British Shorthair cats are one of the most popular breeds of house cats in the world. They’re also well known for their long lifespan, with many living to be between 15-20 years old. However, what factors influence that lifespan? An owner can do a few things to help ensure their British Shorthair lives a healthy life and reaches its full potential age.
This article will discuss these tips and how they can affect your cat’s longevity.
British Shorthair Lifespan
The British Shorthair cat is usually a healthy animal. As stated above, the average lifespan for these felines is around 15-20 years. Cola, the cat, might be the oldest known specimen, reaching a staggering 28 years of age!
Of course, these figures apply to cats that receive proper care throughout their lives. If a cat does not receive adequate care, it can reduce that lifespan in painful ways. Let’s go over different things that can affect a cat’s health at various stages in its life.
British Shorthair Kittens
Most pet owners adopt their cats as kittens. The first year of a cat’s life is significant for its overall well-being. To ensure your cat gets through adolescence and reaches maturity, you’ll want to do a few things.
1. Spay and Neuter
First, it is recommended to spay or neuter your cat. This will prevent medical complications, as well as reduce the chance of cats roaming. Cats that roam have higher rates of contracting infectious diseases and getting into fights with other animals.
2. Keep Them Away From Danger
Second, keep your British Shorthair kitten indoor-only at all times! Your kitty could get hit by a car or poisoned; outdoor dangers are too high to risk. Also, you should cat-proof your house, eliminating any source of danger.
3. Keep Them Mentally Stimulated
Third, ensure your British Shorthair cat has plenty of things to play with and jump around on. You want to keep them from getting bored or frustrated too easily, or they may take it out on your personal belongings.
Feeding your cat is a major factor in the British Shorthair lifespan. You should mainly provide cat food to your pet, not people’s food.
You can also get them fresh water every day and provide a healthy diet of canned or dry food that suits their needs. Follow the recommended portions, and weigh your cat to make sure they are not overweight or underweight, as obesity is a leading cause of domestic cat death.
When they are still young, make sure you feed your kitten with kitten food. This will ensure they have all the nutrients and vitamins they need to stay healthy! Kittens need different food than adults, one that contains higher protein levels and other nutrients.
How to Keep an Adult British Shorthair Healthy
Once your kitten becomes a healthy adult, keeping them healthy is much easier. Cats are very independent and know how to take care of themselves.
You can still do your part by feeding them high-quality food and giving them plenty of water to drink. If you have multiple cats, it’s a good idea to get each cat their litter box to avoid any territorial disputes or cross-contamination that may occur.
Make sure your British Shorthair has the opportunity to climb up on things once in a while! A bored cat will often find a way to entertain itself, and an inactive cat is more likely to get sick.
You should take your cat in for a check-up at least once a year and make sure they get regular vet visits to avoid any surprises. When you are at the vet’s office for wellness checks, feel free to ask your veterinarian about vaccinations as well. We recommend getting a new set of shots every three years or when the vaccine becomes inactive in their system. This will help to prevent most of the major diseases that affect cats.
How to Care for a Senior Cat
Once your cat reaches 11-15 years old, they will be considered geriatric or senior cats. Just like with humans, health problems can begin arising around that time.
Diet & Exercise
It’s important to make sure they have a healthy diet so that their kidneys and liver can continue functioning properly. You should also be careful with the treats you give them, as too many calories might lead to weight issues since they are not moving around as much.
With their weakening bodies, older cats may also need walking. It may seem strange to walk a cat, but it can be good for them. They might not want to get up and move around as much on their own, so this is something you should do at least once or twice a day.
You don’t have to take them too far- just from the living room couch into your backyard.
Watch for Symptoms
During this period, it’s more important than ever to monitor any changes in their behavior, appetite, and litter box habits. Some hints that your senior cat might need more help include: sleeping for extended periods, not grooming themselves as much, not using the litter box properly, or if they have a sudden weight gain.
The most important thing to do is talk with your vet about any changes in your cat’s behavior.
Common Health Issues in British Shorthair Cats
Cats suffer from a variety of minor conditions that pose no real threat of reducing their lifespan. Some diseases or conditions, however, are more serious. The most common illnesses in British Shorthair cats include arthritis, kidney disease, and diabetes. These diseases are preventable with routine vet check-ups and diligent pet care.
Other factors that can impact a cat’s lifespan are dental problems, which could lead to malnutrition or an injury to their brain from an accident (such as a fall).
An overweight British Shorthair cat is also at risk of developing arthritis or diabetes as they age. A pet owner should ensure their feline doesn’t get overweight by monitoring their weight with a scale and feeding them appropriately.
Cats are great pets for many reasons, but they come with a specific set of care requirements. If you want to raise your cat from kittenhood through its golden years and beyond, make sure that you’re providing the right type of food, environment, exercise opportunities, and veterinary care.
You may also need to consider how much water your pet drinks at each meal or when it needs to go outside. With just a little bit more effort upfront on your part as an owner, you can help extend the lifespan of your British Shorthair cats by decades!
Featured Image Credit: Irina Riedel, Shutterstock