The average life expectancy of indoor cats is 16 to 17 years. They might not have nine lives, per se, but they tend to stick around for a good couple of years. They also outlive their outdoor feline friends who live in the wild. Outdoor cats live an average of only 2 to 5 years, which is around 3 times less than the average life of indoor cats.
However, there are certain factors that determine how long cats can survive. Based on factors such as the environment around them, their health, the kind of maintenance and care they receive by their owners, their lifespan may vary.
Why Should You Keep Your Cat Indoors
If you want your cats to have not only a long but healthy and vital life, you must keep them indoors, under your supervision. Here are some reasons why owners are concerned about their cats’ safety, outside their houses:
- Cats are born hunters. This means that they will hunt and kill any live prey that comes in their vicinity. They may prey on a countless number of birds and species, some of which may be on the brink of extinction. If you keep your cats indoors, you are not only saving yourself from hosting uninvited guests, which have been hunted by your cats, but also contributing towards the betterment of the environment.
- Your cats are also at risk of getting hunted by other wild cats, dogs, predators or dangerous critters.
- They may get hit by a moving car and sustain major injuries.
- They can get poisoned by toxins that are prevalent in the wild. They can also get exposed to diseases, while getting in contact with other infected animals.
- If your cats are found littering, they may get trapped. They can easily get lost and may be picked up by animal control due to lack of care and supervision.
- Outdoor cats may suffer from starvation. When you have your cats living with you inside your house, you can monitor their health and act quickly and accordingly if an issue arises.
All these factors contribute towards the lifespan of a cat, concluding that an indoor cat will always outlive an outdoor cat.
How to Keep Your Cat Indoors
As much as you want your cats to be healthy, you also want them to be happy. As a thoughtful cat owner, you should find different ways to entertain them and keep them distracted from the outside hustle-bustle.
- To avoid the complete restriction of their outdoor movement, you can build them a safe enclosure in your backyard or garden. This will help them observe nature without having to encounter any of its perils.
- Invest in good cat toys, which keep them entertained and gives them a break from their mundane life.
- Treat them with good interactive pet toys and puzzles that will help them build their physical and mental acumen.
- Give them access to a window-side perch. Indoor cats are drawn to the outside world, and this will give them a good view of the outdoor wildlife, without getting hurt.
- To ensure that your cats don’t become overweight and develop health issues, train them so that they have some kind of physical movement inculcated in their routine.
- Help your cats to stay fit by building them an indoor cat tree. It will help them practice their climbing skills and also make their claws sharp.
As a considerate cat owner, you must make the most informative and the best decision for yourself and your furry companion. Because of the various reasons that may affect the lifespan of a cat that lives outdoors, it is best recommended to keep your cats inside the safe, protected four walls of your house.