How long do Tonkinese cats live? Tonkinese cats are long-lived felines under ideal conditions. They can live for up to 18 years in a caring and nurturing household. But aside from the years, there’s more to know about this cat breed’s life, what affects its lifespan, and how you can make more years count with your pet.
In this post, I take a deeper look at the lifespan of a Tonk so you can take better care of your pooch. My aim here is to raise awareness among cat owners so they will enjoy more years with their pets.
How long do Tonkinese cats live?
Tonkinese has an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years, while some can live for up to 18 years. Cats are known to live longer than dogs, so it’s not surprising that Tonks can reach close to two decades.
Like most cats, Tonkinese takes a year to reach adulthood. They will be weaned from the litter at 8 weeks, which gives them enough time to get ample nutrition from their mother. However, it’s only at four human years that a Tonk is considered fully matured in terms of behavior and physique. Still, some Tonks can be sexually mature in just four months old.
Since Tonkinese cats are outgoing and social, you have to watch out over ‘Terrible Twos’. The age between 1 and 2 months is the most active for a Tonk. Just imagine a toddler at the same age – Tonks will be extremely curious, playful, and attention-seeking.
By the time your baby Tonkinese reaches the age of 6 months, it will soon try to test limits in the household. They will start climbing on countertops and other elevated spots. Remember that the lifelong habits and personality of a Tonkinese develop between 2 and 6 months of age. You must socialize, train, and get your kitty exposed to different stimuli at this age.
Factors affecting a Tonkinese’s lifespan
How long do Tonkinese cats live? As much as Tonks can live a pretty long life, a lot of factors influence their lifespan. The following are some of the things to keep in mind:
One of the leading factors that affect a cat’s life is its living conditions. Tonks are indoor cats, so that means they spend most of their time exploring your home. Environmental factors will dictate a cat’s exposure to various hazards.
Are you using chemical cleaners? Is there a comfortable space for the cat to rest? How about the behavior of people around? Such living conditions will have an adverse impact on your Tonk’s life.
Tonks that are kept in abusive and violent households have a shorter lifespan. The physical abuse will take a toll on its health, not to mention that violence itself may kill the pooch.
The problem with Tonkinese cats is they are very trusting of strangers. They love walking around with other people who show them the slightest bit of attention. These wandering tendencies expose them to a higher risk of accidents. Your Tonkinese cat may get run over by a vehicle if it wanders off the road.
The extent of how you keep your Tonk indoors will impact its lifestyle. Tonkinese cats are never supposed to be outdoor cats. Keeping them indoors will help increase their lifespan, among other contributing factors.
Diet and nutrition
If there’s one that affects the lifespan of a cat, it would be their diet. Like us, Tonks need ample nutrients to stay healthy. If you fail to satisfy their needed diet, the cat will be more prone to illnesses and will have poor bodily functions.
It’s not enough that you’re feeding your Tonkinese. You should ensure that they are receiving the nutrients they need from the food they ingest. Many commercial cat food products in the market are packed with artificial ingredients, much so the cheaper options.
Proper nutrition is critical in the early years of your Tonkinese cat. Their growing bodies and developing joints need enough nutrients. At senior age, your Tonk will eat less, so you have to ensure that every bite is packed with nourishment.
One of the common problems cat owners face with pet food is potential allergies. Any cat can develop allergic reactions or intolerances to certain ingredients. If your Tonkinese exhibit symptoms of allergies or intolerances, you must identify and avoid the cause of it. Remember that continuous exposure to the allergen will not make your cat’s condition better; worse, it will just shorten their lifespan.
Since Tonkinese cats are a cross-breed of Siamese and Burmese breeds, they can inherit various predispositions to several health problems.
Genetics play a big role in the life expectancy of a Tonkinese. If your Tonk has inherited a genetic illness from its lineage, it’s likely incurable. In this case, the only way to increase your cat’s lifespan is through life-long care and continuous health monitoring. Lifestyle changes will also help in extending the years of your cat.
The tricky part with some predisposed health conditions is it doesn’t always show symptoms. Only after your Tonkinese reached a certain age that the health problem will surface.
How often do you take your Tonkinese to a cat for check-ups? Once a year? Never? In general, healthy cats need yearly vet checks as a proactive step. These checks will help diagnose any potential health problem before it becomes a big problem.
Taking your Tonkinese to the vet only when it sustains health problems is more expensive in the long run. As much as you can save a few hundred bucks, the lifespan of your cat will suffer a lot.
How to increase the lifespan of your Tonkinese cat
Take it easy with the treats
Excessive treats are responsible for a lot of obesity cases among cats. Many cat owners don’t factor in the additional calories treats bring to the cat’s body. When this happens, your Tonkinese will grow heavier and become obese. Such excess weight makes the kitty more prone to health complications.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or ASPCA, treats should only account for a maximum of 10% of your cat’s diet.
Aside from limiting treats, make sure that the treats you’re giving are healthy and made of all-natural ingredients.
Ensure regular vaccinations
A lot of cats die due to feline distemper, heartworm, intestinal parasites, and feline leukemia. The saddest part is that all of these health problems can be prevented if you just updated your Tonk’s vaccine shots.
Ensuring that your cat’s shots get updated is a guaranteed way to increase its lifespan. This is very important, especially if your cat mingles with other felines.
You must consult with your cat’s veterinarian to known how frequently the shots should be updated based on different risk factors.
Maintain healthy feline dental health
According to experts, about 90% of adult cats suffer from at least one form of dental problem. The truth is that most dental diseases can be prevented with proper dental care.
The likes of gingivitis, tooth resorption, periodontitis, and plaque will form in your cat’s mouth without proper brushing and vet consultation.
Aside from the discomfort, dental problems will also increase the risk of infections that may lead to organ failure.
Prevention is key when it comes to cat dental problems. Regular brushing, giving chewy treats, and vet visits will help maintain your Tonk’s health.
Beware of rat poison
Many cat owners overlook the risk that rat poison brings. Cats are inquisitive beings, and they can squeeze their way into tiny areas. Remember that rodenticides can also poison a cat as much as it can kill mice.
Your Tonkinese doesn’t need to be in direct contact with the poison itself. Biting or ingesting a rat that has been affected by the rodenticide is enough to poison an adult feline.
If you really need to administer rodenticide at home, you should evacuate your pet until you have cleaned up the dead rats.
Consider supplementing vitamins
You can give your Tonkinese a vitamin supplement, but only if the veterinarian recommends that you do so. Picky eaters tend to eat less, which means they don’t get enough nourishment from food. Supplements can help augment this deficiency. However, it’s not a pure substitute for solid and nutritious food.
Vitamin supplements can help boost a cat’s lifespan, only if it’s given properly and in the right amounts. Remember that anything in excess isn’t healthy – and that includes vitamins.
Treat illnesses as it occurs
Being proactive when symptoms occur is a surefire way to keep your Tonkinese in shape. Consulting the vet when your Tonk doesn’t seem to be in good health will help in proper diagnosis and immediate treatment.
As the owner, it’s your responsibility to spot any changes in your Tonkinese’s behavior, appetite, and bodily features. For example, brushing your cat daily will let you spot bumps and lumps that could cause serious health problems. Early detection is equivalent to a quicker recovery.
Still, it doesn’t mean you’ll phone the vet in every potential symptom that you will notice. Observing your cat is critical, and if the symptom lingers for days, that’s the time you’ll need to talk to a vet.
Give the cat enough exercise
Although Tonkinese cats are indoor felines, they still need ample exercise to stay in shape. Playtime will help a lot since Tonks are supposed to be kept indoors.
I recommend getting a cat condo, scratching tree, and other perches to satisfy your Tonk’s climbing urges. It will also keep their muscles in check.
Enough mental stimulation will also keep a Tonk happy. You can do this through interactive playtime and lots of toys.
Above all, don’t forget to give enough cuddles and attention so your pooch will not wander off with strangers.
Looking for more ways to make your cat live longer? In this video, AnimalWised tells us more tips to make more years count:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do female Tonkinese cats live longer than male ones?
A: Some trends indicate that female cats live about a year or two longer than male ones. Still, a lot of factors are at play here. It depends on your cat’s diet and living conditions, among other aspects. The gender alone isn’t a sole basis for the length of your Tonk’s lifespan.
Q: Are Tonkinese cats healthy cats?
A: Yes, Tonkinese cats are relatively healthy pooches. They tend to live long if raised in a loving and caring household. However, they have predispositions to some health problems due to their Siamese lineage. Getting your kitten from a responsible breeder will help reduce the risk of getting an unhealthy cat. Always ask for health clearances and for you to see the parent cats.
Q: Can my Tonkinese cat live long without vet visits?
A: While some cats may survive without veterinary care, their lifespan is usually shorter than those that receive proper medical attention. Even if your cat looks healthy at first, it may have health problems that will only show up later on. This is why yearly check-ups with a vet are necessary – it keeps you in-the-know of your Tonkinese cat’s health.
Q: Do Tonkinese cats live longer if accompanied by another Tonkinese?
A: A Tonkinese cat will appreciate the company of another Tonk. However, their companionship doesn’t have any substantial impact on the cat’s health. Anyway, it’s always advisable to get a companion to your Tonk that’s compatible with their personality. Avoid cats with bolder or aggressive attitude as they may harm your Tonkinese.
How long do Tonkinese cats live? It depends on how you take care of the kitty and how you keep it in good shape. Regular visits with the vet and proper nutrition will help a lot in preventing illnesses that may impact their quality of life. It’s also important to raise your Tonk in a loving and caring home where it’s far from any harm.
Do you have something to add here? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section!