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How Old Do Cats Live To Be

Spay Or Neuter Your Cat

How long do cats live, exactly?

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!

How Is A Cat’s Age Determined

You may be wondering how exactly a cat’s approximate age is determined. Perhaps you have taken in a stray cat that you have been feeding for several weeks, and are curious how old the cat is and what to look for. While looking at a cat’s teeth is often a good indicator, it is not a foolproof method. For that reason, veterinarians prefer to examine the whole cat. In addition to looking for wear along the teeth, veterinarians will examine for any signs of cloudiness to the lenses of the eyes. They will also check for signs of grooming issues as older cats can be less thorough due to dental issues or weight gain. Labwork can show changes in organ function that are more common with age . Keep in mind your veterinarian is making an educated guess as to your cat’s age – there isn’t one specific way of determining a specific age unless the birthday is known.

What If Theyre Indoor Cats

When it comes to the question How long do cats live? all the research weve done overwhelmingly suggests that indoor cats live nearly three times as long as outdoor cats. How long do cats live if theyre indoor cats? Indoor cats are typically sterilized, vaccinated and removed from the stresses, risks and dangers of the outside world. They are fed regularly and have easy access to water that is fresh and clean.

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They require more attention, more distractions, and must be encouraged to get sufficient exercise to avoid obesity. Fortunately, attentive cat owners provide all of those things. The numbers varied widely among all the sites we visited, ranging from 14 to 20 years. Based on the numbers we chronicled, the average lifespan of an indoor cat is 16.875 years.

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How Long Can Cats Live

I can hear you saying, But my cat These numbers are all averages. My cat, Klesko, has always been an outdoor cat and shes 15 years old. There are always outliers that defy averages when it comes to answering How long do cats live?

The Guinness Book of World Records lists the oldest recorded cat age was attained by Creme Puff, a cat who passed away in Austin, Texas, at 38 years and three days old, a truly grand, almost incomprehensible age. The age of the current oldest living cat is much more variable because that information can go out of date at any given moment.

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Reviewing the last several years worth of information, Ive seen the current oldest cat have ages ranging from 23 to 36. In the last decade, the average oldest living cat is 29.857 years old. Who is the current record holder? Rather than risk our own obsolescence, we suggest that you check with the Guinness site. Its page on Oldest Cat Living wisely and expressly states that the current record holder is a flexible and changeable position.

Tell us: How long have your cats lived? We want to hear how old your cats are! What is the longest-lived cat youve ever owned, heard of, or seen? Share your stories and memories in the comments!

This post was originally published in 2017.

Mobility And Activity Levels

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Older cats love to sleep, while kittens love to play. While some older cats are spry and active, generally speaking, the more mature the cat is, the more sedentary it will be.

Senior cats and kittens need to sleep approximately the same amount of time each day – 20 hours. Adult cats, on the other hand, need to rest between 12-15 hours per day. Again, much of this is cat-dependent, but if you take a few days to time how much your cat is sleeping, you should get a rough idea of if they are an adult cat or a senior one.

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On Average How Long Do Cats Live

In our recent article, Whats the Average Life of a Dog, we found out that our canine companions live an average of 10 to 13 years. So how do our kitty companions compare?

If youre a Cat Owner, youll be glad to know that our feline friends have a pretty long life expectancy. Specifically, the average kitty can live to between 13 and 17 years. In fact, many cats live to be around 20 years old, with some of the oldest cats on record living into their early 30s!

But, for a kitty to live beyond the average cat lifespan, there are a few factors to consider. Lifestyle, genetics, diet, and past experiences can all affect how long a cat will live. Lets explore a few of the most influential factors in a cats expected lifespan.

Presence Of Wear And Tear In The Teeth

Examining its teeth is often a good indicator of a cat’s age. It takes six months for a cat to have a complete set of teeth. So, if you see some missing teeth, you’ll know what you have is a precious kitten.

For an adult cat, you can tell its age by looking at signs of wear, plaque, and tartar in its teeth because the more a cat eats, the more the stain will build up.

If your pet has pearly white teeth, then you have a younger cat, but if it has older teeth with more visible stains, chances are you are looking at an older feline.

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Indoor Cats Versus Outdoor Cats

Whether your cat resides completely indoors or goes in and out throughout the day can have more of an impact on their lifespan than some cat owners may realize. There are some more obvious reasons why indoor cats live longer lives than their outdoor counterparts. Some that you may already be able to guess.

Most obviously, indoor cats have easier access to food and freshwater than outdoor cats do more often than not. Whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, you probably still take them for their needed cat vaccinations.

Even with proper vaccines, outdoor cats are exposed to far more dangers than indoor cats lives are. Dangers that vaccines and other medicines cannot protect them from. A few of the lifespan threatening dangers that outdoor cats may encounter include ticks, cars, other animals, and many other stressful encounters that can shorten a cats lifespan.

Beds Suitable For An Older Cat

How Long Do Cats Live? Explained.

Caring for an elderly cat often involves allowing them to rest and relax as needed. Its well known that older cats sleep more, so your cat will appreciate having a variety of cosy, well-padded beds in places that are easy to reach.

The best cat bed for elderly cats is one that is warm, comfortable, and placed somewhere quiet in your home for optimal snoozing. Hammock-style radiator beds are especially warm, which older cats may appreciate.

Another option is the Hide & Sleep, a dual purpose product that allows elderly cats to sleep as well as giving them the opportunity to hide which research suggests reduces stress.

The Hide & Sleep also gives a slightly raised platform for older cats with mobility issues, making it easy for them to reach while still allowing them to survey their surroundings!

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How Old Is My Cat In Human Years How Long Do Cats Live

Cats dont actually age 7 years for every human year, as many people believe. Instead, they age rapidly during the first year, after which the process slows significantly.

How Old Is My Cat in Human Years?

The number of cat years equal to a single human year can only be estimated, though experts have a pretty good idea of the progression based on the ways in which cats mature over their lifespan. Tracie Hotchner, in The Cat Bible , offers a breakdown of human and cat years for the first year of life:

  • 1-month-old kitten = 6-month-old human baby
  • 3-month-old kitten = 4-year-old child
  • 6-month-old kitten = 10 human years old*
  • 8-month-old kitten = 15-year-old human
  • A 1-year-old cat has reached young adulthood, the equivalent of 18 human years**

*Some experts estimate 6 months for a cat as 12 or 15 human years, given that many cats are capable of producing kittens at this age . Veterinarian Arnold Plotnick equates 6 months with 15 years, and 1 year with 24 years, and this may be more accurate given cats ability to become pregnant or sire kittens at 5 or 6 months of age.

**A few slow-maturing cat breeds take several years to reach their full size, though they are capable of producing kittens long before full physical maturity is reached.

According to Hotchner, after the first year, approximate age equivalents are as follows:

  • 2 = 24

How Long Do Cats Live?

The longest-lived cat breeds include the Siamese and the Manx, many of which have lifespans of more than 20 years.

What Is The Maximum Cat Lifespan

Its rare to find a cat that lives past 20 years old. Thats akin to a human living to be 100 it certainly happens, but dont count on it.

That said, there have been cats that have blown well past the 20-year mark. As far as we know, the oldest cat to ever live was a mixed-breed named Crème Puff that passed away at 38 years old, which would be like a human living to be 170 or so.

What was Crème Puffs secret? Her owner, Jake Perry, said he fed her dry food supplemented with turkey bacon, broccoli, coffee , and the occasional eyedropper full of red wine. You wont find many cat experts that recommend a diet like that, but then again, you wont find many cats living to be 38 years old either.

You shouldnt count on your cat living that long, of course, but that represents the outer limit of what we know that a cat can do.

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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.

The Importance Of Routine

How Old Do Cats Live

If youve lived with cats for many years, youre probably familiar with your pet waking you up promptly for breakfast. Cats love routine and as they get old, they really appreciate familiarity and predictability.

You can put them at ease by serving meals at the same time each day, keeping things calm at home and avoiding moving furniture around wherever possible, so the home environment remains familiar and easy to navigate.

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How Long Do Cats Live Desexed Versus Intact

Cats who have been spayed or neutered tend to live longer than cats who havent. And, its not just by a little bit. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, desexed female cats in the US tend to live 39% longer than intact cats, while desexed male cats live 62% longer on average than non-neutered ones. There are a few reasons for this.

On the one hand, both male and female cats who are looking to breed are at high risk for injury. Male cats can roam large distances looking for a mate, despite the danger of predators or traffic. And both males and females have been known to fight for a mate or territory during their search.

Even cats who live inside will do everything they can to leave, potentially injuring themselves in the process. And, indoor cats who do manage to escape may be less experienced around cars and other animals.

There are also unique health risks related to mating and having kittens. Cats who havent been desexed are vulnerable to contracting Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and pregnancy complications. Having offspring also increases the risk for certain types of cancer later in life.

Whats The Average Cat Lifespan

Before we can answer this question, we have to ask one of our own: Will the cat live their life indoors or outdoors?

This simple fact will have a tremendous effect on the cats lifespan. The simple fact is that outdoor cats dont live nearly as long as indoor ones in fact, they live half as long on average. Indoor cats often live to be about 14 years old, while those that spend time outside only live 2 to 5 years.

There are simply too many things in the big world outside your door that can kill your cat, from cars and predators to eating something that they shouldnt. If you want your cat to live as long as possible, then you should never let them go outside.

Thats not to say that every indoor cat will give you 14 years, of course. Your cats lifespan will depend on their breed, how well theyre taken care of, and their genetic history.

Likewise, you may have a tough old cat thats stayed outdoors and lived to the ripe old age of 20. There are no guarantees in this, but there are probabilities at work, and its probable that your indoor cat will long outlive their outdoor counterparts.

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How Long Do Indoor Cats Live: Typical Life Expectancy

Cats are generally stubborn sorts of creatures, even when it comes to growing old. A cats longevity can be influenced by a number of factors. As a cat owner, you want to believe that your cat will live out a long healthy life of many years with you. There are certain steps you can take to help promote a long and healthy life for your feline companion.

Do Most Cats Die Of Old Age

How Long Do Cats Live?

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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How Long Do Cats Live Outside Versus Inside

Another important factor in how long a cat will live has to do with whether theyre allowed to go outside.

Now, there are some benefits for your cat being able to enjoy the fresh air it gives them an opportunity to exercise and seek out mental stimulation. But, theres a major reason why most vets will recommend against unsupervised outdoor time: it significantly lowers a cats life expectancy.

Cats who are able to explore the great outdoors on their own are at high risk of contracting diseases from roadkill, prey, or parasites. Theyre also vulnerable to predators, cars, and other territorial cats.

And, while our cats may want to go outside, that doesnt mean that doing so wont expose them to stressful situations. Close encounters can be traumatic to our feline friends, and high levels of stress are a silent killer for cats.

If you want your cat to be able to stick their whiskers in a flowerbed or sharpen their claws on a tree trunk, you can provide them with supervised time outside. Youll want your cat to be under your control at all times, either by providing them a fenced area to roam or putting them on a leash.

Converting Cat’s Age To Human Years

Another way to answer how long cats live is through converting their age into human years.

But there’s a massive discrepancy between human and feline pet’s age because cats experience infancy, childhood, and adolescence in their first year.

So, multiplying a cat’s age into five, a commonly used formula to determine a cat’s age in human years, is simply unreliable and inaccurate.

To know how old your cat is in human years, AAHA’s provides insight through comparing human and feline life stages:

Cats Life Stages
20 years 96 years

As you’ve noticed, when cats live beyond two years which is equivalent to 24 in humans, you need to add four years every year to convert it into our age.

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