PETS: Breaking “mews” — RI cats have longer lives

By Alana Richelle, WPRO Contributor

Cat lovers rejoice! A new survey says Rhode Island is one of the top states in the country for cat longevity.

According to a survey compiled by Banfeld Pet Hospital, the world’s largest veterinary practice, domestic cats in Rhode Island live an average of 13 years, a full year longer than the national average of 12. The news isn’t as good for Rhode Island’s dogs, who live 10.7 years on average versus the 11-year national average.

Other states where cat lovers can find longer lives for their pets are Illinois, Nebraska, Colorado and Montana. Cats tend to have shorter life spans in Ohio, Louisiana, Kentucky, Delaware, and Mississippi.

Dogs have longer lives in Montana, Oregon, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Colorado, and shorter lives in Alabama, Mississippi, Delaware, Louisiana, and Massachusetts.

Overall, Colorado and Montana are the front runners for longest living pets, while Mississippi and Louisiana have the shortest lifespan.

What makes some states more pet-healthy than others? Putting health issues aside, the states with the most longevity are also the states that have the highest spaying and neutering rates.

These states also have more indoor pets, and less local contagious diseases. As for diseases, southern states have higher rates of heartworm, coming from mosquitoes and the high temperature, while northern states are more prone to Lyme disease from ticks.

According to the survey, a good way to keep the lifespan of your pet long is to have them neutered or spayed. This can calm them down and also decrease their risk for certain cancers. Having them inside, or keeping them from roaming where they could be hurt or be susceptible to disease also greatly contributes to pet health. Taking care of your pet by keeping them parasite free, nutritionally and dentally healthy, and well trained are all basic steps to take that will contribute to your pet’s lifespan.

Interested in a more detailed explanation of the longevity of pets around America? Click here