Just like any pet owner, you want your cat to live as long and healthy a life as possible. If you have your first cat, or have had cats run away, you might be curious as to how long you can actually keep a cat until the inevitable happens. Not only that, but also what you can do to prolong the time with your furry companion.
A well-taken care of cat can live for up to 15 years. This is possible due to the security and care provided by the owner. The better you know your cat’s needs, the longer a life you can give them. Throughout their lifespan, you will see them go through a couple of stages, namely:
- Kitten. This is when the cat is under six months old. It is best to start training your cat to be house-friendly at this stage when they are still malleable. Additional pets, kids, and domestic noises should be familiar at this point. Not only are their minds still moldable, but you will also see them go through the fastest increase in size here. If you do not want your cats to mate, this would be the appropriate time to sterilize them.
- Junior. Between six months and two years. Their bodies have matured both in size and sexually. If you want to have a litter, any time from now would be a good time to meet your cat. Be aware of your cat’s movements if you are not ready for unwanted litter.
- Prime. 36 months to six years. This should be the best time in your cat’s life. As the name proposes, this is your cat’s prime. To make sure this stage lasts as long as possible, do routine checkups and vaccines to prevent and catch any maladies early.
- Maturity. Seven years to a decade. Similar to the mid-40s and 50s in human beings, you will notice your cat loses some energy and gain some weight. You may have to restrict their calories a bit to make sure they do not get fat.
- Senior. Eleven to fourteen years. Just like their human counterparts, cats in their senior years need more cerebral excitement to remain happy and healthy. The cat will get even lazier, making it even more important to stimulate both their minds and body.
- Geriatric. Past 15 years. Depending on how the animal grew up and the amount of care taken of it, different cats will have varying experiences at this stage. Some will still be physically active, while others will spend most of the day sleeping or in general inactivity. At this stage, it is most important to spot any changes in behavioral or dietary preferences as this may indicate the cat needs to see a vet.
How long a cat lives depends on a host of factors, but you have to first address one important consideration before anything else comes into play. Is your car a 100% indoor cat or 50/50 split between indoor and outdoor? Outdoor cats are obviously exposed to many hazards such as cars, dogs, other cats, humans, and even weather. These always play a big part in determining the lifespan of a cat. Letting cats roam outside especially when they are kittens is risky and shortens their lifespan.
Factors Affecting a Cat’s Lifespan
For your cat to have the longest life possible, periodical checkups are a must. Taking your cat to the vet at least twice a year for routine examination is the first step. The second step is educating yourself on signs that your cat may be sick. Common symptoms that will tell you your cat needs a vet are:
- Coughing and irregular breathing
- Lagging hind limbs
- Extreme lethargy
- Persistent vomiting
- Change in dietary behavior
- Unusual excrement
Similar to you, cats benefit a lot from having a wholesome, all-natural organic diet. If you love shopping at stores like Whole Foods and Sprouts, wouldn’t you love to give your pet the same quality of food? Many pet foods have preservatives that can neutralize nutrients, leaving the food as empty calories with little protein or minerals. Sulfide preservatives are notorious for causing thiamine deficiencies, which in turn cause neurological difficulties.
Cornucopia Pet Foods give you all the confidence you need in terms of culinary requirements for your cats. Their various blends were developed by licensed and well-experienced vets who have worked with animals for over five decades. What’s more, they have the healthiest and cleanest food you can get for your pet. You will not have to worry about chemicals ruining your cat’s health, as their products do not have any:
- Synthetic sugars, dyes, or flavors
- Cancer-causing carrageenan
Using Cornucopia Pet Foods also promotes good hormonal balances in your cat, making them even more efficient at digesting nutrients and having both a sound body and mind. This will regulate both their growth hormones and keep stress levels down, giving you a happier and healthier cat.
Indoor cats tend to get lazy, as they do not have the stimulation nor space that the outdoors provides. This makes it even more important to get your cat on a daily exercise routine to keep them healthy. Not only does this stop them from getting fat, but it also promotes strong bones and joints. This can also double as playtime and give you an opportunity to bond with your feline friend. Just like in humans, exercise helps keep your cats’ minds healthy.
Lack of exercise can result in stress and anxiety, which in turn gives your cat destructive habits such as scratching your sofa, improper urination, and obsessive-compulsive behavior. Cats were natural hunters that relied on having strong muscles a lot back in the day. For a cat to be healthy, it needs a strong lean body. That is how they have evolved.
Cats can survive on much less water than some animals, but they also do not have a high thirst urge and can go for extended periods without feeling the need to hydrate. This is, however, harmful and can have severe results. One way you can tell if your car is dehydrated is by pinching its skin forwards a bit and releasing. If it does not snap back into place quickly, they might need hydration.
Dehydration in cats is associated with bladder complications and urinary ailments. Lack of adequate water can shorten your cat’s lifespan through:
- Kidney disease
- Urinary tract disease
- Inflammation of the bladder (cystitis)
- Torn bladder
- Abnormal growths or tumors
- Bladder stones
- Urethral blockages