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. Nov-Dec 2009;23(6):1175-83.
doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2009.0396.x. Epub 2009 Sep 22.

Mortality of Life-Insured Swedish Cats During 1999-2006: Age, Breed, Sex, and Diagnosis

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Free PMC article

Mortality of Life-Insured Swedish Cats During 1999-2006: Age, Breed, Sex, and Diagnosis

A Egenvall et al. J Vet Intern Med. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: A cat life insurance database can potentially be used to study feline mortality.

Hypothesis: The aim was to describe patterns of mortality in life-insured Swedish cats. Cats: All cats (<13 years of age) with life insurance during the period 1999-2006 were included.

Methods: Age-standardized mortality rates (MR) were calculated with respect to sex (males and females), age, breed, and diagnosis. Survival to various ages is presented by time period and breed.

Results: The total number of cats insured was 49,450 and the number of cat-years at risk (CYAR) was 142,049. During the period, 6,491 cats died and of these 4,591 cats (71%) had a diagnosis, ie, were claimed for life insurance. The average annual MR was 462 deaths per 10,000 CYAR (95% confidence interval, 431-493). Sex-specific rates did not differ significantly. The overall mortality of the Persian and the Siamese groups was higher than that of several other breeds. Overall and breed-specific (for most breeds) survival increased with time when analyzed by 2-year periods. The 6 most common diagnostic categories (ignoring cats recorded as dead with no diagnosis) were urinary, traumatic, neoplastic, infectious, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal. The MR within diagnostic categories varied by age and breed.

Conclusions and clinical importance: In this mainly purebred, insured cat population, the overall mortality varied with age and breed but not with sex. The increase in survival over time is likely a reflection of willingness to keep pet cats longer and increased access to and sophistication of veterinary care.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Average total mortality (MR) by age category, with 95% confidence intervals, and the total number cat‐years at risk (CYAR) per age category (the last category excluded). Estimates are calculated for discrete age categories.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Overall survival with 95% confidence intervals by age and the 4 time periods. The population consists of cats with life insurance at a Swedish insurance company during years 1999–2006, with a total of 142,049 cat‐years at risk.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Age‐specific mortality rates (MR, with upper 95% confidence intervals) for 6 diagnostic categories (omitting age category 12 < 13 years). The population consists of cats with life insurance at a Swedish insurance company during years 1999–2006, with a total of 142,049 cat‐years at risk (CYAR).
Figure 4
Figure 4
Breed group specific age‐standardized mortality rates (ASMR), with upper 95% confidence intervals by diagnostic category. The population consists of cats with life insurance at a Swedish insurance company during years 1999–2006, with a total of 142,049 cat‐years at risk.

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