How long do cats live?

We’ve written about dog longevity on SlimDoggy and provided charts on expected lifespans. In dogs it varies greatly depending on the breed, with larger dogs tending to have shorter life spans than smaller dogs in general. The average life span of a cat is 12-15 years. But just like with their dog friends, advances in medical science and nutrition is helping to increase that range.

Cute gray kittens
Cats tend to be pretty similar in size and the bigger determining factor is whether they are in indoor or outdoor cat. Outdoor cats obviously face greater threats just from being outdoors and prey to dogs, coyotes and other wildlife. They also may be run over by cars, fall from a tree or other accidents that are unlikely to befall them in the house.
Indoor cats tend to live longer, but they also have a tendency to be more overweight as they don’t get as much exercise as an outdoor cat and may suffer from more health issues related to their weight.
There is of course a lot you can do to increase your cats life span.

  • The first stop is their nutrition. Just like with your own or your dogs, know what you are feeding your cat. Read the label, understand what the ingredients mean and whether or not your cat really needs red dye in their food. has a regular series on food ingredients and while we examine mainly dog food – the value or harm of the ingredients is the same for your cat, so be sure and check it out. We will be adding a Cat Food database shortly.
  • Keep your cat indoors. This protects them from a wide range of accidents and diseases.
  • Get regular vet checkups. This is important for humans and all of your pets. Don’t put off that Dr. visit.
  • Lots of regular exercise and mental stimulation. Keep your cat active and engaged with cat toys, catnip and things to jump and climb on. THis will keep them mentally stimulated and physically challenged – essential components to a healthy life.
    Additional Readings:

    How long do cats live? Ageing and your feline

    How Long Do Cats Live?

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  1. Mom’s first cat lived to be 19, she was indoor/outdoor, ate a poor diet, was a big hunter and was injured seriously several times by wild animals but she was a tough cat. So far our indoor cats with the best food and care haven’t fared as well. We are afraid Bert may be with us for decades, though, as he is such a problem cat. We strongly believe in keeping kitties indoors and feeding quality food as well as their regular vet checkups.
    Emma recently posted…A Good Diet For A Good Life #GetHealthyHappyMy Profile

    • Maybe the nine lives only applies to outdoor cats subject to the hazards of being outdoors? Poor Bert – he gets no respect 😉
      KitKat recently posted…How long do cats live?My Profile

  2. We have many cats come to the clinic that are 15-20 years old! Females have a tendency to live longer than males as males come down with cardiomyopathy when they get older. So when we see old male cats it is heartwarming.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Black And White Sunday~Where’s GloryMy Profile

  3. Our cat was a stray that we decided to TNR, but he got sick before his appointment and nearly died under our porch. An expensive vet bill and 6 months of quarantine in our home turned him into an inside cat and pet. We have had him for 12 years and think he is 14. He’s never been all there mentally after his illness (brain damage of some sort), but he seems happy and gets along with everyone,
    Beth recently posted…Caturday: Tarra and DigiMy Profile

    • Great story…as long as he’s happy, who cares if he’s smart 🙂
      KitKat recently posted…SlimKitty | Black & White SundayMy Profile

  4. One of my first cats lived to be 18, in spite of being an outdoor cat and hardly ever visiting the vet. I don’t take that as a sign that I should do that with my other cats, however. They stay indoors and get their yearly vet visits and necessary vaccines. We lost many at younger ages due to being outdoor cats. I look forward to your cat food database and analyzing our current food a bit further as well..
    Jan K recently posted…Tuesday’s Tails & a Unique Fundraising StoryMy Profile

  5. Great tips for keeping cats healthy & active! Thanks for sharing on the Pet Parade
    Rascal and Rocco recently posted…Revenge of the CatsMy Profile

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