Feline companions are not just pet animals as they are important family members. Losing them break our heart as the same with losing human beloved ones. Therefore it is our responsibility to make our kitties have a long happy life. Although myth and fairytale say cats have nine lives, they are mortal and have average lifespan what mother nature set for them. They are a lot different with human age so you cannot expect them to stay beside you as long as you live. So what is average lifespan of house felines? Most of the owners do not know how long their fur babies can live. There is informative research on aging in kitties which can give you the basic knowledge about how long do cats live.
General lifespan of domesticated cats
Kitties reach their adult age at around 1 which is equivalent to 20 years of human life. According to ASPA, the general lifespan of a cat is 10 to 17 years but normally most of the fur babies cross the rainbow bridge at around 13. The oldest kitty was 38 in the Guinness Book of world records. Sometimes news about up to 22 years old senior kitties can be occasionally found in local news or on the internet. This is a miracle because only 12 years old feline is similar to 64 in a human lifetime.
It depends on how their owners take care of them. Some cat breeds are ready for sexual encounter and reproduction at an early age but some are late. Actually, it depends on specific breed too, for example, 6 months old Siamese female is mature enough to be a queen while Maine Coon and Persian become at 2 years. An adult kitty can be called as senior one when he is up to 10 years of age. A felines’ lifespan cannot be considered solidly because it can be varied according to lifestyle, environment, and security. Let’s see how it different due to living style.
How long do indoor cats live? Risk of living outdoor
It is an undeniable truth that well cared indoor fur babies live longer and healthier than feral or outdoor roaming kitties unless they are obesity or FIV positive. Staying inside a home is little safe and tension free world. Nutritious foods, clean water, and warm cozy bed are ready for them. They also get fully entertainments, toys to play and close full-time care from owners. Without being contact with outside world can reduce the chance of contacting with unwanted contagious diseases and flea. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Rabies virus are commonly found in ferals then indoor ones.
So mixing or fighting with stray cats has more chance of being infected by that dangerous virus. In every winter, some poor homeless felines die with hypothermia or frostbite while indoor ones are staying in a warm comfy situation. Another thing reason of risk if you let your kitty roam freely outside is vehicles. Every year, thousands of cats are being hit by cars or motorcycles. They died in most cases but the few survivors remain handicap or deform for the entire lifetime. I had lost one of my fur brothers as he was hit by a car when he ran outside of a house. The best way to safety is to keep the furry beloved little beings inside from dangers. Life of living outdoor is full of risk, for example, felines have to fight for a meal, lack of regular food, suffering from malnutrition, diseases, and fever, lack of proper care, unexpected dangers from stray dogs and cars. These things make cat suffers from depression, stress.
Therefore, a typical stray kitty will not live longer than 4 to 9 years due to extreme competitive survival life unless they do not find forever homes. There is a very important note for every owner. Shutting the furry baby down inside the house without any fun, love, and entertainments but only ignorance may cause lethal mental disorder by extreme depression and pressure. So know the feeling of being locked up in an empty cell because furry fellas can feel the same too for they are living creatures with free will and feelings.
How do cats age? Cat years into human years
There is a common question among feline parents ” How old is my cat?”. It will not a problem to calculate for those who are caretakers since kittens are born. They can easily how old their kitties are but only a few people have proper knowledge of how their furry fella’s age compare to human years. People make mistake by leveling seven years of a feline with human one year. Actually, they reach mature stage quickly and aging starts to slow after that. There are 6 stages of aging in furry fellas’ lifetime.
First is kitten stage which is from birth time to 6 months. This stage equivalent to human birth time to 10 years. And then junior stage which is 7 months to 2 years which is between 12 to 24 of human life. The prime stage is 3 to 6 that is similar with 28 to 40 in people. The mature stage is from 7 to 10 that is equivalent to 44 from 56 years in the human. Overall 11 and above are called senior but the highest specific stage called Geriatric which is from 15 to above. This senior and geriatric age is 60 to more than 100 of human age.
Symptoms of elderly cats
You can check up some noticeable physical changes in old age felines. Their skin starts to loose, dry and elasticity decrease due to weak blood circulation. Several eyes problems will appear although some kitties do not lose the sight. Decreasing in nasal ability and hearing. Alzheimer like symptoms can cause in some cases which show extra meowing, repeating behaviors etc. The immune system of elderly furry fellas is not working well like younger ones so they do not have strong resistant to contagious diseases. White or grey patches on fur and fur coat become dull and harsh. Kidney failure is very common in elderly fur babies and they have stained teeth and some dental problems like inflammation of gums.
I believe now lifespan and aging in the feline is kind of clear. By knowing how old is a kitty, we can notice our beloved fur family members are getting older so we can give deep caring to make them happy and safe before passing the rainbow bridge.