People ask why do outdoor cats live shorter and this is a popular question among cat owners especially those who keep outdoor cats or those who want to keep an outdoor cat, in this article we will outline the reasons outdoor cats live shorter than indoor cats?
Outdoor cats live shorter because they do not get routine medical care, needed shelter, hunted down by many predators, have no access to a complete diet and clean water.
Why do outdoor cats live shorter?
Here are the reasons outdoor cats live shorter than indoor cats:
Outdoor Cats Do Not Get Any Medical Check-ups
Cats are among the top pets that face a lot of health challenges from time to time, for a cat to live longer such a cat must be a close friend to vets.
Outdoor has no routine medical care or check-ups which makes them live with whatever health issues they have, and this affects their overall longevity.
Outdoor cats face a lot of health challenges especially if they were not born outdoor. Cats that are born outdoor in the wild will grow to become resistance to some health challenges.
Indoor cats always get enough routine medical care, which makes them live longer than outdoor cats.
An outdoor cat can pick up a disease while hunting and because it gets no medical care, it will end up sick and eventually die without getting into the expected life span.
Therefore, lack of routine medical care is a major reason outdoor cats live shorter than indoor cats.
Outdoor Cats Do Not Get Any Vaccination
Outdoor cats in the wild do not get vaccinated against any diseases associated with cats, this is because they have no access to a vet.
But all indoor cats get vaccinated even from the kitten stages making them build a strong immune system.
Because the immune system of outdoor cats is so low since we do not vaccinate them they easily get infections, making them live shorter.
According to icatcare, there are lots of vaccines every cat should take, but outdoor cats have no access to these vaccines making them more prone to infections.
Outdoor Cats Have No Access To Good Food
Outdoor cats know nothing about a complete diet and getting clean water, which is the basis of good health and longevity among cats.
Cats need a complete diet and that is exactly why most cat food-producing companies do, indoor cats eat a good meal and this extends how long they live.
Outdoor cats feed on any and everything just to stay alive, and this significantly affects their growth rate and overall well-being and their longevity.
A cat that gets a good meal is always happy and has good playtime with wonderful exercises.
But outdoor cats don’t even see full meals every day.
Some days outdoor cats go hungry because they cannot find food, or they didn’t succeed in a hunt.
Going on an empty stomach does no good to the overall well-being and longevity of the cat.
A complete diet contributes to the longevity of cats.
Outdoor Cats Get No Access To Clean Water
Clean water is very important in a cat lifespan as it helps keep cat hydrated always, even during the summer.
Dehydration is a tremendous problem for cats, and constant dehydration can affect the cat’s internal organs.
Day after day outdoor cats hardly find water to drink in the wild talk of clean water, even when they find where to drink from predators are everywhere.
The longer outdoor cats go without go without drinking water the shorter their lifespan becomes.
Outdoor Cats Have Too Many Predators Hunting Them
Too many predators in the wild is just one reason an outdoor cat can live past 1 year or even weeks in the wild.
Depending on the location, every forest or small bushes around town host many predators waiting for your cat to slip up.
Most outdoor cats get killed by moving vehicles, some by wild animals. All this contributes to why outdoor cats live shorter.
Outdoor Cats predators Include:
Here is a list of a few animals that see cats as prey.
- Wild and domestic dogs
- Big snakes
As you can see from the list, there are too many predators or animals that can kill a cat out there, and therefore outdoor cats live shorter.
Outdoor Cats Are Prone To High Level of Diseases
Outdoor cats live shorter because of the high level of diseases in their environment, which affect their overall health conditions.
Even the air in some environments in which an outdoor cat lives is contaminated, and this makes it hard for outdoor cats to have a proper life.
The environment plays an important role in the longevity of most animals, and cats are no exception to it.
If you provide a safe environment for an outdoor cat, then you have extended its longevity.
When these outdoor cats catch up with diseases from their environment, they get no medical attention which makes them ill and leads to early deaths.
Outdoor Cats Are Prone To More Pest And Parasite Attacks
Ticks, mites, lice and fleas are the most deadly pest that attack cats, they vaccinate even indoor cats against them.
Since outdoor cats don’t get vaccinated, they are constantly being attacked by this pest reducing their lifespan.
Tapeworms, hookworms and roundworms are the main parasites that attack cats, even indoor cats get vaccinated against them.
But outdoor cats catch up with lots of worms due to what they eat, making them to live shorter than indoor cats.
Outdoor Cats Have No Proper Shelter
Outdoor cats get exposed to all sorts of harsh environmental conditions, which have a direct impact on their overall longevity.
Sometimes an outdoor cat sleeps in a contaminated environment because it has no better offer, and this definitely affects the overall health of such cat and reduces the cat’s longevity.
These outdoor cats sometimes sleep in the rain because they have no proper shelter, as opposed to indoor cats, who can’t step out during the rainy periods.
Most times when an outdoor cat gets into trouble they end up being caught because they have no proper shelter or places to hide away from bigger predators.
So without proper shelter, it reduced the longevity of outdoor cats like that of indoor cats who even have cat trees and all places to hide when they want to take a nap.
How long can an outdoor cat live?
On average, an outdoor cat can live for about 4 to 8 years, depending on the environment and number of predators around, and also depending on the breed.
A popular website says 2 – 5 years but from experience, I can tell you 4 to 8 years however, my jack lived 9 years before a hunter who never knew my jack killed it.
Sometimes you see an outdoor cat live beyond 8 years old depending on the breed, some outdoor cat ends up turning into a powerful wild cat and creates its own territory.
Most outdoor cats are born outdoors and already have strong immunity, they also grow to become fantastic hunters. Sometimes they create their own family in the wild.
However, outdoor cats live shorter than indoor cats because they lack lots of things indoor cats get.
What do lost cats or outdoor cats eat
Outdoor cats eat any and everything that comes their way just to stay alive, so basically you can not say lost or outdoor cats have a specific food just like an indoor cat that has specifically made and enriched food both wet and dry.
Recommended: What to feed a Cat with Diarrhea and Vomiting, causes, and symptoms of Diarrhea in cats.
However, out of experience we can list some food outdoor cat eat to stay alive in the wild which include;
- Rats (Mice)
- Green grass
- Small Birds
- Small snakes
- Low pound fishes
- Lost chicken
Just like we said, these outdoor cats eat any and everything that comes their way just to stay alive and over time they become powerful hunters and go for better food.
All this type of food they eat contributes to why they basically live shorter than indoor cat whose food is carefully selected and changed.
Most Popular Breeds Cats And How Long The Live
- American Shorthair: 15 to 20 years
- Sphynx: 10 to 15 years
- Manx: 8 to 14 years
- Persian: 10 to 17 years
- Siamese: 12 to 20 years
- Calico: 12 to 15 years
- Bengal: 14 to 16 years
- Burmese: 16 to 18 years
- Maine Coon: 10 to 13 years
- Munchkin: 12 to 15 years
- Savannah: 12 to 20 years
- Ragdoll: 15 to 18 years
- Russian Blue: 15 to 20 years
Conclusion On Why Do Outdoor Cats Live Shorter
Keeping an outdoor cat comes with lots of troubles, mostly peace of mind which you will never get if you keep outdoor cat.
Depending on your environment, outdoor cats can still live for longer period. But the major reason they die quick is diseases and predators.
Read more about cats:
- Can Cats Eat Raw Meat: What Owners Said About Raw Meat.
- Why Cats Disappear Without a Trace.
- Can Cats Find Their Way Home If Lost (Answered).