Cats Lifespan: How Long Indoor and Outdoor Cats Live

by Vivvy A
gray-black-white cat laying on grass

The lifespan of cats is 2 – 16 years. Outdoor cats live 2-5 years (in the wild), while domestic cats have a long lifespan. Domestic cats have an average lifetime of around 15 years, which means they frequently outlive most of our companion canines.

Numerous factors might influence how long your cat may live including, breed, environment, diseases, and diet.

Cats are the only domesticated animal in the Felidae family and are frequently referred to as the domestic cat to differentiate it from its wild members.


How Long Does an Indoor Cat Live on Average?

Indoor cats usually have 10-15 years, but outdoor cats have 2-5 years. This handout is meant to help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each lifestyle option so that you can be confident that your cat will have an enriching existence while also being protected from environmental risks.


Notes 1: Indoor cats do not receive the activity they require, which can result in obesity.


By enhancing your environment, you may encourage your cat to get more active and stay fit. A cat tree provides a position for your cat to climb while also sharpening its claws.

A supply of toys, such as plastic mice, bottle corks, or wand-type toys, can stimulate your cat’s natural need to hunt and pounce. Even something as basic as an old box or paper bag may be transformed into a play toy, satisfying a cat’s natural need to hide.

Particular cats require a bit extra encouragement to become active. Making time to play with your cat regularly may provide additional excitement and exercise while also serving as a bonding activity.


Notes 2: Cats are not tamed and thrive in their natural environment’s open spaces, fresh air, and sunshine.


Many indoor cats like resting on a windowsill, sniffing the breeze, and chatting at the birds just as much. Indeed, one study discovered that cats utilize windows and sunshine at a lower rate than many owners believe.

However, there are methods to provide your cat access to the outdoors while reducing the hazards. A screened-in porch or an outdoor cat enclosure can provide your cat with the sensation of being outside without exposing to the dangers mentioned above.

Sections can be constructed at home or purchased from firms that specialize in cat enclosures. If a selection does not appeal to you, you can teach your cat to walk using a harness.

It will require some time and work, but it is entirely feasible. Consult your veterinarian for advice on pleasantly accomplishing this for both you and your cat.


Notes 3: If cats are not let outside, they are more prone to urinate in the house.


The majority of indoor cats are easily litter box trained. If they begin urinating outside the box, this does not always signal they need to go outdoors.

Cats, for example, frequently wander outside the box when their package is unclean. Additionally, there might be a medical condition causing this difficulty. For further information, see your veterinarian.


How Long Does an Outdoor Cat Live on Average?

Outdoor cats have a life span of about two to five years. The considerable difference is attributable to the numerous risks encountered by an outside cat, including traffic and predators.


Cat Life Cycle


Kitten (up to six months)

This is the most fantastic time to introduce your cat to a variety of new experiences, such as other pets, household noises, being groomed and handled, as well as being acquainted with youngsters and other people.

During this period, you will witness them going through their most rapid growth surge. This is also an excellent time to neuter your pet to prevent undesired litters from occurring.


Junior (six months – two years)

During this time period, your cat will have grown to its full adult size and will have reached sexual maturity

It is critical to play correctly with your pet since this will positively teach them how to interact with other people. This implies that you should avoid rough and tumble activities with your cat and instead engage with them through toys.

Playing with your hands might encourage biting and scratching, which may seem charming while they’re kittens, but keep in mind that they’ll grow up, and the bites and scratches will become more challenging to deal with as they mature.


Prime (three-six years)

As the name implies, your cat will be at the peak of its physical and mental development during these years. While they are young and healthy, it is still vital to ensure that your cat is up to date on their vaccines and health checks in order to help avoid any infections or illnesses from affecting them in the future.


Mature (seven – 10 years)

At this age, your cat will be the human equivalent of someone in their mid-forties to mid-fifties in terms of physical appearance.

As a result, you may perceive that your pet is becoming more sluggish, and they are more likely to gain some weight as a result. It is critical to closely monitor their food intake to ensure that they are getting the appropriate number of calories for their level of exercise.

When in doubt about whether your cat is overweight or how to reduce feeding times, consult with your veterinarian for assistance.

Main Coon cat laying on mat

Do Male Cats Live Longer Than Female Cats?

According to a 2013 research by Banfield Pet Hospital, neutered male cats live 62 percent longer than unneutered male cats, while spayed female cats live 39 percent longer than unspayed female cats.

According to the World Guinness Book Records, the oldest cat ever recorded was Creme Puff, who died in mid-2005 at the age of 38 years, three days.

On average, female cats outlive male cats, whereas neutered cats and crossbred cats outlast whole and purebred cats.


Can A Cat Live 20 Years?

While it depends on various factors, including chance, some domestic cats can live to be as old as 20 years. They will pass through six critical life phases over their lifetime, which may assist owners, understand specific health/behavioral issues that may emerge and things to watch for.

Variables such as nutrition, healthcare, and environment can affect how long a cat lives. Neutered cats live longer because they are protected from reproductive illnesses and are less inclined to wander.

Almost all domestic cats will die before they reach the age of 20. Some will live into their twenties, and a tiny percentage will live into their 30s.

If one selected a random sample of 1000 cats, I’d estimate that around five would survive to the age of 20. That is a big prediction, and it is 0.5 percent in percentage terms (half a percent).

However, an indoor cat can comfortably survive to the ripe old age of 20 years or more. Indeed, cats may survive into their early twenties if they are kept chiefly inside and their health is maintained. Indoor cats have an average lifetime of 13 to 17 years.


What is Considered Old Age For A Cat?

Cats survive longer than they did 20 years ago, owing to improved diet, veterinarian treatment, and home care.

In recent years, feline ages and life stages have been revised; cats are deemed old when they reach the age of 11, senior cats when they reach the age of 11-14 and super-senior cats when they reach the age of 15 years.

When caring for elderly cats, it might be beneficial to consider their age in human terms.

It is the moment, above all others, when your cat requires some primary care. As cats age, they become less able to maintain their hygiene and checking on your cat often can help you identify any problems that require immediate attention.

A cat’s physiology, behavior, and susceptibility to specific ailments undergo several changes with growing age. Physiological alterations include impaired smell and taste, impaired fat and protein digestion, impaired hearing, immunological function, skin elasticity, and stress tolerance.


Do Cats Know They are Dying?

Your cat’s activity level will likely decrease as she approaches the end of her life. She will sleep more and may appear to be frail while awake. Additionally, some cats may look sad and listless.

Because cats communicate primarily through body language, they must be sensitive to biological and behavioral changes in the other animals in their environment.

It involves recognizing signs of weakness or changes in body temperature or odor. Additionally, they are perceptive in that they frequently recognize when they are going to die.

Cats have been connected with death for ages, and their perception differs between countries. Black cats are linked with ill luck, sickness, and witches in Western cultures.

However, cats were worshiped and mummified in Ancient Egypt. This resulted in the wholesale slaughter of black cats and the “witches” who care for them.


Summary: Veterinary Care is a Must if You Want To Increase The Cat Lifespan

Even the most knowledgeable cat enthusiast cannot handle everything on their own. Your veterinarian is a partner in pet care, a knowledgeable professional who will provide hands-on assistance from the kitten days to the senior years of your pet’s life.

They will advise you on how to live a happy and healthy life at home, and they will assist you in recognizing warning signals before they develop into significant health problems.

Cats, like people, are prone to chronic health problems that can shorten their lifespan and have a negative influence on their ability to live comfortably.

A qualified veterinarian will ensure that you are doing all possible to make the most of your time with your pet while avoiding giving them excessive stress or pain.

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