Geography Ranks Tops in Longevity

A study based on 460,000 cats treated at Banfield Pet Hospitals last year suggests that geographic location influences longevity. Cats live longest in Montana, Colorado, Rhode Island, Illinois and Nebraska, according to Banfield’s third annual State of Pet Health Report. Cats have shorter lifespans in Delaware, Ohio, Louisiana, Kentucky and Mississippi.

Among the reasons: States with longer living, healthier pets have more pets living inside and high spay/neuter rates.

Regional infectious diseases also play a role in longevity. For example, heat and mosquitoes in Southern states result in higher heartworm rates. The encouraging news: Cats’ average lifespan increased to 12 years, up a year since 2002, thanks to continuing advances in veterinary medicine.