Did you know the average lifespan of a neutered domestic cat is considered to be 14 years old? A dog’s life expectancy will vary with the breed but overall and as with cats, there are signs that longevity may be increasing. We hear more and more nowadays that many pets are reaching their late teens or early twenties.
There are cats still alive today who have verifiably lived well beyond their average life-span. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest living cat is Scooter, a 30-year-old Siamese from Mansfield, Texas. And, while impressive, Scooter’s record is still short of the Oldest cat ever — Crème Puff of Austin, TX, who lived 38 years 3 days (more than double the average life expectancy of the species).
Dogs too, can live to be quite old but I found it difficult to verify which dog currently (and officially) holds the title. However, I did find the world record for the oldest dog no longer living. That title belongs to Bluey, an Australian Cattle Dog who lived in Victoria, Australia. Bluey lived from 1910 to 1939 and died at the age of 29 years and five months.
In order to be entered into the record books, age must be verified. Since most mixed breeds don’t have birth certificates, pedigree pets have an advantage as their births are recorded on pedigree certificates. But, if a pet has been under the care of the same vet all of its life, veterinary records may stand in lieu of a birth certificate.
Today, claims of record ages as well as oldest breeding pets are regularly published in pet magazines. Increasing longevity and better pet care has resulted in a number of specialist books and articles on care of older pets. By practicing good genetics, good general care, good healthcare, good diet and a relatively safe environment many pets may live well beyond expectancy.