If your cat or dog lived to be 70 or 80 would your relationship to them change?

My wife and I were putting up our christmas tree having a ton of fun and enjoying the time together. We were reminiscing about how long we have been decorating a tree together, and how long our cats have been with us on Christmas. 4 years our siamese attack cats have been playing with the christmas lights, trying to climb up into the tree, rubbing their cheeks on the rough trunk of the tree and drinking out of the base of the tree. We started ot wonder: Imagine if when you got your cat or dog it was common knowledge that they would live to be the same age as you. Theywould have an infancy an adolescence a teenage years (ouch) and then an adulthood. Imagine they would be with you through your life.

Imagine that little sparky would grow up with you and carry on through life with you. I’d think our relationship to them would be deeper in a sense. Our bond stronger…I mean people get married all the time when one partner has a pet, the pet integrates into the lifetyle and the beat goes on.

Well what if that pet had seen you since you were a child, grown up with you, and would eventually live to be the same ripe old age as you?

How would vets be viewed? More a family doctor than a once in a while vet? [Don’t get me wrong we love you vets out there, and you have an important place in our family]

I wonder how peoples view of pets would change? Studies have shown pets to have a myriad of health benefits to their owners, woud this increase human longevity?

The possibilities are endless if you really think whatwould happen if your favorite pet lived to be as old as you!

I don’t think it would make any difference, because animals don’t grow mentally, the way people do. My oldest cat is almost 20, and that’s longer than I’ve known any people, except relatives. If he lived another 50 years, he’d still be the same cat he is today, and our relationship would be the same (except that I’d be damn old by then).

From his point of view, he has always been alive, and always will be.

It would be like owning a parrot. I think less people would own dogs or cats if that were the case. Most people prefer to adopt a younger animal in the hopes that they’ll be easier to train, but there’d be a good chance that your pet would outlive you if you did that. Plus, you’d have to go through your older years together, instead of being able to care for your elderly, possibly senile pet while you’re still young and healthy enough (ex:to lift it in the case of a large dog etc.). I know I wouldn’t buy anything that I had to take care of for eighty years.

Hmm, that was pretty pessimistic.

I guess that’s the point of the post. What if…many people think - including my wife - that she doesn’t take care of the cat as much as it takes care of her. Figuratively of course, but you get the point.

Think of the population explosion (for those pets not spayed / neutered).
Other than that, I’d love it if my dogs would live that long.
I’m not sure my wife would agree :slight_smile:

I’ve always thought the lives of dogs and cats was snipped far too short. But the extended age would only be good if the pet can be properly cared for.

An animal with a bad owner having not just years but decades of abuse – isn’t something wonderful to contemplate.

If you want to experience this yourself, just buy a Hyacinth Macaw and a large tortoise. The Macaw will keep you company for life and you can give the tortoise to your grand kids in your will.

I’m not sure I’d be inclined to have pets if they lived that long. I only have them now under the assumption that I will out live them. Thus, I know they will be well taken care of.

But if you’re asking this question in more of a metaphorical sense; then no, I can’t imagine it would change. It doesn’t take 70 plus years for my affection to reach critical mass when it comes to my pets. It takes more like a couple of months or so. As pathetic as that sounds.

When I was a freshman in high school, I begged and begged and begged my parents to get a dog. We’d had dogs when I was little, but not since we’d moved into town. Finally they gave in and said, okay, fine, but it’s YOUR dog. You feed it, you water it, etc, etc, etc.

If they’d warned me I’d be a grownup with a mortgage and a salaried job and a toilet that makes funny noises and STILL HAVE THE DOG, and that I’d have had the dog longer than I haven’t had the dog, would we have gotten him? I mean, that doesn’t seem like a big deal when you’re a kid, but it’s a huge responsibility as it is.

That’s one of the reasons why I am ambivalent about owning my dream bird, a cockatoo. Their lifespan in captivity is 50-60 years. While I’m sure I will love the bird for as long as I have it, there’s just no way I can ever be assured that I will be in a position to care for him/her for it’s lifetime.

I think having a cat or dog that lived that long (in good health) would be great. My first dog died when she was 13 years or so (she was a rescue). She was still a good companion to the end. It would have been great to have her until I got old.

I suspect the bond would be stronger the longer it goes on, but I suspect there’s a ceiling because, quite simply, a dog is a dog and after they have matured they are pretty much the same. I love my dog, make no mistake.

I don’t know, my cousin and his wife (32 y/o or so) have a tortoise and they say that it’ll have to be in their will so I’ll ask them in 40 or 50 years. It’s an adorable little thing by the way.

Of 12 posts we have one person who said it would be great. It makes me think contingencies of having a pet do exist in society. I’d feel weird knowing my cats like I know them now in 30 years. I’ll be in my late 60’s and I guess it would be kinda cool, I could talk to him like this: "Remeber when you knocked moms plants off the mantle at 3 am and I ran downstairs with my gun and scared you so bad you puffed for 2 days whenever you saw me. :smiley: " That was fun huh???

phlosphr, has no one told you that siamese are one of the longer living breeds? they tend to get into their late 20’s if health problems or accidents don’t get them first.

my friend’s mum had a siamese that got to 24. he was rather devastated when sultan died. he knew that cat since he was 6. that cat knew all his secrets.

I’m with Sir Walter Scott:

I console myself about the short lifespan of dogs by recognizing that it permits me to love that many more of them . . .

I reckon if their minds and hips lasted out, then in 60 years you could teach them to walk around the house on their hind legs, and slouch on the sofa like a human and watch TV.