Cats are among some of the most popular house pets in the world, right beside dogs, but many of them are very much outdoor pets as well. Whatever the lifestyle, it would seem that cats are living longer and more prosperous lives than ever before.
In a new study, the results of which have been published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, scientists have found that everyone’s favorite felines are living much longer than they did several decades before now – up to 50 years ago.
It’s not because cats are somehow becoming smarter and learning to live healthier lifestyles with the perfect balance of diet and exercise. Instead, the results are more likely turned to the attention of medical advances, which help prevent disease and keep pets healthier.
Although cats don’t live almost 100 years like humans can, they do live as old as their 20s. This means that for a cat, every year is about the same as 5 years for them, similarly to how one human year is equivalent to about 7 dog years.
Because the longer-living of cats is just now being understood, there isn’t a whole lot of research that provides a benchmark for “healthy” aging. As a result, we don’t really know what the to compare the current cat aging process to. We don’t know if this is considered the high or low end of a cat’s possible life expectancy.
"An appreciation of normal aging in cats is critical from both a clinical and research perspective. In this regard, it is imperative to be able to distinguish between what would be considered 'normal for age' versus unhealthy aging changes," the team said in a statement.
"Although we provide a thorough review of the current knowledge, it is clear that there is a great need for better understanding in this area."
Among the things that can happen to a cat as it ages are hair loss, weight changes, dietary changes, grooming behavior, and other oddities that would come with the difficulties of getting older. These are similar to the signs of aging in humans, which include thinning of the skin, weight loss, and changes in physical activity.
Despite the lack of current understanding of “healthy” cat aging, we can still tell for sure that cats are living longer today than they did back in the good old days. That means current health and medicine for felines is doing its job, and doing it well.
Now go pet your cat. It wants some attention.
Source: Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery via Consumer Affairs