Do cats live longer than dogs?

Who lives longer, a cat or a dog? A cat … because they have nine lives! Of course, this is a joke. Cats do not really have nine lives. However, joking aside, animal experts and pet parents really do believe that cats live longer than dogs.

The average life span of dogs is 12.8 years. Some dog breeds have shorter life spans; others have longer life expectancy. Generally, large breeds of dogs have shorter life spans as compared to small breeds. For instance, a Great Dane’s life expectancy is 8.4 years while a Toy Poodle’s is about 14.4 years. Although the life span of a dog is also dependent on its nutritional intake and on the kind of care received from the owners, physical and psychological stress have a significant impact on life expectancy. Docile dogs tend to have longer life spans than aggressive dogs. Large dog breeds are more stressed because their bodies are worked harder. Because the demand on a smaller body is lesser, smaller dog breeds tend to live longer. Predicting the life span of dogs becomes a little easier by factoring in the size. The average life expectancy of cats is 16 years. Of course, we often hear about cats that have reached the 20-year mark. Recorded on the Guinness Book of World Records is the oldest cat that died at the age of 38. This kind of situation is very rare in dogs.

Why do cats live longer than dogs? Dogs are much more active than cats. Dogs that do not have opportunities to expend excess energies tend to develop destructive habits. This is why dog owners make it a point to walk the pet every day. This is not so with cats. Cat owners can leave the pet at home all day without worrying about the pet that can get bored and become a one-cat demolition team. Cats would spend the day grooming and sleeping. Discounting the occasional cat fights to defend the territory, cats live pretty peaceful lives as compared to dogs that have the tendency to manifest aggressive behaviors against strangers and against animals practically at all times. Unlike dogs, cats do not wear themselves out. The stress factor in dogs is one of the reasons why man’s best friends do not live as long as cats. Metabolism rate has a significant effect on life longevity. Large dog breeds have higher metabolism rate as compared to small breeds thus the longer life span of small dog breeds. Small animals tend to have longer lives. Because cats are much smaller than dogs, cats tend to live longer.

The kind of lifestyle the animals have also has a significant effect on life longevity. The home is a cozy and safe haven for indoor cats. The pets that are not free to roam the great outdoors are naturally kept safe from predators and from aggressive animals. Vehicular accidents are one of the most common causes of deaths of roaming animals. Dogs have the inclination to roam. An interesting scent or movement would entice the dog to vault. Dogs are indiscriminate eaters. Ingestion of toxic substances is one of the common causes of canine deaths. Cats that were raised to be indoor pets would have no inclination to sample life outdoors especially if the owners provide enough food and stimulating activities in the form of toys. Who wouldn’t live longer if all the basic needs are provided and if all that is expected to do is to chase the occasional mouse? Cats have longer life spans than dogs because cats live relatively stress-free lives.

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