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How Long Do Cats Live Indoor

So How Long Do Cats Live What Is The Average Lifespan Of A Cat

How long do cats live? Environment, maintenance, health, and whether the cat is spayed or neutered all of these factors matter when thinking about the life expectancy of a cat. Sterilization can be a significant factor. Spaying and neutering removes the risk of developing diseases that can affect a cats reproductive system in old age.

It has become a truism on the Internet, that, with access to current medical and dietary advancements, the ideal cat can or may live to up to 20 cat years and older. Based on a survey of 10 reputable sites that discuss the average domestic cat, the numbers are more inconsistent, ranging from 10 to 20 years. The average domestic cat lifespan comes out to 15.1 years.

Cat breed is certainly a factor when it comes to answering the question, How long do cats live? We could list out the lifespan of each cat breed, but then wed be here forever. Our research suggests that mixed breed cats are, in general, hardier and live longer than purebred cats. Have a question about a specific breeds longevity? Please consult our list of purebred and hybrid cat breeds.

When answering, How long do cats live? were concerned, like Lord Chesterfield, with the average cat. On average, female cats live one to two years longer than male cats. On average, indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats. On average, wild, homeless and feral cats live dramatically shorter lives than domestic cats.

Bottom Line: Should Cats Live Indoors Only

Indoor cats live longer, healthier lives, but if you want to let your kitty outside, there are safer ways to do it.

A cat enclosure gives you the best of both worlds. It allows your cat to get out in nature without facing the dangers of roaming where they please.

We do not recommend letting your cat roam outdoors. The risks are too high, and if youre a diligent cat parent, you can still provide an indoor cat with all of the benefits that outdoor cats get.

That said, its a choice that each cat parent must make for themselves, and wed love to hear your thoughts.

Do you believe cats should only live indoors? Or should they be free to roam outside? Let us know in the comments below!

A Word About Outdoor Cats

This article answered the question how long do indoor cats live? but its important to point out the best way to shorten a cats life expectancy is to let him wander outside. Outdoor cats only live an average of 2 to 5 years. The dramatic difference is attributed to the many dangers an outdoor cat faces, including traffic and predators.

Does That Mean I Need To Let My Indoor Cat Roam Outside

Not necessarily. Cats who are kept indoors can still get the stimulation they crave without stalking the neighborhood songbirds. You just have to make an effort to create an environment they enjoy, according to the cat experts at the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley, Minnesota. Cats need to climb, scratch, hide, and jump. 

To keep your indoor kitty busy, provide toys, a scratching post, and a cat tower with hiding holes. Cats also love to watch whats going on outside. Encourage the habit by giving your fur baby a window seat or perch. Having a bird or squirrel feeder right outside the window will keep your cat entertained for hours, too. There are plenty of ways to enrich your cats indoor environment!

When To Euthanize Cats With Fiv

How Long Do Cats Live? A Tale of Two Kitties

FIV infection is not a reason in itself to euthanize a cat. A lot of people, including some vets, believe that FIV-positive cats should be euthanized and not adopted. However, the truth is that many infected cats can lead a healthy, normal life just like uninfected pets. FIV does not spread like HIV or has its own serious symptoms and signs. While there is no treatment for FIV, most cats live for years before their immune system is affected.

When to euthanize a cat with FIV is a decision that the owner can take keeping the best interest of the pet in mind. It comes down to assessing the quality of life the cat is leading. If your cat has started facing a lot of infections, has progressed to the end stage of FIV and does not show any sign of recovery, you can consider euthanasia. While the family can make the right decision for the pet, your vet can help with recommendations. A few cats die peacefully while others reach a point where the decision to euthanize must be made.

How Long Do Outdoor Cats Live

Outdoor cats live to be 2 5 years old. While some outdoor cats can live longer, the risk of disease and predators makes this less likely.

Outdoor cats are at risk to all of the elements of nature, there no safe confines or constant access to food like an indoor cat has.

Cats that roam free outdoors can also easily become injured from falls.

Other Factors Determining Cat Life Span

Other factors that contribute to determining your cat’s life span include:

  • Health condition; cats with certain medical conditions will live less
  • Home care; how well you take care of your cat
  • Balanced diet
  • Exercise; a less active cat will have a shorter life span
  • Genetic factors

So, if you want to ensure that your pet lives a long and quality life, make sure you visit the vet on a regular basis, take care of his diet and have him exercise at least a few minutes per day. Prevent cat obesity, as this shortens your cat’s life significantly.

Spay Or Neuter Your Cat

The obvious reason people spay or neuter their cats is to prevent litters, especially since there are millions of homeless cats in shelters, and tragically, millions are euthanized each year. But, there are several other reasons why you should have your cat fixed. For example, fixing your pet eliminates multiple types of cancers from developingsuch as cervical cancer, mammary cancer, or prostate cancer. It prevents other fatal diseases, such as pyometra , and also reduces your cats desire to fight over a mate. Fighting that results in infected bites can transfer feline leukemia and FIV among cats. Furthermore, giving birth puts a great deal of stress on a female cats body and numerous complications can come of that.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, Neutered male cats live a mean of 62 percent longer than unneutered male cats, and spayed female cats live a mean of 39 percent longer than unspayed female cats. That is a hard statistic to overlook when trying to increase your cats lifespan! 

Change The Litter Box Often

Litter boxes should be changed at least once per week and scooped daily. A clean litter box protects cats from urinary tract infections and protects furniture and carpets from outside-the-box urination. Sometimes make cats need a change in food as they age to prevent urinary infections, so have your cat checked the minute he or she shows signs of litter box trouble.

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Do Female Calico Cats Live Longer

Gender does play a part in how long a calico will live. Female calicos live longer than male calicos.

The calico color is gender-linked, the cat must have XX chromosomes to achieve those brilliant patches. Unlike a normal male with an XY chromosome, the male calico has XXY chromosomes. Therefore, they inherit the calico color pattern. Unfortunately, along with it, the male calico will most likely to inherit bad health.

Male calicos are doomed to have a shorter lifespan. This is due to Klinefelters Syndrome. Symptoms include:

  • SterilityReduced bone mineral content
  • Insulin resistance
  • Increased body fat mass
  • Cognitive impairments

If you want a calico with the propensity to live a long healthy life, you might want to stick with a female.

Pros And Cons Of An Indoor Cat

Keeping cats indoors permanently can be a wise choice.

There are several sensible reasons for keeping your cat indoors:

  • First, you can protect your pet from the dangers of wildlife and cars.
  • Second, you can reduce their risk of getting a disease or parasites, especially if you keep them strictly indoors.
  • Finally, you can better monitor your cats health.

Cats are notorious for concealing the fact that they dont feel well. Often, you wont know until a condition is far advanced. It is even more difficult if you have less contact with them.

You can watch for signs easier including:

  • Changes in appetite

Also, a cat that is home alone all day will likely get bored.

There are your curtains and furniture to consider.

If you choose to declaw your pet he will be at a major disadvantage if he manages to sneak outside.

Is My Senior Cat Dying

As cats grow older, illnesses become increasingly likely. Heart disease, cancer, and kidney failure become a greater risk in older cats. Senior cats also have weaker immunity, so respiratory infections and other illnesses take a greater toll.

Your cats health may appear to take a sudden turn to the worse. This is not as abrupt as it seems, as cats are adept at hiding pain and illness. However, your cat could have been sick for some time but hidden it from you. If your cat is reaching the end of its life, it will be more likely to display the following behaviors:

  • Hiding or clinginess
  • Heavy, labored breathing
  • Seizures

Debating Keeping Your Cat Indoors Or Letting Them Outside

How Long Do Cats Live? Facts about the Average Cat ...

Many cats love the great outdoors. But humane associations agree that an indoor life is far healthier for them; theyre safe from outdoor hazards, and their people tend to pay closer attention to them and notice signs of health problems earlier.

The upshot of being an indoor cat? A much longer life span. An all-indoor cat lives an average of 13 to 17 years, whereas a cat whos allowed to roam is likely to survive just two to five years. That said, they may live longer depending on a few factors, like where they live.

The one absolute rule when making the indoor-outdoor decision: declawed kitties should be kept inside. We dont recommend that you ever declaw a cat, but sometimes people adopt cats who are already declawed. Declawed cats cant defend themselves from dogs, other cats, or predators, making the outdoors even riskier.

But if your kittys got their claws, and youre still on the fence about whether to let them outdoors, here are a few things to consider.

Cat Lifestyle And Lifespan

Some cats are considered indoor pets, others are strictly outdoor pets, and others still will be indoor/outdoor pets that split their time between environments. The daily risks that outdoor cats take are much higher than those of an indoor cat, so the lifespan of an outdoor cat is often cut short. Avoiding getting hit by vehicles, hurt by wild animals and eating toxins, finding food, surviving the elements, and being exposed to various parasites and diseases may all be daily challenges for an outdoor or indoor/outdoor cat. The more time a cat spends outside, the greater the risk is of an injury or illness from that environment.

Indoor cats are not exposed to as many risks since they are sheltered inside a secure home. Wild animals and vehicles pose no threats to an indoor cat, their diet is typically controlled, and toxin, parasite, and disease exposures are lessened, especially if they are vaccinated and on preventative medications.

The same is true for big cats like lions, tigers, ocelots, and other wild cats. These cats that reside in zoos often outlive their wild counterparts.

These Are The Signs That Your Cat Will Probably Live A Long Life

We all want our cats to live forever , and while feline immortality is still out of our grasp, its not that unusual for cats to live into their 20s – a solid effort for such little guys.

But how can you tell if your cat has a good shot at making it to 21 – the feline equivalent of 100 – and can you change its fate? 

Two major studies have brought together knowledge from a team of veterinary experts from around the world on the common changes experienced by ageing cats, looking at everything from musculoskeletal system wear and tear to cognitive and behavioural health. 

The aim was to establish the signs of healthy ageing in cats, because while it’s generally accepted that there’s a lot that owners and vets can do to ensure the physical and mental health of older adults, that’s not much help if you don’t know what signs to look out for.

This is especially pertinent now, with roughly 20 percent of cats in the US estimated to be 11 years or older.

Anyone with a cat in their life will know that they’re probably going to stick around for a while, with the average lifespan of indoor house cats these days hitting an impressive 12 to 15 years. 

This has increased dramatically over the past few decades, with the average cat living to just seven years in the early 1980s, and just over nine years in 1995.

High fives, Creme Puff, you were awesome.

Fur might start thinning, whiskers could turn black, and the skin might go scaly with reduced cleaning.

Average Lifespan Of A Cat

As weve mentioned, the average lifespan of a cat is a rather broad notion. Essentially the range has been narrowed down to approximately 9 to 15 years. The biggest factor that influences the lifespan of a cat, even more so than genetics, is whether your cat is an indoor or an outdoor cat. If you keep your cat indoors for the duration of its life, its liable to exceed 20 years. Conversely, if your cat roams freely, or is even an indoor/outdoor cat, the average life span decreases by 2.5 times, or basically drops to about 5 years. There are a great deal of diverse threats to your cats well-being, which, statistically speaking, vastly reduce the expected lifespan of your outdoor cat.

Average Lifespans Of Popular Cat Breeds

A catâs average lifespan depends on a number of factors. Among these are genetic ones, passed down by a catâs ancestors. As the examples below make clear, some breeds live longer than others:

  • American Shorthair: 15 to 20 years
  • Bengal: 14 to 16 years
  • Burmese: 16 to 18 years
  • Maine Coon: 10 to 13 years
  • Manx: 8 to 14 years
  • Persian: 10 to 17 years
  • Ragdoll: 15 to 18 years
  • Russian Blue: 15 to 20 years
  • Savannah: 12 to 20 years
  • Siamese: 12 to 20 years
  • Sphynx: 10 to 15 years

How Long Do Devon Rex Cats Live

Devon Rex cats live to be 10 15 years old. That ranks about average, but this breed does not have as much backend on the lifespan. Its rare to find a Devon rex that lives past 15 years of age, but it can occur for some senior cats. If you find a Devon Rex that lives to be 20, consider yourself lucky!

Coat Type Long

Maine coons also weight quite a bit compared to the average house cat. The extra weight has an impact on the overall health of the cat, so its important to keep them physically active and get regular checkups for weight.

Some health issues to keep an eye on would be Hip dysplasia which can impact Maine Coon cats especially.

Indoor Vs Outdoor Cat Life Expectancy: Sum Up

Sad to say, but inside/outside cats live an average of only two to five years.  


There are dangers and environmental factors outdoors that can severely shorten the life of your cat.

You may think your cat is happier spending time outside, but if you want them to live the longest, healthiest life, then keeping them safely indoors is the best thing.

With creativity and toys, they can satisfy their needs to hunt and stalk indoors and be happy healthy indoor cats.

Outdoors, they face such dangers as fights with dogs or other cats, cars, poisoning , predators, illnesses from other animals, or being picked up by animal control and subsequently euthanized.

Yes, for a cat, being outside also means being in danger.

The shortest lifespan of all is that of an outside-only cat.

These poor guys live an average of just two years.

They face all of the above dangers, with the addition of starvation.

The life of stray or feral cats is short, starving, and scary.

This is why it is important to make sure you spay and neuter your cats, because there are so many homeless ones, and to find good homes for any you come across who dont have one.

Even feral cats can have longer, healthier lives as barn cats horse owners are happy to have cats to keep down on rodents in the feed, and the feral cats have a safe barn for shelter, food, and water.

Work That Calicos Body

You may be doing everything right, but if your fur baby doesnt receive enough exercise, health problems could develop. Outdoor cats are usually moving around pretty well. But what about your indoor kitty. They generally are sleeping in a sunbeam instead of working out.

Its up to you to motivate for your calico to exercise. It could be a vigorous game of string or rolling a ball across the floor, but you need to keep your calico moving. In case the ball is a yawn to your kitty, try a couple of these:


The cats meow is combining a string and feather. This will keep her going for a while. You may even see a couple of leaps in the air. Dont worry, its non-toxic and made from eco-friendly material. And its a set of several feathers and other attachments. Have fun!


A ball spins and rolls around a three-layer track. This is great for cats or kittens. It will tie in with your kittys hunting instinct. Since its interactive, it gives her both mental and physical stimulation. Its passive on your part. You just sit back and watch the fun.


This one is a hoot. Its a 360-degree rotating ball. Its complete with feathers, birds, and mouse toys. It has a rechargeable battery with a USB port. It lasts for three to four hours. Because it randomly rolls around, your kitty will never know which way its going to go. This makes the hunt more exciting.

Calculate How Long Do Cats Live In Human Years

How Long Do Indoor Cats Live? Life Cycle of Cats

Now that you know how long cats can live, surely the next thing you are interested in discovering is the equivalence between the feline and human ages.

We could say that a one-year-old cat would be like a 16-year-old human adolescent. A two-year-old cat would be similar to a 21-year-old, and thereafter, each year of your cats age will be roughly four human years.

In any case, and as we have already explained, the answer to how many years a cat can live is not exact and neither is the equivalence between human and feline years. In reality, everything depends on the environment and genetics, both in the case of people and cats.

Your Cat’s Weight & Exercise

An overweight cat may have issues with bone, joint, liver, heart, lung, and other systems. Extra weight put on these systems can be incredibly detrimental to your cat’s overall health. However, an underweight cat can have just as many problems.

Keeping your cat at an ideal body weight and allowing them plenty of opportunities to get exercise, will help mitigate weight issues in the long run. Contact your veterinarian to help you come up with the best weight and exercise plan specifically for your pet.

Provide Plenty Of Food And Water

Food and water are essential for cats to function. Make sure to always provide your cat access to clean water so they can function optimally at all times.

The food your cat eats also matters. It is not wise to feed them just anything. Consult with your vet to find the best food for you cat depending on their current health condition. Youll need to make considerations for prescription food if they have any health conditions.

Will My Cats Behavior Change If He Goes Outdoors

Its possible! Cats that are allowed outside may be less likely to develop behavior problems like urinating outside the litter box and stalking and attacking people in the home. According to International Cat Care, these actions can be the result of boredom and frustration. Theyre also less likely to scratch furniture since theyre already clawing trees and other things outdoors.  

How Long Do Wild Cats Live

With all this talk about how indoor life, veterinary care, and nutrition can extend the lifespan of a cat, what about the cats that live in the wild? Unfortunately, the pressures to surviving in the wild are even greater for wild cats. The lifespan of a wild cat is drastically shorter. While tigers in captivity commonly make it into their 20s, the average lifespan in the wild is far less at 10 to 15 years. Its pretty typical for half of a litter to  not make it more than two years as well. Lions follow along the same lines as the tiger, while mountain lions experience a slightly shorter lifespan at 8 to 13 years. On the smaller side, a bobcats life expectancy is only around seven years, while the wildcat is closer to 14.

Benefits Of Outdoor Cats

The main advantage of keeping an outdoor cat is that it will provide the most stimulating environment.

Theres a reason that curiosity is synonymous with cats.

Thats important for maintaining a healthy weight.

Obesity is just as much a problem for cats as it is for people.

Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that nearly 60 percent of cats are overweight.

You may have other practical reasons for letting your cat outside.

  • Perhaps your pet has damaged furniture or carpets.
  • Maybe you dont like having to deal with a litter box.
  • Or your cat is proving herself to be a great mouser.
  • But there are downsides to an outdoor cat.

    Disadvantages of an Outdoor Cat

    The primary cons relate to health and, thus, lifespan.

    There are the obvious factors such as cars and other cats.

    However, other things also come into play including:

    • People
    • Disease and

    Some of these conditions can affect you and your family too such as ringworm and ticks.

    A pet can get fleas even from your backyard.

    Then, there is the issue of songbirds.

    The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute estimates that cats kill up to 4 billion songbirds each year.

    How Long Do Cats Live

    Pet parents want to know how long they can expect their cats to live. The information helps with practical planning and emotional readiness. And while nobody can tell you exactly how long an individuals lifespan will be, statistics do allow us to answer the question How long do cats live? in a general way.

    The feline life expectancy that is quoted in reference texts varies, but a good, average figure is 10 to 15 years.Another statistic that veterinarians commonly use in practice is the following:

    Cats who spend significant unsupervised time outdoors tend to survive to be about 7 years old, while indoor-only cats can be expected to live to around 14 years of age.

    These numbers may seem low, but they represent an average of the lifespans of ancient, well-cared-for kitties; unfortunate individuals who died early from disease or accident; and everybody in between.

    Heres an example using a rather typical litter of four. The senior citizen of the group makes it to 18 years old, with another sibling dying from an age-related disease at a very respectable 15. So far, so good. However, one littermate succumbed to an infectious disease as a kitten and the fourth cat was killed by a car at the relatively young age of 10. If you look at the litter as a whole, they fall on the low end of that 10- to 15-year life expectancy range, despite the longevity of two of the cats.

    Age of Cat


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