The average lifespan of a cat is about 15 years, so they often outlive most of our pet dogs. A teenage cat, or even one in their twenties, is not uncommon to see, but many factors can play a role in determining how long your cat might live.

Domesticated Cats

Cats have been kept as pets for thousands of years. They originate from the Near East countries where they were domesticated from wild cats to help control rodent populations. These cats spread throughout the world as pets and we eventually started selectively breeding them for specific traits, thus creating different breeds. The primary cat breeds were originally bred using cats from four major regions; the Arabian Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean, South Asia, and Western Europe. These four regions have produced cats that have different genetic markers based on what region, or race, they are from.

Cat Breeds and Lifespan

While it is impossible to know exactly how long a cat will live, some breeds of cats are known to often live longer than others. The Siamese and Manx cat breeds are two that often outlive their cat competition, but other breeds have been recorded as living into their 20’s and even 30’s. Both purebreed and domestic mixed breed cats have the potential to surpass the average lifespan of the species.

Cat Nutrition and Lifespan

Cats primarily eat meat, so they are considered obligate carnivores and this should be reflected in the food we feed them. A lot of research has been done to determine the dietary needs of a house cat, so the food options that are available to cat owners are plentiful.

But not all foods are created equal. Adult cats cannot digest large amounts of carbohydrates or lactose, so these are unnecessary ingredients in their food. Carbohydrates can even decrease how much protein is digested, so they are in fact harmful to a cat. Proteins, on the other hand, are very important to a cat. Cats require a large amount of protein when compared to a dog, due to their unique digestive system. According to the National Research Council, adult cats should receive at least 140 g/kg of protein a day. This means the average eight pound cat needs to consume at least 510 grams of protein each day.

Essential amino acids are also very important to a cat. Taurine, methionine, and cystine are some of these essential amino acids and without them, important vitamins, and the proper amount of protein, a cat’s health may suffer greatly.

Cat Health and Lifespan

Of course a cat that doesn’t eat a healthy diet may develop health issues, but parasites and diseases can also affect their health. Some diseases have long term effects on cats and may also shorten their lifespan.

Poor genetics, immune-compromised cats, and cats that have compromised organ functions might not live as long as healthy cats.

Find out more about cats.