L: Life Span of Feral Cats
Save a Kitty reports on the average life expectancy of feral cats.
What’s Life Like for a Feral Cat?
Simply put, it’s not easy. Feral cats must endure weather extremes such as cold and snow, heat and rain. They also face starvation, infection and attacks by other animals. Unfortunately, almost half of the kittens born outdoors die from disease, exposure or parasites before their first year. Feral cats also face eradication by humans—poison, trapping, gassing and steel leg-hold traps are all ways humans, including some animal control and government agencies, try to kill off feral cat populations.
That said, feral cats who live in a managed colony—a colony with a dedicated caretaker who provides spay/neuter services, regular feedings and proper shelter—can live a quite content life.
What Is the Average Lifespan of a Feral Cat?
If a feral cat survives kittenhood, his average lifespan is less than two years if living on his own. If a cat is lucky enough to be in a colony that has a caretaker, he may reach 10 years.
Conversely, domesticated house cats live much longer. About Home reports:
A strong genetic background for longevity can’t be discounted. Given proper care, nutrition, and regular veterinary visits, a cat kept indoors can live as long as 21 years or more. (The average age of cats is 12-15 years) This is, of course, barring any serious medical conditions or untimely accidents.