operation, the total life expectancy is increased by 3 years.
The only negative for castrated animals is the tendency to obesity. Due to a slowdown in metabolism, they gain weight faster, so their diet must be strictly controlled.
Ways to help prolong the life of your pet
If your cat is approaching its final stage, don’t despair. Indeed, for many, life after 8 years is just beginning. Due to the observance of a number of recommendations, this period can be extended as much as possible.
Don’t skimp on the quality of your products. Buy meat, vegetables, and dairy products in trusted places, or choose ready-made feeds of at least premium class.
Be sure to follow the feeding regimen, avoiding overfeeding and table feeds. Remember that in a natural diet, it is imperative to add vitamins prescribed by a veterinarian to food.
Avoid the formation of tangles and strong darkening of the tooth enamel. Brush your pet 1-2 times a week and brush his teeth every month.
Also, remember to keep your eyes and ears clean. Clean up any secretions that accumulate in them and be sure to contact your veterinarian if an unpleasant odor or foreign matter appears.
Pay special attention to physical activity. Control your cat’s weight and do not let him nap too often on the couch. Outdoor games improve health by promoting longevity.
Vaccinations and disease prevention
Most infections can be avoided with vaccinations. The first vaccination followed by revaccination is given upon reaching 2 months. With the onset of a year, the frequency of vaccination reaches no more than 1 time per year.
In addition to viruses and bacteria, you should be wary of parasites and genetic pathologies. To prevent them, it is necessary to timely carry out treatment with anthelmintic and acaricidal drugs and annually undergoes a preventive examination in a veterinary clinic.
The family environment plays an important role. The absence of quarrels between the owners and the reverent attitude towards the pet has a positive effect on mental health.
When participating in inbreeding, you must strictly follow all the rules. Do not try to start a breeding career ahead of schedule and do not exceed the recommended birth rate. Bearing offspring is always accompanied by strong nervous tension and hormonal changes, so timely retirement is very important here. Otherwise, the animal runs the risk of not living up to the allotted time.
If breeding and selling kittens are not part of your plans – register your pet for castration immediately after puberty. This will protect her from cancer and other dangerous hormone-related complications. A similar choice should be made for the cat.
Requirements for the place of detention
Pets should be kept in a warm and clean environment. Place your sleeping area away from drafts and prevent your pet from sleeping on the tiled floor. To avoid hypothermia, be sure to train the cat to the bed or run an underfloor heating system.
Remember to change the litter in the tray, wash the food bowls after each feed, and change the water daily. Remember that not only freshness is important, but also the absence of impurities. The water must be purchased from a store or passed through a filter to remove the deposits it contains.
Feline to Human Age Ratio
Most popular translation method to a human age – 1 to 7. Despite this, it is the most unreliable. A slow growth scheme is increasingly being used instead. In it, 1 year is equated to 15 years, 2 years – to 9, and each subsequent – to 4. That is, a one-year-old cat is a 15-year-old teenager, the same animal at the age of 2 years is a 24-year-old independent man, and at 3 and 4 years, the age of the mustache is equated to 28 and 32 years, respectively.
Veterinarians usually follow the scheme from the international veterinary passport. According to him, the ratio is as follows:
|Feline age (years)
|Human age (years)
But here, too, everything is very conditional. Maine Coons and Siberians have a very long youth, therefore, at 4-5 years old, their psychological age is close to adolescence.
Determining the age of a kitten or adult cat
It is impossible to establish the exact age of an animal taken from the street, but an approximate one is not at all difficult. Veterinarians determine it by external signs: the condition of the teeth, hair, mustache, eyes, and musculoskeletal system.
The older the cat, the more its teeth are worn out. In very elderly individuals, incisors and canines may be missing. Also, with aging, there is a tarnishing and thinning of the coat. By the age of 10, the first gray hair appears, spreading from the fur coat even to the antennae. The animal’s eyes grow dull and the spine begins to sag. The gait loses its former confidence, and the claws lose flexibility.
The lifespan of some cats is astounding. The Guinness Book record holders managed to cross not only the 20-year but also the 30-year threshold. Among them:
- Lucy, 43, is from Australia . She outlived her first mistress and willingly chased mice even in old age.
- 38-year-old Cream Puff from the USA. Its longevity is associated with the abundance of vitamins obtained from broccoli and asparagus.
- Rubble, 32, is from England. The owner of this cat is sure that he lived such a long life thanks to her love. She had no children, so she devoted herself to her pets: Rubble and Meg the cat, who lived to be 25 years old.
On the example of these mustachioed centenarians, it is easy to trace 2 similarities: good living conditions and a loving owner. These are the factors that are fundamental in achieving longevity.
The lifespan of cats directly depends on their owners. Thanks to care, attention, and love, they will continue to delight their two-legged defenders for many years to come.