Dogs may be our best friend, but cats are vying for the title as well. There are more cats owned in the United States than dogs – 94.2 million vs. 89.7 million, respectively. For cats, like any living thing on this earth, existence is merely temporary – despite the myth of their nine lives. Some live about eight years, while others as many as 20.
Cats go through six stages of aging. They are kittens for the first six or seven months. This is the period when cats change the most both physically and mentally. As juniors, until they are about 2 years old, they are reproductively mature. Cats are adults, or in their prime, between 3 and 6 years of age. The fourth stage is mature, between 7 and 10 years. This is the equivalent of 40-50 years for humans and when health issues such as arthritis, start to appear. Senior cats are those between 11 and 14 years of age, the “golden years” for cats. The last phase of cats aging is the geriatric stage when they are 15 or older. During this stage, which can last years, making your feline feel comfortable and taking them to the vet twice a year is pretty much all you can do.
Some cats are so revered that they have been chosen to be symbols of several states – along with dogs, panthers, bears, and other animals – these are the official pets and animals of every state.
Click here to see the shortest and longest living cat breeds
To identify the cat breeds with the shortest and longest life expectancy, 24/7 Tempo reviewed lifespan data for 45 different cat breeds collected by CatTime and recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association, the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats. The data includes breed characteristics, weight, and life expectancy. Information related to each breed’s personality and physical attributes came from the CFA’s official website. For the few breeds CatTime did not provide weight information for, we used other breed authorities.