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Video:What Is the Lifespan of a Cat

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Cats can have long, healthy lives with proper nutrition and veterinary care. You can help increase the quality and duration of your cat's life with these simple tips.See Transcript

Transcript:What Is the Lifespan of a Cat

Hi, Richard Meadows here from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. I'm here to talk to you today about the lifespan of a cat. This is a subject that I am thrilled to be able to talk to you about because I work on dogs and I work on cats, and cats typically live longer than dogs.

Cats Can Live 15-20 Years

It's not unusual for cats, particularly if they get good preventative care, to make 20 or very close. Cats can be very long-lived animals. Fifteen to twenty years of age is not unusual.

It has gotten longer through the years. When I was a child growing up around a vet clinic, that would have been a rare instance, a twenty year old cat. Nutrition has gotten better, veterinary care has gotten better and life has gotten better for many of us. Many cats live a better indoor life, not an outdoor cat down at the barn that is subject to being traumatized or run over by a car.

Feed Your Cat High Quality Food

There are things that you can do to make your cat live longer with a quality of life. Maximize the quality and the quantity of life. One of those is feed them a high quality food. That doesn't mean the most expensive food. It doesn't mean the food that the pet store is pushing that is their special this month. It means a good, high quality food approved by an organization called AAFCO.

Ask Veterinarian for Advice on Food

Your veterinarian can help advise you about this. It's an independent group that looks to see if the food is 100% complete and nutritiously balanced food for your cat. So paying a little bit more for a good type of food or seeking the advice of your veterinarian about what they think is the best food for your cat can really make a difference.

Specialized Diets Are Good for Older Cats

Also on the subject of food as they age, there are many prescription diets, specialized diets for cats with kidney disease, which is very common as they age; for liver disease; for cats that get stones in their kidneys; for cats that have skin disease, and on and on. There are growing numbers of specialized diets that are basically medicine in a can. They have no medicine in them but they have good medical effects.

Thanks for joining us today. If you'd like more information about your cat, go to About.com.

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