How Long Does an Average Domestic Cat Live?

Hangai Lilla

2024. July 3 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

The lifespan of our beloved pets has always been a central topic of interest, which is understandable because we want to keep them by our side as long as possible.


From this article, you will learn how long an average cat lives and also get tips on how to extend your pet’s time on Earth.

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How long an avarage cat lives?

An average cat’s lifespan is between 13 and 17 years. Many factors can influence this, including breed, but if we want to determine an average range, this interval is a good estimate. Of course, there are always exceptional cats, like the 27-year-old Flossie, who somehow manage to live to extraordinary ages. The oldest recorded cat, Creme Puff, lived to 38 years and 3 days before passing away in 2005.

Experts believe that domestic cats, or non-pedigree cats, are less affected by hereditary diseases, potentially giving them an average lifespan that is 1-2 years longer. However, a significant factor also plays a huge role in this, which we will discuss immediately.

Ways to Help Your Cat Live Longer

Beyond whether your cat is purebred, many other factors influence its lifespan, including lifestyle, diet, genetics, and regular veterinary visits. As a cat owner, you can impact three of these aspects, and it is your duty to do so. To emphasize this message even more: how long your cat lives largely depends on you!

How long a cat lives depends a lot on the owner. Regular play, for example, keeps cats healthy mentally and physically.

Let’s start with the living conditions. An outdoor or free-roaming cat has an average lifespan of only 2-5 years, unlike indoor cats that live 13-17 years. Therefore, if possible, keep your cat indoors. If you want to provide outdoor experiences, supervise them during these times.

To ensure an indoor cat leads a full life, it’s essential to engage in regular play. This allows the cat to fulfill its natural instincts and get enough exercise to maintain its fitness and mental well-being. Play is thus indispensable for their mental and physical health.

Regarding diet, remember that cats derive all necessary nutrients from animal proteins. Ensure you provide high-quality, protein-rich food suitable for their age and condition. Serve it at least three times daily in small portions.

Additionally, maintain their dental health with regular, daily brushing. (Periodontal diseases can shorten a cat’s life by several years.) Finally, take your cat for an annual vet visit until they are 7 years old, and biannually thereafter, even if they seem healthy. Early detection of diseases can ensure your cat gets the necessary treatment in a timely manner.

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