What is a cat’s lifespan?

Your cat’s lifespan depends on a complex interaction of factors, including genetic and environmental.

However, the average lifespan of a cat is about 13 to 17 years. Some cats live longer than 15 years, and some up to 20 years.

Inherited and congenital factors that affect your cat’s lifespan

Inherited (genetic) and congenital health conditions can both affect your cat’s lifespan.

Your cat may inherit health disorders from her parents, while congenital health problems are those present at birth but not necessarily inherited.

Due, presumably to genetic factors, some cat breeds reputedly have average longer life spans than others.

Breeds that supposedly have relatively long lifespans include Burmese cats. Some claim that breeds such as Sphynx have average lifespans shorter than other breeds.

Cats may suffer from various inherited and congenital health disorders or defects. However, experts believe that cats have a lower incidence of congenital and inherited disorders than other domestic animals.

Common congenital and inherited disorders include cleft palate, failure of development of sex organs including testicles (cryptorchidism), undeveloped cerebellum, heart, eye, or eyelid defects, and polydactylism.

Not all congenital or inherited defects affect lifespan. Polydactylism, for instance, does not affect lifespan. However, some disorders have a profound influence.

Congenital and inherited disorders that may affect your cat’s lifespan include those of the cardiovascular system (heart and vessel) and other vital organs, such as the kidneys.

Inherited metabolic disorders may also affect your cat’s lifespan.

Environmental factors

Environmental factors that affect your pet’s lifespan include living conditions, nutrition, physical exercise, and preventive/curative medical care.

Living conditions: According to veterinary experts, indoor cats live longer lifespans than outdoor cats due to better protection from the elements.

They have a lowered risk of disease pathogens and parasite infestations. Outdoor cats may also have their lives cut short by accidents, such as being run over by cars, especially in urban environments.

Cats raised indoors but allowed supervised access to open spaces for physical exercise may have improved life expectancy.

Nutrition: A meat- or fish-based diet supplemented with vitamins and minerals improves feline health and lifespan, while overnutrition and being overweight may shorten it.

Cats need a diet based primarily on meat and fish because they are obligate carnivores. Only diets high in meat and fish provide the right balance of essential amino acids. A balanced diet should also supply essential fatty acids, vitamins A and D, and B-complex vitamins, including niacin (B3).

Cats also need an adequate supply of fresh water alongside prebiotics and antioxidants.

Diets containing higher proportions of plant products are high in carbs, sugars, and fiber. They are not suitable for cats.

Preventive/curative medical care: A well-kept sanitary environment, regular medical checkups, and timely and up-to-date vaccination promote feline health and longevity.

Timely and up-to-date vaccination is crucial for cat survival because it prevents diseases such as rabies and feline distemper (Panleukopenia) that often end fatally.

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