Why do cats live longer than dogs?

In December 2015, the results of a research that showed why cats are longer than dogs.

A fact that partly derives from behavioral aspects, linked to evolution and reproduction. In general larger animals are longer-lived also due to the fact that they are exposed to fewer dangers.

“This is not a question of survival, but the result of millions of years of evolutionary pressure. Whales and elephants can afford to use their time to develop more robust bodies because they are less likely to be attacked. Instead, mice and other small animals need to use their energy to grow and reproduce as quickly as possible”.

In this scenario, however, the difference in life expectancy between dogs and cats, which has increased by 20% in the contemporary era, does not depend on the size. It is estimated that cats live on average three years longer than dogs. Also, small dogs have a longer life expectancy than large breed dogs.

The longevity of these two species in particular should be sought in their ancestors: the wolf in nature has a life expectancy of 11/12 years, while wild cats can reach up to 16 years. Austad believes that the wolf being a sociable animal is more likely to contract contagious diseases within the pack. On the contrary, the cat is more solitary and would better defend itself from prey.

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