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Sylvie’s Story Continued – Now With Kittens!

Read Part 1 of Sylvie’s Store Here!

Not long after we took Sylvie in, we began to realize she was quickly gaining weight. Since she was looking pretty skeletal when we took her in, we didn’t think too much of it at first. We were happy to see she was getting the nutrition she needed and just feeling and looking better overall. However, she continued to grow and near the beginning of July it finally dawned on us that she was pregnant… again.

An Unplanned Pregnancy… How Could This Happen?

To say we were confused at first is putting it lightly. All of the cats here at The Cultured Cat are spayed/neutered so we know that none of them could have gotten her pregnant. This means that Sylvie got pregnant again while she was still outside, before we even brought her and her kitten Yuki inside. She must have been early enough along in the pregnancy when she arrived that it wasn’t noticeable at all.

That means that not only did this sneaky momma cat convince us to take in the single weaned kitten she brought over at first, but she managed to sneak in a whole litter right under our noses! That’s some next level cat stealth in action.

Watching and Waiting for Kittens

We weren’t sure exactly when these kittens would be arriving, but as Sylvie kept growing and looking more and more uncomfortable, we figured it would be pretty soon. We set up a nesting box and started watching for signs of Sylvie going into labor.

Then on the evening of July 23rd, Yuki went back to trying to nurse Sylvie and these two were cuddling and playing all over each other in ways we hadn’t witnessed before. Later that night we heard the soft little mew of the first of Sylvie’s kittens coming into the world.

The Kittens Cometh

Kitten number 1 arrived around 10:30pm on July 23rd. Sylvie had a 2nd kitten right around 11pm, but something seemed off with the 2nd kitten. Sylvie was being protective of them both so we couldn’t get a good look at the kitten that first night, but the umbilical cord looked funny and this one was less active than the first. Both appeared to be nursing, though, so we let Sylvie take the lead that night and left her alone with her newborns. A few hours went by without any more births and so we though Sylvie was done after having a small litter of just 2 kittens.

A Sad Turn of Events

The next morning we were able to get a better look at the kittens while Sylvie was eating. Kitten #1 seemed to be thriving and had some orange and white spots start to appear. This meant that this kitten is a calico like its mother and is almost definitely a female.

Kitten #2 looked more like a tortie. However, on closer inspection, we noticed it was born with some birth defects of varying severity. It was difficult to even find the kitten’s ears as they were so small. The main problem we noticed, though, was that it seemed like part of its intestines were on the outside. (The kitten had been laying on its tummy the previous night so we didn’t get a good look at this.) Kitten #2 also felt cold to the touch and wasn’t as responsive as Kitten #1. Something was definitely wrong.

Unfortunately, it was a Sunday so our vet was closed until the next day. We immediately went online and started doing some research. What we found, however, was disheartening. It seems like this birth abnormality is just something that happens on occasion. While surgery was option, the chance of survival was extremely low with or without the procedure. On top of that, the kitten felt so cold that we were sure he had not been nursing properly and probably wouldn’t survive the drive out to the nearest emergency vet.

After much thought, we made the incredibly difficult and heartbreaking decision to let the kitten experience what little life it had left in a familiar environment instead of getting poked and prodded, dying alone and afraid. It passed just a few hours later, cuddled up with its mom and sister.

Surprise Kittens!

Later that night, Sylvie surprised us once again by giving birth to another kitten. Kitten #3 emerged looking much different than the first 2. It’s a fully black and white kitten! It was a full 24 hours later, around 10:30 pm on July 24th, when kitten #3 made its appearance. It’s arrival seemed like a welcome surprise at the end of a hard day. We left Sylvie alone for the night around 12:30 am on the 25th.

She gave us one last surprise when we went to check on her in the morning. That’s when we found 3 kittens in her nesting box instead of the two we were expecting to see. Kitten #4 must have been born sometime in the early morning and was our biggest shock yet. At first it appeared to be a solid tabby, but has since been developing some white around the face and tummy. Sylvie now has 3 living kittens from this litter, each born on a different day.

How Everyone is Doing Now

We’re waiting to hear from the vet who works with foster cats in the area so the kittens and Sylvie can get their first check-up, but appointments are extremely backed up at the moment. Sylvie is nursing the 3 kittens and they all seem to be in good health. She’s has a very healthy appetite and they all are nursing regularly too. Eyes are still all shut and only the first one seems interested in moving all around. From what we can tell, everyone is thriving. We’re hoping that the hard part is over and from now on we’ll be watching these newborns grow into happy and healthy newborns!

What Comes Next?

We plan to start looking for forever homes for the kittens once they begin the weaning process. We aren’t putting an exact date on getting them out of here because we want everyone to wean naturally. They will all definitely be spayed or neutered and have their first shots before leaving The Cultured Cat. We’re carefully looking for prospective adoptive cat parents for all our fosters, starting with Yuki. All of these cats deserve to find a great forever home and we really hope to help them find the best fit.

Everyone is doing as well as can be expected as of now. The kittens love to cuddle and Sylvie has made sure we all know that Kitten #1 is her favorite. While she is fine with either of the other two being held, she’s quick to grab Kitten #1 and bring her back to her nest if we even try to grab her. For now, we’re enjoying watching these little fluffs grow.

Kitten #1
Kitten #3
Kitten #4
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Cat Products for Back to School Shopping

It may still be summer, but back-to-school season is upon us. There are things you’ll surely need to be picking up in the coming weeks to get ready. Whether you’re a teacher, student, or parent, these cute cat products will be checking off some of the big boxes for this year’s school supply list.

Cute Cat Canvas Backpack

This backpack is spacious and durable to last through the school year and beyond. It’s cute enough for a child to enjoy yet stylish enough to be a great choice for college students or teachers as well. It’s large enough to fit a laptop and books. There’s one main pocket that’s doubly protected by a zipper and snaps plus the smaller pocket where you can put things you’ll need easy access to. These backpacks offer 4 different colors for you to choose from.

Black Cat Gel Ink Pens

Writing utensils are a must for everyone in school. Usually, black ink is the universally accepted option regardless of what grade you’re in. This necessity doesn’t have to be a boring thing that you just throw in your cart thanks to our black cat gel pens. They come in a pack of 4, all with different faces. They have a 0.5mm tip for your writing to look clean and crisp.

Black Cat Flash Drive

Regardless of how much data you need to store, a black cat flash drive is here to keep your information safe. It’s available in 7 different storage sizes ranging from 4GB to 256GB. The cat body doubles as a case to keep your flash drive safe from whatever the outside world throws at it, even if that is just a messy backpack.

Tabby Travel Mug

The tabby travel mug is the answer to the morning dilemma of whether or not you have time for your morning coffee or tea. This travel mug has a handle so it’s easy to carry around a hot beverage without having to worry about burning your hand. Pop on the lid and the mug is ready for on-the-go use. It’ll quickly become your favorite mug with its large 20oz capacity and versatile use as both a regular and travel mug. There are 4 different tabby cat designs available on these extra large travel mugs.

15” Wooden Cat Ruler

Our new wooden cat rulers are slightly longer than the average ones measuring up to 15 inches as opposed to the traditional 12. These are common supplies, especially for young school-age children, but they’re also useful for home and office uses. The cat design is made to be cute without sacrificing functionality. These rulers are available in black, white, pink, and teal.

Kitty Pencil Pouch

Keep your writing utensils in a cute little cat with one of these kitty pencil pouches. The soft flexible pouch is easy to fit in any bag and helps to keep your belongings organized. It’s big enough to store the small items you’ll need throughout the day but small enough to not take up all of the space in a bag. This staple can be great for sending the kids off to school or just keeping things organized at home. They’re available in 4 different cat patterns including grey tabby, brown tabby, ragdoll, and black & white.

School shopping can seem to be lackluster, but it’s a lot more fun when you can find products that show off your personality. Make your back-to-school experience more enjoyable with some of these cat-themed products this year.

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How Long Do Cats Live?

The average lifespan of a cat is said to be about 13-17 years. However, this can vary drastically depending on factors such as your cat’s breed and lifestyle. There are also outliers on both ends of the spectrum. The most well-known outlier was a cat named Creme Puff, the record-holding oldest cat ever, who lived to be 38 years old.

Indoor Cats vs Outdoor Cats

The average 13-17 year lifespan is for cats who solely live inside the home. This keeps your cat out of harm’s way. There are many factors that could cause your cat to have a shortened lifespan outside including traffic, predators, and plants that are poisonous to cats.

Outdoor cats live significantly shorter lives. Unfortunately, cats who spend all their time outdoors only live for 2-5 years on average. Some people have hybrid indoor-outdoor cats, but there isn’t as much research into the average lifespan of this lifestyle because the lifestyle itself can vary greatly from person to person and cat to cat. Some suggest that this hybrid approach doesn’t yield much greater results than having a solely outdoor cat while others suggest that their average lifespan is slightly higher, around the 4-8 years range.

Does Cat Breed Affect Lifespan?

Most cat owners don’t know their cat’s breed. This is completely normal as most cats aren’t a specific breed or even hybrids the way dogs are. Most pet cats are typically considered either domestic short-hair, domestic medium-hair, or domestic long-hair. Even with these more general descriptions, there tends to be a little variation in the average lifespan of a cat.

Short-haired cats are typically known live the longest. The domestic short-hair cat averages on the high end of life expectancy at 15-17 years. Unfortunately, their long-haired counterparts get the short end of the stick with lifespans averaging only 13-15 years.

If you’re looking to get a specific breed of cat, there are cats known for their longevity and cats known for their unfortunately short lives.

Cat Breeds With the Longest Lifespans

There’s variation in the lifespan of all kinds of cats. Getting a cat breed known for longevity doesn’t guarantee anything as health complications can arise in any breed. Finding a cat that fits into one of these breeds may increase your chances of having a cat live a long life with you though. All lifespans given are for indoor-only cats. These 5 cat breeds have a tendency to have longer lifespans than the average cat.


brown cat lying on knitted textile
Photo by Leah Kelley on

Siamese cats are sometimes said to have the longest lifespan of any domestic cat breed. It’s not uncommon for the breed to reach 20. They have an average lifespan of 15-20 years. While a few others share a similar average, the Siamese has a few outliers that are said to be some of the oldest cats of all time.

There is a Siamese cat in Thailand that is currently said to be 34 years old. This would make her one of the oldest cats ever, but her age has not been properly verified. In fact, there hasn’t been an ‘oldest living cat’ verified since the previous record holder passed in 2016.


Photo by Mary Desmond on Wikimedia Commons

The Balinese ranks as having the highest average lifespan, but the breed hasn’t seen any outliers that cross into the oldest cat territory. Their average life expectancy ranges from 18 to 22 years. They are also the only long-hair cat breed with claims to longevity.


Midnight, a 10-year-old Bombay
Photo by Keyofz on Wikimedia Commons

Bombay cats are black cats known for their panther-like appearance. They were created as a cross between black American shorthairs and sable Burmese cats. It’s a semi-recently recognized breed that wasn’t established until 1970.

This breed is unique in having resistance to some feline illnesses including FIV. It helps to keep their average lifespan high at 15-20 years.

Russian Blue

Photo by John Brighenti on Wikimedia Commons

Despite the misnomer, the Russian Blue is actually a grey cat. They’ve been recorded as cats that have lived into their 20s on numerous occasions. This helps keep their average lifespans high at 15-20 years of age. This is one of the few cat landraces, or naturally occurring breeds, that rank for longevity. Most other long-lived breeds are the result of hybridization.

European Shorthair

Quincy the European Shorthair

European Shorthairs have one of the longest average lifespans, ranging from 15-22 years. Although this breed isn’t commonly available in the US, the good news for most American cat owners is that the American Shorthair has a highly comparable lifespan of 15-20 years. Between these common shorthairs, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to find at least one of these in your area to give a forever home to.

Cat Breeds With the Shortest Lifespans

Just as some breeds are prone to longevity, there are some breeds that typically have shorter lifespans than others. While these figures are just averages and don’t necessarily mean that you won’t have a long-lived cat of one of these breeds, these breeds just don’t typically have the genetics for longevity.

The life expectancy of these 5 breeds is on the low end of average and it isn’t uncommon to lose them before they hit double digits.

American Wirehair

an american wirehair cat on the ground
Photo by Ninety Seven Years on

The American Wirehair is one of the rarest cat breeds on this list so it’s highly unlikely that you’ll just run into one at your local shelter.

They are similar to the American Shorthair, but they have a stringy hair texture like that of terrier dogs. However, they don’t have nearly as long of a lifespan. American Wirehairs are only expected to live an average of 7-12 years.

This may be the shortest lifespan of any domestic cat breed.


Stylized depiction of a Manx cat (1885)
Illustrated Natural History, Volume I: Mammalia

Manx cats are known for being fully tailless, but some individuals are born with short stubs as well. While being tailless doesn’t make them any less adorable, they are prone to health issues, including a common one that is lethal in utero. This means that even the breeding of these cats comes with more risks than the average cat. They can still live full lives, but their average is on the low end of the spectrum. A Manx typically lives 8-14 years.


Photo by Heikki Siltala on Wikimedia Commons

The Cymric is another tailless cat that’s closely related to the Manx. The main difference between the two is that Cymrics are long-haired cats. They have similar health complications to the Manx breed, however, and can even have issues that begin before birth.

Like their Manx relatives, Cymrics typically only live an average of 8-14 years.

German Rex

Photo by Bebopscrx on Wikimedia Commons

German Rexes are a short-hair breed known for their curly fur. This trait is common to all Rex cat breeds. They all have shorter than average lifespans, but the German Rex is a little lower than the others. They have a life expectancy of 9-14 years.


Abyssinians are one of the oldest, if not the oldest, breed of domestic cat in the world. They are the cats that were found mummified alongside ancient Egyptians. These slender cats sport large ears and have a rather unique appearance. They’re known to have personalities that are more comparable to dogs than cats. Unfortunately, the same can be said about their lifespan as they only live an average of 9-15 years.

Maximizing Your Cat’s Life Expectancy

Most cats may live an average of 13-17 years, but many factors impact how long you’ll get to spend with your beloved ball of fur and claws. Health, diet, genetics, and a bit of luck all play a part. There are so many things that can influence a cat’s lifespan, much like our own. Just make sure that you take care of your cat to ensure you get as much time together as possible.