Aging in cats

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Average Lifespan Among Domestic Cats[edit]

The average lifespan of domestic cats has increased in recent decades. It has risen from seven years in the 1980s, to nine years in 1995, to about 15 years in 2021.[1] Reliable information on the lifespans of domestic cats is varied and limited.[2] Nevertheless, a number of studies have investigated the matter and have come up with noteworthy estimates. Estimates of mean lifespan in these studies range between 13 and 20 years, with a single value in the neighborhood of 15 years.[3][4][5] At least one study found a median lifespan value of 14 years and a corresponding interquartile range of 9 to 17 years.[6] Maximum lifespan has been estimated at values ranging from 22 to 30 years although there have been claims of cats living longer than 30 years.[2][3][6][7][8][9] According to the 2010 edition of the Guinness World Records, the oldest cat ever recorded was Creme Puff, who died in 2005, aged 38 years, 3 days.[10] Female cats typically outlive male cats, while neutered cats and crossbred cats typically outlive entire and purebred cats, respectively.[3][6] It has also been found that the greater a cat's weight, the lower its life expectancy on average.[6]

A common misconception in cat aging (and dog aging) is that a cat ages the equivalent of what a human would age in seven years each year. This is inaccurate due to the inconsistencies in aging as well as there being far more accurate equations to predict a cat's age in "cat years". A more accurate equation often used by veterinarians to predict cat years is 4x + 16, (x being the chronological age of the cat) which works for cats who are two years of age or older.[citation needed]

In one study of cat mortality, the most frequent causes were trauma (12.2%), renal disorder (12.1%), non-specific illness (11.2%), neoplasia (10.8%) and mass lesion disorders (10.2%).[6][11][12]

Signs of Aging[edit]

Being aware of the changes in pets' needs and abilities allows for gracefully aging assistance from pet owners. Hannah Harper, associate editor of Health Magazine, describes five major points to ease the transition of aging pets. Step one is an increase in vet visits. Director of Behavior Services at MSPCA, Terri Bright PhD, encourages “taking note of your pet’s abilities so you can catch progressing conditions”. These changes may include both behavioral and physiological changes.[11] These changes may include both behavioral and physiological changes. Vet visits should increase to twice a year and be focused on tracking mobility and monitoring full body health.[11] Step two is making lifestyle adjustments. Aging pets may experience arthritis, causing difficulty with necessary mobility involved in jumping, running, walking, and bending. Household adjustments may need to be made to fit the needs of the animal. This may include more accessible bedding, litter boxes, and feeding locations– floor level. Step three is mental engagement. Like humans, pets also experience cognitive decline with age. The most effective way to slow this decline is with mental engagement. Harper suggests toys such as puzzles that “encourage your dog or cat to ‘solve’ a problem” or toys/games that “tap into their hunter-prey drive.[11] Step four is to anticipate behavioral changes. New behaviors may develop with aging including aggression and anxiety, often related to the physical changes your pet is experiencing. Step five is to consider alternative therapies. This step is meant for pets struggling with joint pain or arthritis and seeking pain management. Suggested therapies include aqua therapy, massages, acupuncture, as well as taking oral supplements.[11]

Nutrition[edit]

Aging in cats impacts their nutritional behavior. Various areas in the feline aging process that can affect nutrition. This includes reduced food intake and decreases nutritional absorption. There is a correlation between increasing age and dental disease in cats. This oral discomfort affects the amount of food felines consume. The key to preventing oral pain from dental disease is oral examinations and early appropriate intervention.” [12] Arthritis in older cats may also restrict mobility and discomfort when feeding. Olfaction loss with aging can also impact a feline's food intake. There are many factors discussed in the article that led to reduced food intake. Their second focus is decreased nutritional absorption. They provide evidence suggesting that “older cats have decreased fat and protein digestion and if this loss is not accounted for cats will begin to metabolize their lean body mass leading to sarcopenia." [12] Cats that can preserve their lean body mass have increased longevity. Because of this, dietary manipulation can have positive effects in feline longevity.[12][13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hoskins, Johnny D. (September 1997). "Canine and feline geriatrics". Preventive Veterinary Medicine. 32 (1–2): 138–139. doi:10.1016/s0167-5877(97)80706-4. ISSN 0167-5877.
  2. ^ a b "AnAge entry for Felis catus". AnAge: The Animal Ageing and Longevity Database. 2017-10-14. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  3. ^ a b c Cozzi, B.; Ballarin, C.; Mantovani, R.; Rota, A. (2017). "Aging and veterinary care of cats, dogs, and horses through the records of three university veterinary hospitals". Frontiers in Veterinary Science. 4: 14. doi:10.3389/fvets.2017.00014. ISSN 2297-1769. PMC 5306394. PMID 28261586.
  4. ^ Grimm, D. (2015). "Why we outlive our pets". Science. 350 (6265): 1182–1185. Bibcode:2015Sci...350.1182G. doi:10.1126/science.350.6265.1182. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 26785473.
  5. ^ Pena, M. (2018-07-03). "How long do cats live? Facts about the average cat lifespan". Catster. Belvoir Media Group. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  6. ^ a b c d e O’Neill, D.G.; Church, D.B.; McGreevy, P.D.; Thomson, P.C.; Brodbelt, D.C. (2014). "Longevity and mortality of cats attending primary care veterinary practices in England" (PDF). Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. 17 (2): 125–133. doi:10.1177/1098612X14536176. ISSN 1098-612X. PMID 24925771. S2CID 7098747.
  7. ^ Arking, R. (2006). The Biology of Aging: Observations and Principles (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 127.
  8. ^ Comfort, A. (1956). "Maximum ages reached by domestic cats". Journal of Mammalogy. 37 (1): 118–119. doi:10.2307/1375545. ISSN 0022-2372. JSTOR 1375545.
  9. ^ Hayashidani, H.; Omi, Y.; Ogawa, M.; Fukutomi, K. (1989). "Epidemiological studies on the expectation of life for cats computed from animal cemetery records". Nihon Juigaku Zasshi. 51 (5): 905–8. doi:10.1292/jvms1939.51.905. PMID 2607740.
  10. ^ "Oldest cat ever". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  11. ^ a b c d e "The Golden Rule (Luke 6:31)", Jesus and After, Warring States Project, pp. 90–91, 2017-12-31, retrieved 2022-07-30
  12. ^ a b c d Dowgray, Nathalie; Pinchbeck, Gina; Eyre, Kelly; Biourge, Vincent; Comerford, Eithne; German, Alexander J. (2022-04-04). "Aging in Cats: Owner Observations and Clinical Finding in 206 Mature Cats at Enrolment to the Cat Prospective Aging and Welfare Study". Frontiers in Veterinary Science. 9. doi:10.3389/fvets.2022.859041. ISSN 2297-1769.
  13. ^ "Caring for the ageing pet". Veterinary Record. 123 (6): 142–143. 1988-08-06. doi:10.1136/vr.123.6.142. ISSN 0042-4900.

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External links[edit]

  1. ^ Anderson, Heidi; Davison, Stephen; Lytle, Katherine M.; Honkanen, Leena; Freyer, Jamie; Mathlin, Julia; Kyöstilä, Kaisa; Inman, Laura; Louviere, Annette; Chodroff Foran, Rebecca; Forman, Oliver P. (2022-06-16). Ricketts, Sally Louise (ed.). "Genetic epidemiology of blood type, disease and trait variants, and genome-wide genetic diversity in over 11,000 domestic cats". PLOS Genetics. 18 (6): e1009804. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1009804. ISSN 1553-7404. PMC 9202916. PMID 35709088.