How Long Do Cats Live?

As a cat owner and someone very much in love with your furry friend you're likrned with the question of 'how long do cats live?'. Of course you want your kitty to be happy and helthy for as long as possible and you shouldn't fret about the average cat life expectancy.

Nonethless, this question often pops up in our minds. But the answer to how long can cats live really does depend on many factors. One of them is the care that cats receive throughout their lifetime, but the average cat lifespan is around 12 to 15 years  (but there are many exceptions, of course). 

We're all interested in knowing how many years a cat can live because we want to spend as much time as possible with our feline friend. 

I adopted my little kitty when he was three months old. He is now two years old and I cannot even think about leaving him. My biggest fear is being separated from him. But fortunately, domestic cats have a longer cat lifespan. 

This is because of several reasons including the fact that the populations of developed countries are more educated about the care that our pets need. Also, there is elevating awareness of their needs, both physically and behaviorally. 

On the other hand, the advancement of veterinary care and preventive medicine (vaccines and other drugs) have increase the average cat lifespan to more than a decade, which was somewhat impossible years ago.

Today, most cats have a cat lifespan that ranges from 12 to 15 years old.

Still, it is difficult to give a single answer to this question because life expectancy depends on multiple factors, from the environmental conditions in which the cat lives and develops to its genetic conditions.

Stories about very long-lived cats are easily found on the Internet. Some of the most famous and oldest cats are Lucy, Crème puff, Missan, and Scooter. In this article, we will answer this question and we will also talk about the factors that influence the longevity of the cat lifespan.

The Average Lifespan of a Cat

To ensure that the lifespan of a cat in your family is better and longer, we must comply with a series of care and controls. Domestic cats (as well as dogs) age faster than humans. This is why it is said that each year of a man’s life is equivalent to 7 years of a feline’s life. In reality, this is not true, but perhaps it can help us understand the cycle of a cat’s life. 

Experts agree that a cat ages fastest in its first two years. Thus, the changes that occur in the animal in its initial 24 months are greater than those experienced in the following years.

Generally, the lifespan of a cat is longer than a dog. But it all depends on the care, their food, their breed, if he lived on the street, if he was vaccinated, etc. A stray cat has a life expectancy of up to 6 years, and the one that has always been in a home can reach 12 to 15 years. There are even cases of cats that live up to 20 years.

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Cat life expectancy and longevity also depends on the care that our pets receive. Although their curious personality leads them to expose themselves to many dangers, the truth is that with a little vigilance and some limits, we can avoid accidents that reduce a cat's lifespan.

How Long Do Domestic Cats Live?

As mentioned earlier, the average cat lifespan of indoor cats is quite high due to the good care that these beloved pets usually receive from their owners, apart from pampering and petting. Therefore, it is easy for them to reach 12-15 years of age. But it is not strange that in optimal conditions, they can also reach 18 or 20 years of age. 

Balanced and adequate nutrition means that our beloved cats can enjoy many more years of kitty life. Another fundamental point is regular visits to the vet for vaccinations, deworming, and medical care. That without a doubt, makes them not only live longer, but they also have a better quality of life.

How Long Do Stray Cats Live?

On the contrary, a cat that lives outdoors, whether it's a wild cat or one that has been abandoned by a former owner, is under great daily stress. His survival instincts keep him alert as he eludes dogs, cruel humans, and traffic. 

These cats hunt birds or rodents for food or find their loot in garbage cans. Their shelter for sleep can end up being any dry place, for example, the underside of a car (this is the cause of death for many cats). 

In addition to hunger, cats face pregnancy and its complications (such as caring for stray kittens). And if that were not enough, we must add untreated diseases: worms, rabies, distemper, etc. 

It is no wonder that the cat lifespan of a stray cat (unless it finds a family to rescue him) sounds like a prison sentence with a life that can be between 2 and 5 years on average. 

In short, to ensure that a cats lifespan is  as long as possible with the best quality of life, he will need a calm home environment, surrounded by people who take care of him and love him, a healthy and balanced diet, daily exercise, strict control of the vaccination schedule and regular visits to a vet.


Factors Influencing The Longevity and the Average Cat Lifespan

Dangers are the order of the day, whether a kitty goes outside or stays inside all day. Factors that can influence longevity of a cats age include:

1. Accidents

A domestic cat is less exposed to cars or larger animals than a stray cat. Outdoor cats may experience incidents such as being hit by a vehicle, bumping into a trap, or being attacked by a dog.

2. Diseases

The possibility of contracting a disease increases as the cat is in contact with the outside environment. When he goes looking for a female cat in heat, male fights are common, as well as the spread of viruses and bacteria. Wounds can become infected.

3. Obesity

It is also something that reduces the average cat lifespan of your cat. Cats that don't exercise or play, gain considerable weight. And as with people, obesity has many dire consequences in cats too such as heart attacks, clogged arteries, fluid retention, etc.

4. Diet

Feeding is another main factor that directly affects the average cat lifespan. A common phrase among feline nutritionists is that "food is the second medicine." Therefore, a cat fed an insufficient or unbalanced diet will suffer serious short, medium, or long-term health problems. 

These problems can range from rickets to obesity, and other problems caused by nutritional deficiencies. That is why it is very important to choose suitable and quality food.

5. Lack of veterinary care

Many pet owners do not take their pets to professionals even once a year. With the excuse that their pet "looks healthy", the cat does not receive medical attention and this can reduce his quality of life. 

Some diseases have no visible symptoms due to which it is quite difficult to detect them at the right time.

As a first measure, comply with the hygiene and health of the animal. Look after your cat's health! Give them food according to their needs, clean water in the drinking fountain every day, periodic deworming, a complete vaccination plan, and flea removal are part of basic care.

Any cat that is lethargic or "grumpy", has frequent diarrhea or vomiting, does not eat, or has "accidents" outside the litter box should be taken to the vet immediately. Even "minor" illnesses can be deadly if left untreated, and regular checkups can prevent or detect illnesses before they become serious.

On the other hand, castration has many advantages in pets, since it prevents the transmission of sexual diseases and also the spread of viruses when males fight. A castrated female is less likely to develop uterine tumors. In males, it avoids urethral problems.

Watch this video to learn more about how long do cats live:

Tips to Extend Your Cat's Lifespan

How long a cat can live depends largely on the care that is provided. Therefore, to get your feline to live longer, here are some practical tips that you can follow:

  1. 1
    Control his exits and entrances from home and do not let him access busy or dangerous areas.
  2. 2
    Choose a balanced and quality diet that helps prevent disease and keeps the cat’s immune system in good shape.
  3. 3
    Daily exercise is important to avoid obesity in cats.
  4. 4
    Learn the feline language and be aware of all your cat's reactions and behaviors to detect abnormal reactions that may be a symptom of a problem.
  5. 5
    Always keep fresh and clean water in your kitty’s water bowl. Some cats don't drink too much naturally and that can lead to urinary tract problems. It's a good idea to have a cat water fountain for a permanent supply of fresh water for your kitty.
  6. 6
    Integrate your cat in the family and make him feel comfortable at home. Cats are very stressful animals and stress is very harmful to their health.
  7. 7
    Do not forget that your cat needs an annual checkup at the vet.

Calculate How Long do Cats Live In Human Years

Now that you know how long cats can live, surely the next thing you are interested in discovering is the equivalence between the feline and human ages.

We could say that a one-year-old cat would be like a 16-year-old human adolescent. A two-year-old cat would be similar to a 21-year-old, and thereafter, each year of your cat’s age will be roughly four human years.

In any case, and as we have already explained, the answer to how many years a cat can live is not exact and neither is the equivalence between human and feline years. In reality, everything depends on the environment and genetics, both in the case of people and cats.


Cat Breeds And Their Average Cat Lifespans

  • Abyssinian: from 9 to 13 years old.
  • American Shorthair: 15-20 years.
  • American Shorthair Calicó: from 15 to 20 years old.
  • American Shorthair Tabby: 15-20 years.
  • Angora: 12 to 16 years old.
  • Ashera: around 25 years.
  • Russian Blue: 9 to 15 years old.
  • Balinese: 12 to 15 years old.
  • Bengali: 9 to 15 years old.
  • Burmese: from 9 to 13 years old.
  • Bombay: from 13 to 15 years old.
  • Norwegian Forest: about 12 years.
  • British shorthair: 9 to 15 years old.
  • British short-haired blue: from 9 to 15 years.
  • British long-haired: 9 to 15 years.
  • Burmese, Burmilla, Geez: about 10 years.
  • Carthusian/Chartreux: 12 to 15 years old.
  • American Curl: 15 to 20 years old.
  • Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, European Shorthair: 14-20 years old.
  • Exotic shorthair: from 10 to 15 years.
  • German Rex, Highland fold, Himalayan: around 15 years old.
  • Javanese, Korat: 10 to 15 years old.
  • Maine Coon: about 10 years old.
  • Manx, Egyptian Mau: they reach 15 years of age.
  • Montés: about 14 years old.
  • Neva Masquerade, Ocicat, Oriental shorthair: Around 15 years of age.
  • Persian: they usually live for more than 15 years, surely because they do not usually get very sick but they require a lot of care.
  • Persian Calico: around 15 years.
  • Persian Cameo: around 15 years old.
  • Persian Hawksbill: around 15 years old.
  • Persian Chinchilla Silver: about 15 years old.
  • Persian Shaded Silver: about 15 years old.
  • Persian Smoke: about 15 years old.
  • Persian Tabby: around 15 years old.
  • Peterbald, Ragdoll: about 10 years.
  • Holy of Burma, Savannah: They can be up to 20 years old.
  • Scottish Fold: 12 to 15 years old.
  • Serval: around 15 years.
  • Selkirk Rex, Siamese: they live longer than average and it is not uncommon to find cases in which they reach 20 years of age.
  • Siberian: about 20 years old.
  • Snowshoe, Somali, Sphynx: between 9 and 15 years old.
  • Toyger: 13 years or older.
  • Ukrainian: between 9 and 15 years old.
  • Van Turco: between 13 and 17 years old.

Final Thoughts on How Long do Cats Live

There are many ways to keep cats happy, active fit and extend their cat lifespan. Above all, make sure your cat follows a balanced diet and in small portions (without too many treats!); and help them get the exercise they need to stay fit. 

We all desire to spend maximum years with our pets because our kitty becomes an integral part of our family.

Try not to ponder too much about how long do cats live. Instead, try spending the best time with your pets and give them the care they need. They are also sensitive like kids and need significant care. Remember, personal care, exercise, diet, and veterinary care are all that they need!

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