So you just adopted a cute newborn kitten — or you rescued an older cat from a shelter. No matter how this little critter ends up in your life, you’ll naturally find yourself wondering, “How long should I expect this new addition to the family?”
This is an important question. Aside from the strong emotional bond you’ll develop with your new feline friend, caring for your little furball isn’t cheap. In fact, cat owners should spend about $634 a year on their pets, or $53 a month, according to ASPCA Pet Insurance.
How long can a cat live?
According to PetMD, most cats live 10 to 15 years, but that’s not set in stone. The length of your pet’s lifespan depends on many factors, including healthcare, diet, and the environment.
According to Blue Cross, domestic cats can live up to 20 years if they are well cared for.
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How to Extend Your Cat’s Life
Here are some key steps you can take as a pet owner to ensure you maximize your kitten’s lifespan
During the first six months of your cat’s life, the Blue Cross emphasizes the importance of having your kitten neutered. In addition to eliminating some of the risk factors associated with reproductive disease, this will prevent your cat from traveling too far from home when looking for a potential mate.
Blue Cross also emphasizes that it is important to communicate frequently with your veterinarian about your pet’s vaccination and check-up schedule.
The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine points out a significant correlation between cats’ longevity and the environment in which they live. On average, indoor cats live about 10 years longer than outdoor cats, due to the many risk factors associated with spending a lot of time outdoors.
To ensure your cat’s long-term health, limit their outdoor time, neuter them at the appropriate age, and check in with their veterinarian regularly.