There is typically a big difference in the lifespans of indoor and outdoor cats. Like humans, heredity can affect the longevity of cats. However, environment can influence a cat's lifespan greatly.
The Lifespan of an Outdoor Cat
The typical lifespan of an outdoor cat is only 2 to 5 years There are many reasons for this. Outdoor cats tend to get into fights, resulting in injuries and the transmission of diseases. They can be struck by vehicles, encounter poisonous substances or fall prey to hostile dogs or humans. Another danger they face is exposure to the elements. They can even be abducted.
The Lifespan of an Indoor Cat
By contrast, the lifespan of an indoor cat is typically 12 to 15 years. Multiple factors contribute to longevity as well. They are more likely to get regular, healthy food. They are sheltered from the elements in a climate-controlled environment. No wild or unfamiliar animals can get to them, and they are away from vehicles.
Going Outside Safely
There are ways to allow your cat to go outside while ensuring his safety. You can build a screened-in porch or a cat enclosure. Contrary to popular belief, cats can also be trained to walk on a leash. Just be sure to attach it to a harness instead of a collar, as cats can slip their collars if spooked. Add an ID tag and have your cat microchipped for an extra degree of safety.
Making Indoor Cats Happy
With a little help from you, your cat can be just as happy indoors as out. Provide plenty of safe toys for him to play with when you are away from home and create window boxes and perches for him in multiple rooms. This will allow him to soak up the sun and watch what is happening outside.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Leslie Carver has been a professional author since 2009. Her work appears on multiple websites. She has an associate's degree in English with progress toward her bachelor's at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has been awarded an Outstanding Student Award in English and twice nominated for creative writing awards.