Cat Life Spans Can Lengthen

Learn the No. 1 thing you can do to help your cat live longer, from the results of a recent poll.

Nationwide, unaltered cats have shorter life spans, Banfield Pet Hospital reported Wednesday in its 2013 State of Pet Health Report.

Find your cat’s age in human years here >>

The annual survey, which also looked at the most common diagnoses and other statistical trends of cat and dog health, was based on data compiled from visits by 2.2 million dogs and 460,000 cats to Banfield hospitals in 2012.

See five signs that show your cat is sick >>

2013 Dog and Cat Study Difference
“This year’s report is focused on the overall life span of pets … state by state … as well as factors that may influence life span,” stated Marta Monetti, senior vice president of corporate affairs at Portland, Ore.-based Banfield.

The difference in life spans was attributed to whether a cat or dog was sterilized.

Read more reasons why you should spay or neuter your cat >>

Neutered cats lived, on average, 62% longer than unneutered males, the Banfield data revealed. Spayed cats lived 39% longer than unspayed female cats. For dogs, neutered males lived 18% longer. Spayed females enjoyed a 23% advantage.

Here are other highlights from the 2013 report:

Average Dog and Cat Life Span
• 11.0 years for dogs nationwide.
• 12.1 years for U.S. cats.
• Dogs in Mississippi and Alabama lived 10.1 and 10.2 years, respectively — the lowest of any states.
• Cats had the shortest life spans in Delaware and Ohio, at 10.7 and 10.9 years, respectively.
• Dogs lived the longest in Montana and South Dakota (12.4 years).
• Cat longevity was highest in Montana (14.3 years).

Dog and Cat Health Trends
• Most common canine diagnoses: dental tartar, ear infections, excess weight, skin infections and flea infestations.
• Top-five cat health concerns: dental calculus, excess weight, flea infestations, gingivitis and ear infections.
• Almost one in four dogs and cats was overweight or obese.
• Arthritis diagnoses came at an average age of 9 for dogs and 12 for cats.
• Kidney disease was almost seven times more common in cats than dogs.
• Dental disease afflicted 91 percent of dogs and 85 percent of cats over age 3.

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