Posted by Lynette Hammond on 6th Feb 2019
It’s difficult to find accurate information regarding the average lifespan of outdoor cats. Not enough research has been conducted in the world, let alone the UK. Therefore, it’s difficult to find an average lifespan, but there is some information available.
A study titled Longevity and Mortality of cats attending primary care veterinary practices in England involved 100,000 cats over 90 vet’s practices. The survey and findings are quite extensive, you can have a good read by clicking here. However, here are some of the facts that we were drawn to.
Out of the 100.000 cats, a few died during the study. This sample of cats was then used to examine longevity and the causes of death in cats. A median longevity was found to be 14 years, but this number does vary depending on the breed. Additionally, it appears at cats are at high risk around 1 year of age. If they survive this stage, it’s likely that they will continue to live into their teens. There is a second risky age at around age 16.
Trauma was found to be the leading cause of death for cats under 5 years of age (47%). The second cause of death for under 5-year-old cats is viral infectious disease (6.6%). Obviously outdoor cats experience higher risk by living the outdoor life. Indoor cats don’t have the risk of being run over or hit by a car or bike. They are also less likely to meet other animals that are carrying infectious diseases.
It’s very difficult to give an exact figure for the average lifespan of outdoor cats. There are so many factors that must be taken into consideration. Some of the variants are:
1.Neutered or un-neutered
2.Feral and domestic
3.Vaccinated and non-vaccinated
4.Rural or urban
5.Quite roads or busy roads
Perhaps these reasons are why studies seem reluctant to come up with an average lifespan for outdoor cats. So, what can we take away from this as cat owners? What is known is this, vaccinated and neutered cats live longer than no vaccinated and non-neutered cats. Furthermore, indoor cats have a longer average lifespan due to the reduced risks.
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