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Difference in UK and US Cat Life expectancies - Page 2

post #31 of 41
Originally Posted by jcat View Post

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
I think this is key! Surely it depends on the individual ? I really don't think you should judge another's choice or generalise. Indoor/outdoor it depends on the breed/personality of your cat and your assessment of the outdoor situation. As long as indoor cats have activity centres, access to a window seat and fresh air I don't see a problem

My cats have open access to a cat flap, they are not hunters and they got on just fine with the absynians who used to live at the back of us. None of my neighbours have children and they do not have access to a road, the only wildlife is a squirrel, and when they go outside they generally sit in the back garden, eat grass and watch the world go by.
post #32 of 41
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
True in the vast majority of the US also.
That depends on where you live. I grew up in one of the major cities in the U.S. (Philadelphia, PA), and spend about a month a year in Omaha, NE, and there are plenty of predators. I get a real kick out of coyotes raiding trash cans, and my relatives there can't appreciate my interest.
post #33 of 41
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
That depends on where you live.
Which is why I said "in the vast majority of".
post #34 of 41
Before we invested in our cat fence, we lost 4 cats. I'm in not really a rural place, but we experience a lot of foxes, coyotes, owls, and mountain lions. I'm pretty sure that is what happened to them, and it's just so sad. It was hard to understand because I grew up with cats in and out living to be quite old. I think it's just where you live...
post #35 of 41
Look, the OP started this thread because they had heard that the average life expectancy of indoor/outdoor cats in the US is 2 1/2 years and wondered why that is. The answer is that it is not true.

It is ridiculous to be trying to give credence to the "2 1/2 years" assertion based on there being a bobcat or coyote lurking around every corner waiting to gooble up a cat.

Yes there are regions in the US where predator animals are a threat to cats. It is *NOT* true that that is the case in the majority of the US. In the vast majority of the US the major threat to cats are cars, other cats and dogs and people. Thus trying to say that the US *as a whole* is so dangerous for outdoors cats that the 2 1/2 years assertion is credible is just absurd.
post #36 of 41
I grew up riding horses, so barn cats are almost an institution for me. If the barn and the property are isolated enough, and the cat is neutered, knows where his/her food is, can stay out from under the feet of livestock, and has a desire to stick around, I can see the cat having a decent life expectancy. "Barn cats" seem to vary from place to place. I rode at barns that had kittens born on a regular basis and a higher turnover rate, and I rode at a few barns that had only one or two neutered cats who stuck around for all the years I was there.

I don't have a problem with indoor/outdoor cats if your property is large enough to contain them. If your cats are on my property (or anyone else's) doing who knows what, you are doing a disservice to your neighbors and your community. I had cats killing my chickens a few years ago...on MY property...in MY yard. I would have been well within my rights to shoot them. I love cats, but I don't think they are above reproach. They can be a nuisance, and they can be dangerous.
post #37 of 41
Yosemite - I am so sad to hear that Bijou is missing, I hope he returns home soon.

To address the thread, the vast majority of cats here are indoor/outdoor - the most recent figures I've heard are that 9% of cats in the UK are indoor only - but it isn't true that they all have short lives. I have known a 22 year old indoor/outdoor cat (RIP Fred you were an absolute star!) and I am curious to know where these figures are coming from, because unless there is some statistical-jiggery-pokery involved, they just aren't true in the UK.

In fact, I don't think anyone has actually done a scientific survey about it - if there has been any, please post a link to the findings here, because if there's no research to back this up, it's all useless conjecture.
post #38 of 41
Having lived on both sides of 'the pond'...

I think part of the culture of UK cats living longer (and I will say it has not been the 'norm' to see an older outdoor cat here compared to back home in England) is that it is seen as the 'norm' to allow your cat outside in the UK. Declawing is illegal so there are less defenseless cats outside. There are drivers here, who when seeing a cat outside, especially if it doesn't have a collar, won't swerve because they assume it is feral because of the fact it is outside when the 'norm' here is to keep cats indoors.

The UK also doesn't have the same diseases and as many predators as some areas of the US and Canada, and while people in the city may be more careful, rural communities are the ones who tend to allow their cats outside (because the norm in rural areas is to have most animals outside) but there is increased natural predators in those areas as they are not scared off by cars etc.

2 1/2 years while it seems low to me, may be correct if you average the ones who do live to 20 and the one ones who die young, or even as kittens, but my guess is the 5 y/o one is more realistic
post #39 of 41
Various studies have shown that *FERAL* cats in the US have an average life expectancy of 3-5 years. That is, cats that get *NO* human assistance, no food, no shelter, no medical care.

It defies common sense to claim indoor/outdoor cats that receive regular feedings, shelter and medical care, would have a life expectancy of 2 1/2 years.
post #40 of 41
I have read studies in the past that suggested some feral colonies had longer life expectancies than cared for cats that are outdoors as they have more of a survival instict and do work as a pack compared to pets who are just out for exercise and some fun but still I would think it is higher than 2.5 years
post #41 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your thoughts here people, it's really interesting.

I'd like to point out that I saw someone say the average expectancy was 2 1/2 years, it wasn't my own statistic.
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