The lifespan of British cats primarily depends on good heredity. But there are a number of other influencing factors, each of which can increase or shorten the life cycle of a British breed.
We will learn how to properly care for a pet so that it pleases the owner with its presence for many years.
How long do British cats live?
There are several species of animals that are considered indigenous to their territories. British cats have been living on the islands for more than a dozen centuries and their longevity is comparable to the same pets from other regions. All of them were formed in natural conditions and went through the same evolutionary path.
The average life expectancy of a Bbritish Shorthair is 15 years, and further years depend on the general health and conditions of detention. Scientists have shown that castration and living at home have a positive effect on how long cats live. Practice confirms that in this way animals get about 5 additional years.
It is completely incorrect to compare purebred cats with street tramps. Stray cats rarely live to full maturity (7-9 years). They die from infections and wounds received in battles for a piece of meat or a warm place.
Factors affecting animal health
The number of years that a pet can live directly depends on the conditions of detention, starting from the first day the kitten appears in the house.
British cats live up to 14-15 years. Representatives of this breed, as it should be for real aborigines, have strong immunity and natural resistance to diseases. Along with other aboriginal animals, English cats became the parent breed for other local populations.
- Long-haired cat. This is a group of cats culled from breeding. In addition to a fluffy coat, she inherited good genetics and strong immunity. The average life expectancy of long-haired British cats is still 15 years old, and neutered animals at home calmly live up to 20 years.
- Lop-eared British. Later they received the name Scottish, but initially, they belonged precisely to the parent group. These animals were unlucky with genetics – some combinations of alleles lead to permanent damage to the musculoskeletal system and the spine. But the lifespan of healthy individuals is no different from the parent breed. Lop-eared British live a standard one and a half decades. And sterilized British Fold cats, which the owners provide a comfortable home environment, are able to live 3-4 years longer.
Important! The main factors that affect the longevity of British cats are the correct maintenance, veterinary support and a balanced menu.
How to extend your Cat’s life
It depends only on the owner of the animal how many years a thoroughbred British cat will live. There is an unfounded opinion that all pets who live in a comfortable home environment are prone to longevity. But this is a false conclusion. Even improper feeding can significantly shorten a cat’s life cycle.
Regular and timely prevention of diseases in cats
Going to the doctor and drawing up a cat’s medical book is one of the first steps that must be taken when an animal appears in the house.
In the first weeks of life, kittens support their natural immunity with the help of mother’s milk. At the age of 3 months, babies are vaccinated and treated against external and internal parasites. It is not recommended to pick up a British kitten early from the mother, the ideal age for weaning from a cat is 12 weeks.
Annual vaccinations are needed to prevent serious illnesses. Some owners believe that domestic cats do not need to be vaccinated. In fact, with shoes and clothes, parasites and viruses get into the room, which poses a serious threat to the life of the animal.
Therefore, it is very important to vaccinate every year throughout the life of a British cat.
A balanced diet is the second criterion that affects the longevity of a British cat. Three menu options are traditionally considered here:
- natural food made from fresh products;
- industrial group – dry granules or wet meat and vegetable components;
- British cat mixed ration – a combination of the first and second types of food.
Each type of feeding has its own advantages and disadvantages.
- Natural food is ideal for the full development of a kitten. The little Briton’s menu should include meat and dairy products, cereals, and vegetables.
- At puberty, dry pellets or wet industrial feed can be added to the diet. There are mixes made specifically for castrated British cats. They contain vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain the health of the genitourinary system.
- In adulthood, animals are usually transferred to a mixed diet. Older British cats are prone to overeating and gaining weight. And with a mixed meal, the owner has the opportunity to monitor the portion size and its useful filling. For example, neutered cats can live 4-5 years longer, but being overweight increases the strain on the heart, which often leads to premature death.
The composition of the feed must be selected taking into account the age and health of the animal. A young and active Briton is given a high-calorie food, and for a passive elderly animal, you should choose foods that are easily absorbed by the digestive organs.
Hygiene and care
Grooming of the British Shorthair cat is usually limited to regular brushing, bathing, and other hygiene procedures.
- General mucous membrane hygiene consists of regularly removing accumulated dirt from the corners of the eyes and cleaning the nose.
- Ears are cleaned as soon as they become dirty.
- Lop-eared British (Scottish) cats are treated with a liquid solution. The folded edge is carefully folded back, dirt is removed with a cotton swab, and drops or a special lotion are used to remove sulfur from the ear canal.
- Combing is carried out 1-2 times a week using a regular cat comb for wool and undercoat or a special mitten.
- During the period of abundant molting, the procedure is performed more often (as needed).
Education and exercise for a cat
The British are reserved. They love privacy and do not allow them to violate the boundaries of personal space. Therefore, it is necessary to devote a lot of time to raising a cat, but at the same time, you should not put strong pressure on it. Then the animal grows up sociable and will spend more time with the owner.
Representatives of this breed are prone to obesity, so you need to strictly monitor the physical activity and nutrition of the cat.
British cats are relatively calm animals. But in some cases, they can show aggression, for example, when they want to defend their territory or when they are being violent towards them.
It is necessary to prepare the cat in advance for a stressful situation. Almost all pets are afraid of visiting the vet. In foreign territory, the Briton does not feel protected and may show aggression. Therefore, you need to accustom your pet to carry in advance and, if possible, find a permanent doctor.
The cat will behave much calmer if the examination and other manipulations are performed by a person familiar to him.
Animal psychology experts recommend giving the British cat freedom, but at the same time minimizing risk factors.
Sterilization and castration
Neutering affects how old British cats live. A decrease in sex drive and a change in hormonal levels have a beneficial effect on the life expectancy of a pet.
The surgical procedure is performed when the animal does not participate in breeding. Sterilization and castration are two different operations:
- For castration, the testes or ovaries are removed from animals.
- During sterilization, the reproductive organs are preserved, only a part of the fallopian tubes (in females) and the spermatic cord (in males) are removed. At the same time, all-natural instincts continue to operate and during the mating season, cats are in search of a partner. But due to the operation performed, they are not able to have offspring.
Experts recommend performing the operation on young animals aged 9 months to 1 year – during this period, the British tolerate surgery more easily. But sometimes sterilization is carried out at the age of 5-7 years, for example, when the owner of the cat no longer plans to breed purebred kittens.
Famous British centenarians
Many representatives of this breed claimed the title of long-livers:
- The owners of the British cat Muscat, which, according to rough estimates, was 31 years old, applied for the book of records. But the problem was that the animal was found on the street in 1990 and the veterinarian determined that the cat was 5 years old at that time. Now the owners are proving the truth of this statement and are trying to legitimize the national longevity record.
- The same fate befell the famous Lucy from South Wales, who lived for 43 years. Picky experts questioned the authenticity of the feline documents and did not immortalize the memory of this animal.
The life span of British cats must be divided into two unequal parts. The first includes early childhood and reaching puberty.
If at this time the animal eats well and is under the constant supervision of a veterinarian, then the second half of life (maturity and old age) will pass calmly and will not end soon.
Maximum attention and love for a fluffy pet is all that is needed for a cat to live next to its owner as long as possible.