How long do cats live? How long do indoor cats live? What is the average life expectancy of an outdoor cat? What factors influence a cat’s lifespan? Let’s talk about the lifespan of cats.
“A novel must be exceptionally good to live as long as the average cat. This aphorism is generally attributed to Philip Stanhope, fourth Earl of Chesterfield. Lord Chesterfield lived at a time in English literary history when novels were just beginning to become popular, and all forms of media were already thought to be ephemeral. What did Chesterfield have in mind? What is the average lifespan of cats?
What are the facts about a cat’s lifespan? At Catster, we’ve researched the average lifespan of cats and have all the information you need to answer the question “How long do cats live? We’ve done the research and we can tell you that, like novels, the lifespan of cats depends on many factors, including environment, diet and health. We’ll provide you with information on everything from the general question “How long do cats live?” to the average age of the “current” oldest living cat, the average age of single cats and the average lifespan of indoor and outdoor cats.
How long do cats live? The average lifespan of a cat varies depending on many different factors. Photography ©sjallenphotography | Thinkstock.
How long do cats live? What is the average lifespan of a cat?
How long do cats live? Environment, maintenance, health and whether or not the cat is sterilized are all important factors in determining the average lifespan of a cat. Sterilization can also be an important factor. Neutering eliminates the risk of diseases that can affect a cat’s reproductive system in old age.
It has become an Internet truism that, with access to current advances in medicine and nutrition, the ideal cat “may” or “may not” live to the age of 20 or more. Based on a survey of ten reputable sites dealing with the average domestic cat, the figures are more contradictory, ranging from 10 to 20 years. The average life expectancy of a domestic cat is 15.1 years.
The breed of cat is certainly an important factor when it comes to answering the question “How long do cats live? We could list the lifespan of every breed of cat, but that would take a long time. Our research shows that mixed-breed cats are generally hardier and live longer than pedigreed cats. Want to know more about the longevity of a particular breed? Check out our list of purebreds and crossbreds.
When we answer the question “How long do cats live?” we’re interested, like Lord Chesterfield, in the “average cat”. Cats live on average one to two years longer than other cats. Indoor cats live longer on average than outdoor cats. Feral, stray and feral cats live on average much shorter lives than indoor cats.
What about indoor cats?
To the question “How long do cats live?”, all research indicates that indoor cats live almost three times longer than outdoor cats. How long do indoor cats live? Cats living indoors are generally sterilized, vaccinated and protected from the stress, risks and dangers of the outside world. They are fed regularly and have easy access to fresh, clean water.
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They need more attention, more distractions and must be encouraged to get enough exercise to avoid obesity. Fortunately, caring owners offer all this to cats. On all the sites we visited, the figures vary considerably and range from 14 to 20 years. Based on these figures, the average life expectancy of a cat living in an apartment is 16.875 years.
What is the life expectancy of outdoor cats?
The average lifespan of outdoor cats is generally limited by a number of factors. Of course, the word “outdoor” has a different meaning depending on where the cat lives and how we answer the question “How long do cats live?
Do you live in the city, the suburbs or the country? How many neighbors have outdoor cats? Do you live where predatory wildlife is abundant? Are there any wild or stray animals in the area? Is the year-round climate conducive to outdoor living? How close are you to roads and thoroughfares?
These are all limiting factors, as is increased exposure to fleas, ticks and other parasites and diseases. Outdoors, cats can also get into fights and scratches with other cats, increasing the risk of accidents.
However, they are also free to explore their environment, mark their favorite spots and move around naturally. Due to the large number of unpredictable variables, the figures are generally not good, and the life expectancy of cats varies much more widely, from three to ten years. The average lifespan of an outdoor cat is 5.625 years.
How long can cats live? Photography by Ramon Espelt Photography / Shutterstock.
How long do cats live?
I hear you say, “But my cat…”. All these figures are averages. My cat Klesko has always been an outdoor cat and is 15 years old. When it comes to answering the question “How long do cats live?”, there are always outliers that fall outside the average.
The Guinness Book of Records states that the oldest age recorded among felines was achieved by Creme Puff, a cat who died in Austin, Texas, at the age of 38 years and three days, a truly grand, almost incomprehensible age. The age of the oldest “current” living cat is much more variable, as this information can be out of date at any time.
Looking at information from recent years, I’ve found that the age of the oldest “current” living cat is between 23 and 36. Over the last decade, the average age of the oldest living cat is 29,857. Who is the current record holder? Rather than risk our own obsolescence, we suggest you consult the Guinness website. Its “Oldest Living Cat” page wisely and explicitly states that the current record holder is a flexible and fluctuating position.
Tell us: what is the life expectancy of your cats? We want to know how old your cats are! What’s the longest-living cat you’ve owned, heard about or seen? Share your stories and memories in the comments!
Featured photo: Photography ©Dovapi| iStock / Getty Images Plus.
This post was originally published in 2017.
By Melvin Pena , October 8, 2020