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Is it me or do cats live longer these days?

(4 Posts)
Pipbin Sun 02-Nov-14 15:28:52

When I was growing up (70s and 80s) we had a total of 22 cats over about 20 years, about 5 or so at a time. We lived on a fairly busy road and sadly most of them lost their lives there (why did they cross the damn road, there was 25 miles of countryside behind the house.) Any cats that lived into old age passed on at about 10. 12 was considered to be old for a cat.
Now I hear about cats making it to 15 or 20.
Were our cats short lived or are they living longer?

cozietoesie Sun 02-Nov-14 15:35:51

Firstcat lived until 9 years old and that was considered to be getting on in those days. And now here's Seniorboy getting ever closer to 20 although I admit that he seems to have an ironclad constitution.

I think they are living much longer - domestic cats that is. Better health care and food etc. I don't think the average age of feral cats is changing that much and they're much shorter lived - 3-5 years, perhaps?

AngelsWithSilverWings Sun 02-Nov-14 15:47:12

The cat I had when I was a child in the 70's lived to be 21.

I've had three cats in the last 20 years who died very young - one in the road when only a few years old, one who just dropped dead in the garden aged around 5 ( heart problems) and another who got a virus and had to be out down at 8 years.

I hope the two I have now live to a ripe old age.

SqueezyCheeseWeasel Sun 02-Nov-14 16:09:40

I think, like humans, they are living longer due to advances in research and improved healthcare. Better quality diet (pet food is much better these days) and vaccinations such as the ones against cat flu and feline leukaemia have increased life expectancy.
Also, I think attitudes of pet owners have changed. I think we think of cats (or pets in general) as more like family members these days and are more likely to take them to the vet when they are sick, rather than leave it to nature to sort out. Perhaps also that is influenced by improved levels of disposable income compared to the 1970's, so we are more able to afford to access veterinary care for pets.

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