How long do cats live?

In a safe and stimulating environment, cats can live long and happy lives. Let’s take a closer look at the average lifespan of a cat, and discover which factors make the biggest difference to feline wellbeing and longevity.

What is the average lifespan of a cat?

Generally speaking, the average cat lifespan is around 10 to 15 years. However some cats have been known to live for 20 years or even longer.

The biggest factor that affects cat life expectancy is whether they are kept inside or outside. Cats that are left unsupervised outside the home tend to live shorter lives, because they’re exposed to more risks. Statistically speaking, cats who are kept inside will live three times longer than outdoor cats.

What is your cat’s age in human years?

Cats grow up much faster than humans. For instance, cats go through their infancy, childhood and adolescence in the first 12 months of their lives. To give you an easy understanding of your cat’s age in human years, these are the life stages of a cat:

  • Kitten (0-6 months) – This is when cats do most of their growing. The human age equivalent is 0-10 years.
  • Junior (7 months to 2 years) – Your cat will reach its full size during this time. The human age equivalent is 12-24 years.
  • Prime (3-6 years) – This is when cats usually reach their peak of health and alertness. This period of a cat’s life is similar to 28-40 in human years.
  • Mature (7-10 years) – Cats in the ‘Mature’ age bracket are comparable to humans aged around 44-56.
  • Senior (11-14 years) – This span of your cat’s life is the human age equivalent of 60-72 years.
  • Super Senior (15 years+) – The human equivalent of a 15 year-old cat is 76 years.

What can affect your cat’s lifespan?

As mentioned, the biggest factor that affects the average lifespan of a cat is whether or not they are kept indoors. Aside from this, there are other factors that make a big difference. These include:

  • Vet care– Cats who have regular check-ups at the vet tend to live longer. It’s particularly important that cats receive their yearly F3 vaccination, which protects against Feline HerpesVirus, Feline CaliciVirus and Panleukopenia. Your vet will also check your cat’s teeth to make sure there are no infections. Cats should also be given regular worm and flea treatments to keep them happy and healthy.
  • Diet– Just like humans, what cats eat (and how much they eat) will have a direct impact on their lifespan. Cats require a protein-rich diet of meat and fish, as well as dry food made from quality ingredients. They also need to drink plenty of fresh water.
  • Lifestyle – Cats need some exercise and play every day to stay healthy.
  • Heredity conditions– pedigree cats can be more prone to inherited disorders. For instance, Siamese cats are known to be more susceptible to Feline Asthma. Different breeds have different needs: check with your vet for more info.

Indoor vs outdoor cat lifespan

Cats will instinctively want to go outside, but there are ways you can keep your cat happy without letting them roam away from home. These include:

  • Interactive toysCats get bored, just like humans, so it’s a great idea to invest in some toys to keep them occupied.
  • Natural light – There’s nothing a cat enjoys more than finding a warm sunspot to luxuriate in. Keep your blinds open to give your cat plenty of access to natural light.
  • ExerciseA cat enclosure can offer cats some low-risk time outside. Indoor cats can stay active with a climbable ‘cat tree’.
  • Fresh waterClean water should always be available for your cat to drink. Keep your cat happy by freshening their water bowl daily, or getting them a dedicated drinking fountain

Longest living cats?

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest cat age ever recorded was 38 years and 3 days. The cat was Creme Puff, who lived in Austin, Texas with her owner Jake Perry.

Born on 3 August 1967, Creme Puff blitzed the average cat lifespan by a couple of decades, passing away on 6 August 2005. Creme Puff proves that some cats can be blessed with more than nine lives – a lucky cat indeed!