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Home > Cats > Why Don’t Cats Live as Long as Humans? What Science Says

Why Don’t Cats Live as Long as Humans? What Science Says

close up woman hugging a cat

Sadly, even though cats are thought of as having “nine lives,” it’s a fact that cats don’t live as long as humans. Cats don’t live as long because a cat’s life is accelerated from the time they are born, including reproducing.

Cats can start reproducing as early as 6 months old. Can you imagine if humans had that ability? Of course not! The same goes for teeth, as cats begin developing teeth as early as 3 weeks of age.

When it comes to a cat’s longevity, several factors come into play, and in this article, we’ll examine those factors to find out why cats have shorter lifespans than humans.


Why Don’t Cats Live as Long as Humans?

As we’ve stated, a cat’s life is accelerated from the time they are born. They reproduce early and develop much, much quicker than humans during their lifetime, all of which take a toll on their bodies and health over time.

A cat is considered a senior as early as 8 years of age. For humans, that’s still very much a young child. Other factors that shorten a cat’s lifespan are inbreeding, metabolism, and evolution.

To brighten up this topic, domesticated cats can live upward of 20 + years, but that’s still much shorter than we would like 1. Some cats can even live up to 30 years old, but that is not seen as often.

cat sitting on a silver laptop
Image by: Simon Hrozian, Unsplash

What Is the Average Lifespan of a Cat?

Why do cats have short life spans? The average lifespan of a cat ranges from 10 to 15 years. A cat that has been well taken care of can live even longer, especially if the cat is an indoor cat.

Outside cats can easily get run over or get into something poisonous that can cut their lives short. With proper nutrition and care, a cat can have a long life, but all the stars need to align, and owners must do their part to keep their cats healthy.


What Can I Do to Increase My Cat’s Lifespan?

As long as your cat has no predisposing factors that can cut its life short, such as diabetes, you can do a few things that will increase your cat’s longevity. These are as follows:

  • Take your cat for annual checkups. Cats are masters at hiding pain, and keeping up with wellness exams can discover a potential health problem
  • Indoor cats tend to live longer, and keeping your cat an indoor cat will help keep him out of harm’s way
  • Feed high-quality cat food and avoid foods with cheap fillers, preservatives, or flavors. Consult your veterinarian for optimal nutrition
  • Obesity is common in cats, and you must keep your cat at an ideal weight. You can exercise your cat by engaging in a game of fetch or grabbing your cat’s favorite toy for some playtime
  • Always provide clean, fresh water for your cat. You can invest in an automatic water dispenser to ensure your cat always has clean drinking water
  • Ensure you clean the litter box daily. By cleaning the litter box daily, you can observe your cat’s stool to ensure that the digestive system is working properly
  • Adopt a dental hygiene regime. When a cat’s teeth are in poor health, it can spawn other health problems due to bacteria in the mouth and/or infections
a vet examining a black and white cat's teeth
Image by: didesign021, Shutterstock

Tips for Keeping Your Cat Safe


Final Thoughts

Cats do not live as long as we would like, but they can still live long, healthy lives with proper nutrition and care. Remember to take your cat for regular checkups and get into a dental hygiene routine. Feed your cat a balanced diet, and always consult your vet with any questions or concerns, as they will guide you in the right direction.

Featured Image Credit: Trusova Evgeniya, Shutterstock

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