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Do cats live longer than dogs?

(March 26, 2010)

Human being tends to attribute a factor or ratio to the age of their dog or cat. Some people say that a dog’s age in human terms can be found by multiplying the dog’s age by 7. However, this factor of calculation is one that is ad hoc and is given as a reference for humans to understand what stage of life the dog is at. A 2 year old dog is usually compared to a human just entering his or her teenage years. While this ratio is suited to explaining the life stages of a dog, it is not a rule of thumb for the age of the dog. Some dogs display sexual maturity even as young as age 1. Some dog species tend to live longer while some have a shorter life expectancy.

Generally speaking, larger dogs tend to have a shorter life expectancy while smaller dogs tend to live longer. Also, dogs that tend to be aggressive have a shorter life span than dogs that are docile and domesticated. An example of this can be given by comparing a Chihuahua breed which has an expected life span of 13 years with a Doberman breed dog which has a life expectancy of about 9.8 years. This difference thus shows that the age of a dog is dependent on its breed as well. This difference can be attributed to the Chihuahua being more domestic and less aggressive while the Doberman, being mainly a guard or attack dog being more aggressive. It may also be noted that mixed breeds tend to have a longer life expectancy than pure bred dogs.

Domestic cats have an average life span of over 16 years if they are well taken care of. Some reports suggest that the oldest known domestic cat was 28 years old. It is quite common for cats to breach the 20 year barrier. This is not the case with dogs. Hence it is accepted that cats tend to live longer than dogs on average. This difference is due to the inherent nature of the different animal family that these two pet groups come from. Dogs are canines and have a very different metabolism and life cycle than that of a cat. The domestic cats are the smallest members of the cat family and tend to be extremely self sufficient and can grow easily to the age of 15.

Submitted by A on March 26, 2010 at 01:13


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