how long is a cat's average lifespan?


how long is a cat's average lifespan

Longevity of Cats

Cats are beloved pets around the world, and many owners want to ensure that their feline companions live long and healthy lives. Understanding the average lifespan of a cat can give owners a better idea of what to expect and how to provide the best care for their furry friends. In this article, we will explore the factors that influence the lifespan of domestic cats and provide valuable insights into cat life expectancy.

how long is a cat's average lifespan?

Despite their small size, cats have a surprisingly long lifespan compared to other small mammals. For instance, although they are smaller than dogs and only slightly larger than rabbits, cats generally live longer.On average, a pet cat can live for around 13 to 14 years, but with good care, they can live well into their late teens or even beyond. Some exceptional cats have been known to live for 25 to 30 years.

Lifespan of Domestic Cats

The lifespan of a domestic cat can vary significantly depending on various factors, including genetics, breed, environment, diet, and overall healthcare. On average, cats live for approximately 13 to 17 years. However, there have been cases of cats living well into their 20s and even 30s, especially when provided with excellent care and a healthy lifestyle.

Cat Life Expectancy

It's important to note that when discussing cat lifespan, we refer to the average life expectancy rather than a definitive lifespan for all individual cats. Factors such as genetics and breed play a significant role in determining how long a cat will live. Some cat breeds are known to have longer lifespans than others. Additionally, mixed breed cats, also known as domestic shorthairs or domestics longhairs, tend to have similar average lifespans.

Average Cat Lifespan

The average lifespan of a cat is influenced by numerous factors. Firstly, genetics can have a significant impact on a cat's longevity. Some breeds are genetically predisposed to specific health conditions that may reduce their lifespan. It's essential for cat owners to be aware of any potential breed-related health issues and provide appropriate veterinary care.

Secondly, diet and nutrition play a crucial role in determining how long a cat will live. Feeding a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for maintaining optimal health and extending a cat's lifespan. It's recommended to provide cats with high-quality cat food specifically formulated to meet their nutritional needs.

The environment in which a cat lives also affects its lifespan. Indoor cats generally have longer lifespans compared to outdoor cats. Outdoor cats face various risks, including vehicular accidents, fights with other cats or animals, exposure to diseases, and environmental hazards. Keeping a cat indoors, or providing an enclosed outdoor space, can help mitigate these risks and increase their lifespan.

Cat Lifespan

Another critical factor is veterinary care and healthcare practices. Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventative care can help identify and address any health issues early on, leading to a longer and healthier life for the cat. Spaying or neutering cats also plays a role in reducing certain health risks and increasing their lifespan.

Cats, like humans, can develop age-related conditions as they grow older. Arthritis, dental disease, kidney disease, and hyperthyroidism are among the common health issues seen in aging cats. Detecting and managing these conditions promptly can improve a cat's quality of life and extend its lifespan.

What’s the Average Lifespan of a Cat?

The typical life expectancy for a cat is 13-17 years, but some fortunate cats have been known to live over 20 years, with the current world record holder for. oldest cat on record The cat, who had the adorable name Creme Puff, lived to the impressive age of 38.

There are a variety of factors that influence the lifespan of a cat:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Lifestyle
  3. Preventative care
  4. Breed
  5. Genetics

It is believed that mixed-breed cats tend to have fewer hereditary illnesses compared to purebred cats, resulting in an average lifespan that is typically one to two years longer. The lifespan of purebred cats can also vary depending on their breed, so owners should consider their cat's specific breed when considering longevity. Maine Coon  On average, cats typically live between 10 to 13 years. Siamese  can live to be 15-20.

Indoor Cat vs. Outdoor Cat Life Expectancy

Regrettably, cats that have unrestricted outdoor access without supervision will have their average life expectancy reduced by half. Outdoor cats are more vulnerable to:

Contagious illnesses transmitted from wild animals or other felines.

Trauma (from predators and/or vehicles)

Parasites refer to organisms such as fleas, ticks, and intestinal parasites.

Although some cats may experience emotional and behavioral benefits from supervised outdoor activities walking on a leash Most cats can be content as indoor-only pets in a well-stimulated environment, rather than being outside in enclosures. Cats who stay indoors tend to have longer lifespans compared to those allowed outdoors.

how long is a cat's average lifespan

Life Stages of Cats

As your cat gets older, he experiences various life stages that impact his behavior and health requirements.

Kitten (Birth to 1 year)

The main tasks of a kitten are to grow and to understand how to engage with its surroundings. This phase of young and playful life is crucial in preparing your cat for success. While most kittens naturally learn how to use the bathroom and eat without assistance, it is also vital to socialize them and participate in suitable play activities to ensure good behavior in the future.

It is crucial to feed kittens a diet designed specifically for their growth, as they require more calories at this stage to support their development and strength. Suitable diets will contain the necessary nutrients for their growth.Statement on the nutritional adequacy of American Feed Control Officials associationThe label guarantees that the diet gives all the necessary nutrients for young cats to grow healthily.

The kitten's immune system is developing during their early stages of life.introduced to vaccines that provide protectionOlder kittens between 6 months and 1 year should receive vaccinations like FVRCP, rabies, and FeLV. It is recommended to have them spayed or neutered to lower the chances of developing certain cancers and behavioral problems like urine marking.

Young Adult (1-6 years)

Young adult cats are still full of energy and love to play, but they have finished growing. Their calorie requirements are lower now, so they should be transitioned to adult cat food.Effective control of their body weightcan lower the chances of developing medical issues, such as arthritis  and  diabetes  , in the future.

Even though cats in this age group are generally resilient to disease, it is still crucial to ensure they receive regular vaccinations and check-ups.Certain illnesses, such as asthma  and FLUTD refers to lower urinary tract disease.Health problems are often identified earlier in life. Detecting these problems at an early stage can result in better long-term care, and getting baseline blood tests done can establish a set of normal values to use for comparison as your cat grows older.

Mature Adult (6-10 years)

As cats age, they may begin to show a decrease in activity levels and become more inactive, leading to a less playful and more sedentary lifestyle.

Changes in behavior related to litter box use and nighttime activity levels may be observed in older cats. For instance, some older cats may become more active at night and sleep more during the day than they used to. Additionally, older cats may exhibit changes in their bathroom habits, such as not covering their waste or going outside the litter box.

These can be related to arthritis,  cognitive dysfunction Older cats should undergo regular blood tests every one to two years in order to detect early signs of kidney, liver, or thyroid problems, as well as other potential health issues.

Pet owners should carefully watch their pets' grooming habits, hairballs, and weight fluctuations. It is important to also keep an eye on their oral health and consider scheduling dental cleanings as recommended by a veterinarian, especially for cats that may be resistant to it. routine tooth-brushing  .

Senior (10+ years)

The change from being a fully grown adult cat to becoming a senior cat can be different for each cat. Some cats may still be active and strong for many years, while others may experience more health issues and age-related diseases.

Veterinarians often suggest that cats who are 10 years old or older should undergo bloodwork and urine testing every six months, as the condition of their organs can deteriorate rapidly. Additionally, older cats are more susceptible to blood pressure issues High blood pressure can result in strokes and loss of vision. Monitoring your cat's blood pressure can be done during their yearly checkup.

Senior cats frequently experience a decrease in activity level compared to when they were adults, which may indicate they are suffering from untreated arthritis. It is important to consult your veterinarian if you notice any changes in behavior in your older cat.

How to Help Your Cat Live Longer

Although we may hope for a miraculous solution to make our cats immortal, the reality is that death is inevitable and certain illnesses cannot be prevented. However, there are several actions that pet owners can take to increase the lifespan of their feline companions:

  •  Stay up-to-date on vaccines: It is essential to have your cat vaccinated according to their lifestyle in order to prevent diseases that may be difficult or impossible to treat. It is crucial to also ensure that indoor cats receive their necessary vaccinations.
  • Stay current on regular check-ups and screening tests to prevent health issues:Cats are skilled at concealing signs of sickness, so regular checkups and blood tests with your vet can help catch problems early. A strong rapport between your vet and your cat will make it easier to notice changes during examinations. It is important to communicate any alterations in your cat's behavior, no matter how small they may seem.
  • Keep track of your cat's weight: various factors that can restrict the quality of life or the ability to fully engage in activities. These limitations can be physical, emotional, or social in nature, and can significantly impact one's overall well-being and happiness. obesity in cats It is crucial to make sure that your cat, especially older cats with health issues like arthritis and diabetes, is eating a balanced diet suitable for their age. It is recommended to feed your cat measured amounts of food, especially in households with multiple cats, to better control their intake and adjust it to their metabolism.


While there is no exact answer to the question of how long a cat will live, understanding the factors that influence their average lifespan is crucial for cat owners. Providing a loving, safe, and stimulating environment along with proper nutrition and regular veterinary care can help ensure that cats live long and healthy lives. Remember, each cat is unique, and with proper care, they can bring joy and companionship for many years.