Spot, the 20-year-old cat

Mike Greener/Chronicle

Defying the odds of most other felines, Joan and Steve Scarff's domestic short haired cat Spot, pictured here with his owners and veterinarian Dr. Cindy Moreaux, recently turned 20-years-old. 

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A new report shows that dogs and cats in Montana live longer than pets in other states, including a 20-year-old Bozeman cat named Spot.

Spot is among Montana cats that typically live 2.2 years longer than the national average of 12 years, according to the Banfield Pet Hospital’s 2013 pet health report. Montana dogs live an extra year and a half longer than the national average of 11 years.

Nationally, Montana cats were first in average lifespan, while dogs were second.

Spot was born Aug. 31, 1993. Joan and Steve Scarff adopted him when he was 6 weeks old, along with his litter brother, Pirate. Although Spot’s brother died a couple of years ago, Spot, who is approaching an age equivalent to 96 in human years, still has his vibrant orange and vanilla spotted coloring, which originally earned him his name.

During his younger, rebellious years, Spot loved to hunt birds and mice. One of those hunts left Spot further from home than expected, Steve said.

“He was picked up by an animal shelter, and it wasn’t until we found his picture on the adoption shelter’s website when we were able to bring Spot back home … for good,” Steve said.

The Banfield Pet Hospital collected data on 2.6 million pets, including 2.2 million dogs and 460,000 cats, to produce the lifespan report.

The report found that since 2002, a cat’s average lifespan has increased by 10 percent, or one full year. The report found that a dog’s lifespan has increased by 4 percent, almost a half-year jump.

Dr. Cindy Moreaux, Spot’s veterinarian at Bozeman’s Banfield Pet Hospital, said Montana’s high rankings can be attributed to local pet owners having good relationships with their vets.

“The state of Montana is a wonderful place to have pets,” Moreaux said. “They love the outdoors.”

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