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How Long Do Bombay Cats Live? Lifespan, Facts & FAQ

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Bombay Cat

How Long Do Bombay Cats Live? Lifespan, Facts & FAQ

The medium-sized and short-haired Bombay cat has an intriguing personality and striking appearance, which makes it an excellent companion for any pet parent. For such a human attention-craving kitty, you’ll want to give your furry friend all the loving care so that they’ll stay by your side forever or at least for a long time.

Factors like diet, overall health, and genetics determine your Bombay cat’s length of life, but on average the life expectancy is from 12–16 years. 3 cat face divider

What’s the Average Lifespan of a Bombay Cat?

The all-black Bombay cat has an overall life expectancy of 12 to 16 years, but there are instances of this feline living up to 20 years. Cats generally live longer today, thanks to advances in veterinary medicine and cat-informed or community-educated owners.

Life enrichment, activity and exercise levels, access to preventative medical care, and diet play a role in prolonging a Bombay’s lifespan.

bombay cat lounging outdoor
Image Credit: Lolame, Pixabay

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Why Do Some Bombay Cats Live Longer Than Others?

At first glance, the Bombay cat may look like any other black cat, but you’ll quickly tell the difference in appearance and temperament. The extroverted cat enjoys a moderately long lifespan, but some live longer than others.

Several factors will influence the lifespan of your Bombay cat, including:

1. Nutrition

Bombays are food lovers, so you’ll need to monitor their intake since they can become overweight and obese, which puts them at risk of feline diabetes. To keep your Bombay cat healthy, give them a diet that includes plenty of animal protein but is low in carbohydrates.

2. Environment and Conditions

Like all cats, your Bombay needs a safe environment to thrive in. The best way to keep a cat safe is to have them stay indoors. However, if you want your cat to explore the outside, make sure that they have been vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and close by. If you live near a road or other dangerous areas, your Bombay could be at risk.

Also, you’ll improve your Bombay’s conditions by keeping their litter box properly cleaned and trimming their nails every few weeks.

Bombay Cat
Image Credit: Kenneth Norris, Flickr

3. Living Quarters

Making sure that your home is cat-proof and comfortable will help make your Bombay feel like a part of the family. The Bombay cat is an agile climber and jumper, a naturally active feline that’s playful but restrained. It will do well in close-quarter living due to its people-loving, gregarious, and outgoing nature.

Bombays also thrive in multi-cat households where they’ll quickly establish a pecking order, but they don’t fare well when left alone for long periods.

4. Sex

There aren’t known variations between how long male and female Bombay cats will live, but you can improve their lifespan and general well-being with neutering or spaying. Ensure that your cat visits a veterinary clinic regularly and keep updated on inoculations along with providing suitable nutrition.

5. Genes

There are no major genetic dispositions for the Bombay cat breed, although respiratory issues may arise from the inherited round-faced skull structure.

Bombays tend to be hardy thanks to their Burmese heritage, and while the average lifespan is 15 years, they can live up to 20 years if well-tended. However, their dental alignment is compressed, which puts them at risk of gingivitis, periodontal disease, and other teeth ailments.

bombay cat on the grass
Image Credit: Viktor Sergeevich, Shutterstock

6. Breeding History

Knowing the breed history of your Bombay cat helps to foresee any life-threatening issues, and you can catch them early with preventative medical care. Sourcing your kittens from a reputable breeder or seeking information regarding parentage if your cat is adopted allows you to anticipate congenital disorders.

Tests are also available from veterinary medicine practitioners that detect hereditary conditions in breeding pairs and juveniles. Your Bombay would have a better chance at a long life if the breeder had cleared the parents for joint issues, skull deformities, breathing problems, liver health, and feline diabetes.

7. Healthcare

As an offspring of the brachycephalic or flat-faced Burmese breed, the Bombay cat is prone to craniofacial issues, respiratory problems, dental diseases, eye discharge, hypokalemia, and diabetes, along with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which causes heart wall weakness.

American Shorthairs, which make up the other half of a Bombay cat’s genetic heritage, are also prone to hip dysplasia, which is correctable by surgery.

Despite these genetic risks for Bombay cats, constant vet checks will ensure that your cat lives a long healthy life devoid of illness and disease. A pet insurance policy allows you to monitor every aspect of your Bombay cat’s well-being with preventative healthcare, vaccinations, ideal nutrition, and exercise.

Image Credit: Se Re, Flickr

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The 6 Life Stages of a Bombay Cat

1. Embryonic Stage (Copulation to Birth)

The prenatal development of a Bombay cat is characterized by embryonic uterine implantation at approximately 12 to 14 days after copulation or the assisted reproduction process. By the 37th day of pregnancy, the placenta is fully developed and holds each embryo, which is about 0.98 of an inch, in its amniotic sac.

A Bombay’s gestation period is approximately 65 days after mating, and once the fetus is fully developed, you’ll notice signs of impending labor.

2. Kittens (Birth Up to 6 Months)

Bombay kittens are small and frail. They’re blind in the first few days after birth but soon become bright-eyed and have a high drive that puts them at risk of accidents.

The kitten stage of a Bombay cat is the best time to house train them and make introductions to family members and other pets. It’s also essential to have your cat get used to grooming techniques and sessions with a veterinary professional.

bombay kittens playing toys
Image credit: Sorokin Nikita, Shutterstock

3. Juvenile (7 Months to 2 Years)

Juvenile Bombay cats are extremely playful, curious, and do not shy from boundaries. At this stage, it’s recommended that you keep your Bombay junior indoors as much as possible to prevent accidents.

Maintain training and good behavior reinforcement throughout this phase as it’s when your cat’s highly trainable and will have formed a bond with you, its owner.

4. Young Adult (3 to 7 Years)

Even as a young adult, your Bombay cat will maintain kitten-like behavior with lots of activity that includes jumping, play, and exploration. If your cat becomes sexually mature at around age 5, you can expect heightened curiosity and random bursts of playful energy.

bombay cat
Image Credit: Pickpik

5. Mature Adults (8 to 11 Years)

A lot will have changed with your Bombay cat as it matures into adulthood, including its height, weight, and behavior. It’s no longer playful and has mellowed out in terms of heightened activity, but it’s still mildly curious and loves to nest in high places.

At this stage in life, any health condition that your cat is predisposed to will have materialized, and it’s essential to keep up with regular medical checkups while maintaining a healthy diet.

6. Senior (12 to 16 Years)

Senior cats are equivalent to 70-year-old humans with less activity, lower play drive, and a lack of interest in activities they used to love.

Ensure you take your senior Bombay cat to the vet at least twice a year and more if it suffers from health ailments.

Image Credit: Ton van de Blaak, Pixabay

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How to Tell Your Bombay Cat’s Age

Studying aspects of your cat’s behavior and physical traits such as its weight, teeth condition, and playfulness, will tell you the age of your Bombay cat. You can consult a vet, who’ll make a more accurate estimate using markers like the feline’s eye health and the state of its coat.

A Bombay kitten will have deciduous teeth, which get replaced when the cat is at least 6 to 7 months old. It’s common for older Bombays to have discolored teeth, although a diligent dental care regimen can help to hide such age markers.

Throughout its prime years, a Bombay will maintain optimal weight due to their kitten-like behavioral traits until middle age. If overfed, adult and mature cats are prone to obesity as they slow down and become calmer. A senior cat can’t metabolize fat, so it’s bound to appear leaner.

The older a cat is, the less often it self-grooms, so an older Bombay’s coat will have coarser and thicker fur, and its eyes may tear and appear cloudy. If you notice signs of cloudiness in your cat’s eyes, there’s a likelihood it’s 9 to 10 years or older.

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Bombay cats are one of the longest-living felines, a trait inherited from its Burmese parentage. While factors like age, nutrition, and healthcare will determine its longevity, your cat’s charming, attentive, and human-loving personality will keep you company for at least 16 years.

Featured Image Credit: Steven Reynolds, Flickr

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