Of course none of us wants to face the reality of our beloved cat's mortality and contrary to folklore our feline friends do not have the legendary nine lives attributed to them. So how long will your lovable fur-ball live for?
The average age is between 10-16 years, with a few maybe reaching 20 or beyond. One exception was a cat named "Puss" who was said to have lived to 36! The particular breed of the animal may influence its final age, Siamese reputed to be one of the longest living varieties.
In recent times, advances in the control and treating of infectious diseases in felines, coupled with a greater understanding of nutritional requirements, has lead to an increased lifespan.
It seems a curious fact that cats are considered to be geriatrics between 10-13 years; in later life many cats benefit from specially designed diets to combat ailments (especially chronic kidney failure) thus extending their life expectancies by a bit. Cancer, Diabetes mellitus, hypertension and an inflamed bowel are other conditions that a responsible owner should be on the lookout for.
For tomcats, neutering them may increase their lifespan as fewer territorial fights will keep them in better shape for longer. Spaying a queen (female cat) appears to have a lesser effect on how long they live.
If you consider that one cat year is roughly equal to about seven human years, then a 10-16 year lifespan is quite respectable really; look after your special friend well over a lifetime and you may have a healthy, thriving puss well into its vintage years.
Improving the quality and length of your beloved pet's life is quite possible if you pay attention to a healthy diet, sensible exercise regime and have regular check-ups at the Veterinarian. Protect your cat from unnecessary dangers, fighting and other types of cat-related violence and who knows, they may even outlive you!
Nine lives? Maybe not, but one long, happy life is definitely possible.
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