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How Long Can Cats Live Indoors

How Old Is Your Cat

How Long Do Cats Live?
  • 0 to 1 month: 1 human year
  • 2 to 3 months: 2 to 4 human years
  • 4 months: 6 to 8 human years
  • 6 months: 10 human years
  • 7 months: 12 human years
  • 12 months: 15 human years
  • 18 months: 21 human years
  • 2 years: 24 human years
  • 3 years: 28 human years
  • 4 years: 32 human years
  • 5 years: 36 human years
  • 10 years: 56 human years
  • 15 years: 76 human years
  • 20 years: 96 human years

The average life expectancy of a cat suggests that many live the equivalent of a full human life. In 2019, the United Nations estimated that the average global life expectancy is 72.9 years. That√Ęs a little more than 14 cat years.

Should Indoor Cats Have Outdoor Time

One reason cats generally enjoy the outdoors is that it takes them back to their natural roots. It’s important for owners to remember that cats are nocturnal, and in the wild, they’d be hunting all night and sleeping all day. Sometimes an indoor cat gets bored and may get anxious being cooped up inside all of the time if it isnt given enough stimulation, says Dr. Mosoriak. Keeping your indoor cat stimulated is important to mental health. Outdoor cats get that natural stimulation they need.

Of course, an indoor cat will not be doing much hunting, but you can simulate that activity with a variety of cat toys, like the Pet Fit For Life feather wand cat toy or the Cat Dancer wand cat toy. Providing indoor cats with cat scratchers and cat trees is also a great idea. Adding levels with cat trees or a cat window perch gives cats a higher point to view their territory and their own place to explore, climb, knead and take cat naps on.

Although Christine Capaldo, DVM, The PETA Foundation, Norfolk, Virginia, noted that PETA’s position is unequivocal: All cats should be indoor cats, she agreed that supervised outdoor activity can be healthy if done the correct way. Like dogs, cats should be allowed outdoors for walks on leashes that are attached to harnesses, not to collars, she said. Let the cat get used to the harness for short periods indoors, and then pick a safe outdoor area to explore.

Can An Indoor Cat Be A Part

Reviewed and updated for accuracy on June 27, 2018 by Katie Grzyb, DVM

An indoor cat generally has a simpler life than its free-range feline counterpart.

Its no secret that the mean streetsor even fieldshold many dangers for an outdoor cat on its own. An indoor cat doesnt face the increasing number of cars, toxins, parasites and instances of animal cruelty that a roaming outdoor cat does. Thats why feline experts usually urge owners to keep their cats indoors. But thats not always easy.

There are some cats that have lived outside. When theyre forced to stay indoors, they may start to eliminate outside the box due to anxiety, become irritable or overgroom themselves, says Dr. Laura Emge Mosoriak, DVM, owner of Kingstowne Cat Clinic, Alexandria, Virginia. I dont advocate cats going outside, but sometimes you have to make a choiceallow outside supervised for a while to get the mental stimulation they crave, knowing and owning the dangersor keep them inside and try your best to keep them stimulated enough to be content indoors.

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How Your Schedule Changes Impact Your Cat

It’s important to pay attention to your cat’s behavior during changes in your household’s schedule. When children return to school, for example, some cats might enjoy the extra alone time while others might experience . Consider adding new toys and scratching posts, leaving the radio on as soothing background noise, or adopting another pet to keep your cat company. If you do welcome a second pet into your home, be prepared to be home for the first week or two to supervise your pets’ interactions before leaving them alone for extended periods of time.

Finally, remember that even the most sophisticated automatic feeders and water dispensers are no substitute for human interaction. Your kitty needs the attention and exercise she gets from spending time with you, so find a reliable cat sitter who will give her daily playtime and cuddles if you’re going to be out.

It’s normal for any pet parent to be a little concerned about leaving their feline friend alone. By planning ahead you can give your cat freedom in the house while also keeping her safe and happy while you’re out.

Having An Indoor Cat Is Growing In Popularity Because Its Thought To Be Much Safer As It Keeps Them Away From The Risks Of The Outdoor World If Youre Thinking About Keeping Cats Indoors Read This Guide To Find Out All You Need To Know

How Long Do Cats Live? A Tale of Two Kitties

In the UK, its quite common to let cats have free roam outside. However, with the increased risks from the outside world, more and more pet owners are opting for the safety of inside life for their cats. There are many reasons behind the growing number of indoor cats, but the general consensus is that owners are keeping cats indoors to ensure theyre safe. This may be due to the fact they live in a busy town with lots of road traffic or because theyre in an area with neighbouring cats who dont get along.

If youve recently got a new kitten or cat, you may be wondering whats best for your newest family member, keep reading to find out more.

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Move Your Cat Indoors Slowly

Make the change from outdoors to indoors gradually, until the new way of life becomes old hat. Many cats will adjust with little effort, while others will be miserableand let you know it. They might scratch at doors, claw at windows, yowl, and try to dash through open doors. So be prepared:

  • If your cat has never used a scratching post or a litter box, introduce both items well before transitioning your cat to life inside.
  • Feed your cat indoors. Instead of letting your cat back outside as soon as they’re finished eating, keep them inside for increasing periods of time.
  • If you’re starting your cat’s retraining during the winter, a warm, dry bed to snuggle in may be just the ticket to convince them to stay inside.
  • If they try to make a break for the door, rattle a jar of pennies or give them a squirt with a water gun.
  • Never hit, kick or yell at them they’ll become afraid of you.
  • You can train them to run away from an open door by throwing a treat to the other side of the room.

Don’t let allergies or pregnancy make you consider putting your cat outside or even giving them up. Work with your doctor to manage these conditions instead.

Sign up to receive our exclusive e-book full of training techniques, problem-solving and important information about caring for your pet.

Do Most Cats Die Of Old Age

First off, dying of old age isnt a thing, at least as far as vets are concerned. A cat who dies at an old age will have died from something, and that something wont be the turning of the pages on a calendar. Dying of old age usually means that they passed due to a natural ailment, like heart disease or cancer, when they were extremely old.

Even with that clarification out of the way, this question is hard to answer. It depends on the cats level of care.

If your cat spends most of their time outside, then no, they wont die of old age. Sadly, outdoor cats often die violently, usually by being hit by cars or eaten by predators.

Indoor cats have much better prospects. Most indoor cats die of something like kidney disease, heart disease, or cancer, and these usually happen toward the latter stages of their lifespan.

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Pick Up On Clinical Signs As Soon As Possible

Fighting off secondary infections is much harder for FIV+ cats. As soon as you notice signs of abnormal drinking, decreased appetite, inappropriate urination, weight loss, lethargy, or anything abnormal, get to a vet immediately for a blood test and workup even if its in the middle of the night. Thats because something as simple as a urinary tract infection can rapidly progress to a kidney infection and cause a more severe systemic body infection in an FIV+ cat.

Keep in mind that the prognosis for FIV is much better than the more deadly Feline Leukemia virus. Remember, cats can live with FIV for a much longer period of timebut its a MUST to keep them as healthy as possible!

How To Keep Your Cat Healthy

I’m Not Alone. I Have My Cats. | Op-Docs

While some factors of a cats health are out of your control, like genetics and accidents, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your cat as healthy and long-lived as possible.

1. Keep your cat indoors

As we already discussed, a cats average lifespan increases dramatically when theyre kept indoors, away from diseases and physical trauma. If you want your cat to get some outdoor time, consider an outdoor enclosure such as a catio, or training your cat to enjoy leash walks.

2. Keep your cat at a healthy weight

Obesity in cats is associated with several diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoarthritis. It also more than doubles their mortality rate compared to lean cats, according to VCA Hospitals. Keep treats to no more than 5-10% of your cats daily diet, advises the ASPCA.

3. Get your cat plenty of exercise

Exercise helps keep your cats weight down, helps her burn off excess energy, and gives your brain something to do. PetMD recommends bursts of playtime that last 10-15 minutes, using toys like feathers, strings, and lasers, as well as providing climbing opportunities on cat towers.

4. Spay or neuter your cat

Spaying prevents several cancers, including uterine and breast, especially if you spay your cat before her first heat . Male cats benefit from neutering by preventing testicular cancer. Altered cats are also usually better behaved. Female cats wont go into heat and seek out a mate, and male cats tend to mark less.

Read Also: How Old Is 6 Cat Years In Human Years

Looking Out For Kittens And Senior Cats

Age plays into how long you should be leaving a cat home alone as well. Kittens are curious creatures, and they can endanger themselves by scratching, pawing or eating dangerous objects like wobbly vases or poisonous houseplants. The Nest recommends kitten-proofing one room and equipping it with a litter box, food, toys and fresh water if you need to leave young cats unsupervised.

If your kitten has to be alone for more than 12 hours, it’s best to find someone to stop by and check on her. Have that person check on your pet’s food and give her fresh water. If your cat has access to multiple rooms, your cat sitter should also walk around your house and make sure your kitten hasn’t gotten stuck in any small spaces or closed herself in a room or closet.

Although older cats may be less likely to get into mischief, they may struggle more with environmental factors. If you’re leaving your cat alone during hot summer days, make sure she has a cool place to nap and can access several bowls of water in different spots around your home while you’re gone. Since older cats are more susceptible to illness, find a pet sitter who can stop by at least once a day if you’re going to be away for too long.

Common Problems Of Indoor Cats

Obesity: cats who dont have the ability to exercise can quickly become overweight and unhealthy. Monitor your indoor cats food intake and make sure they have ample opportunities to climb and play.

Stress: cats spend a lot of their time resting and sleeping, and they need quiet spaces to do this. When a home is busy and there are few areas available to get that rest, cats become stressed.

Anxiety: indoor cats exist in a small environment and do not cope as well with change as those who go outside. New people, changes in furniture and the addition of new pets or babies can upset an indoor cat more.

Needy: indoor cats do not have the opportunity to explore the world on their own terms and rely on their owners for support. This can lead to over-dependence, and lead to stress when their owners go away on holiday.

Damaging the home: a bored cat is often a destructive cat. If an indoor cat doesnt have enough stimulation they will likely seek entertainment on objects in the home .If your cat has suddenly started showing a problem behaviour, the first port of call should be your vet. They will check your pet for any physical health issue that might be causing problem, and refer you to an animal behaviourist if needed.

Page last updated 23/08/2021

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Create An Indoor Cat Garden

Just because you have a house cat, it doesnt mean that they have to miss out on all the joys of outside. Create a garden inside your home and plant a variety of cat-friendly plants such as: catnip, cat grass and valerian. As they love to interact with these types of plants, plant them in large planters and trays so they can take full advantage of their indoor cat garden.

The Answer To This Important Cat Welfare Question May Surprise You

How Long Do Cats Live Indoors? A Detailed Guide

By Jessica Pierce and Ibrahim Raidhan. Ibrahim is the creator of

Myths about domestic cats are as ubiquitous as funny cat videos. One of the most persistent of these myths is that cats are independent and really dont need humans in their lives. Our cat may deign to spend some time with us, and might even curl up next to us in bed and purr in our ear. But ultimately, when it comes to human company, cats can take it or leave it.

The myth of the aloof, independent cat feeds another misconception: that cats are just fine when were not around. Indeed, a common piece of advice for someone thinking about acquiring a pet is if you are gone a lot and dont have time for a dog, get a cat instead. Many people believe that cats can be left alone for long hours every day, and can even safely be left alone for days or even weeks, as long as food and freshwater are made available to them.

This is bad advice and does cats a great disservice because domestic cats kept as companion animals in homes likely need their humans just as much as companion dogs do.

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Is My Cat Sick Or Just Old

Cats are great at hiding illness so owners should pay attention to any changes in behaviour. Changes such as moving around less, difficulty jumping as high and weight gain or loss could be put down to ageing but they could also be a symptom of illness. If youre concerned at all its best to contact your vet or out of hours your nearest Vets Now for advice.

Some subtle signs of illness in cats to look out for include:

  • Hiding away/wanting to be alone
  • Weakness
  • Looking more scruffy/ungroomed than usual
  • Eating or drinking more or less than usual
  • Going to the toilet more or less

Introducing A New Cat Into The Household

One of the main themes of this article is going to be prevention. Trust me, when it comes to cats, prevention is always better than trying to solve a problem after the fact.

One of the most common problems in cats is spraying and this is frequently caused by the introduction of a new cat. Can you really blame them? I mean, I wouldn’t be terribly happy if I came home from the grocery store and found Bob on my coucha complete stranger who’s now been forced to live with me. I can’t say my first reaction wouldn’t be, “Get out, Bob! This is MY house! Who do you think you are?!” Cats aren’t any different. That’s why using a cage to introduce them is always an attractive option.

The new cat should be kept in the cage somewhere in the house where the resident cat can come up and sniff it through the bars. This is a far gentler, less territorially threatening introduction. Depending on how they respond to each other, you can move forward and let the new cat have play time outside of the cage one room at a time, slowly expanding its territory until it shares it completely with the resident cat. At the first sign of distress from either cat, you should back up a step and try again. Patience is key.

Wabbitat cages work well for diagnostic cages – they’re very small but the cat won’t be in it for more than a day

Read Also: What Are Cat Years Compared To Human Years

When Are Cats Considered Old

Cats go through six life stages as they grow, and they start to be considered old when they reach the mature stage at age seven. However, they typically don’t start slowing down until they reach the ‘senior’ stage at 11 years old. The six life stages of a cat are:

  • Kitten This is when cats grow quickest and learn the most about what is safe and unsafe in their environment. A six-month-old kitten is 10 years old in human years
  • Cats grow to their full size during this period and continue learning important skills such as playing/hunting. A two-year-old cat is 24 in human years
  • Prime This is when cats are in the prime of their lives and usually at their peak of physical fitness. This period covers age 24-40 in human years
  • Mature Cats start to be considered old when they reach this stage, and may start to slow down a bit and put on weight. This is when theyre the human equivalent of being in their mid-40s to mid-50s
  • Senior At 14 cats reach the human age of 70, so they may not be as agile as they used to be and their health will need monitoring closely
  • Super senior/geriatric Some cats will reach this stage still with the energy of a kitten, but others will prefer a slower pace of life with lots of comfy spots for snoozing. At 15 years old theyre 76 in human years and reach 100 in human years when theyre 21


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