Cats are known to have longer lifespans compared to other domestic animals. With veterinary medicine developments and nutrition improvements, you can expect your feline friend to live as long as 15 to 20 years. Many factors come into play in determining the life expectancy of a cat. One significant factor is whether you have an outdoor cat or an indoor-only cat.
Indoor-only cats generally live between 12 and 18 years of age. Most live in their early 20s. The oldest indoor cat, Creme Puff, reportedly lived for 38 years. On the other hand, outdoor cats generally live shorter lives than their indoor counterparts. One of the reasons why this is so will have to be the fact that outdoor cats are often involved in traumas such as dog attacks and motor vehicle accidents. Also, they are more at risk of different life-threatening viruses such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or FIV. They can also get Feline Leukemia if they come in contact or fight with an infected cat.
Keeping your feline friend healthy and fit is one way to ensure that they live happier, healthier, and longer lives. You can do many things to make sure that your cat achieves all these. As a cat owner, you should be a keen observer when it comes to your cat. This role is vital so that you can easily notice any slight changes in your cat such as their general well-being and behavior. You may simply carry out this task by doing a mini-physical examination of your cat by yourself every week. Additionally, you should be on the lookout for any changes in appetite, water intake, coat quality, breathing patterns, coughing, lumps and bumps, grooming habits, toileting habits, and physical abilities in your cat.
As a responsible cat owner, you must be sure to take your cat to your veterinarian for routine vaccinations. Regular check-ups with their veterinarians are also a must, which does not only cover vaccinations but routine physical examinations too. In terms of your cat’s diet, make sure to provide them balanced meals suitable for their age. Make sure to keep them within their healthy weight range. Ensure that they get enough exercise by allowing them to engage in modern playtime regularly. It is equally important that you provide a stress-free environment for your cat.
Many things will happen to your feline friend as they age. Just like humans, the feline aging process comprises many behavioral and physical changes. As cats grow older, their immune system is less capable of fending off foreign invaders in their bodies. You will notice that their skin is less elastic and thinner, more prone to infection, and has decreased blood circulation.
Unlike younger cats, older cats are less effective in grooming themselves, which results in skin odor, hair matting, and inflammation. The claws of aging felines also become brittle and thick and are usually overgrown, meaning you have to clip them more often now. As the age of cat advances, they may also suffer from hearing loss. Many changes in their eyes also take place. Take, for instance, a slight haziness of the lens. However, this age-related change does not affect their vision significantly.
All these changes are completely normal as your cat ages. Just make sure that you schedule regular visits with their veterinarians for peace of mind and them to live long and healthy lives.