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How Long do Cats Live? Average Lifespan and Expectancy

How Long do Cats Live?

A cat’s lifespan can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, but whether it is an indoor cat or an outdoor cat will have more of an affect on its lifespan than its breed. Understanding how long your cat is expected to live and making sure you do all you can to extend its life is essential to ensuring your little feline friend stay by your side for many years to come.

How Long do Cats Live in the Wild?

Feral and wild cats live for just 4 to 5 years on average, and the life expectancy for outdoor cats isn’t much greater either. Outdoor cats are exposed to a host of dangers, from traffic to wild animals, poisons, other cats and even humans. People who have had cats all of their lives usually have at least 1 story of a beloved cat being killed long before its time, which is all the reason you need to keep it indoors.

How Long do Indoor Cats Live?

An indoor cat is a safer, tamer cat that is not as exposed and at risk and is also not going to do as much damage to wildlife. Many cat experts, including King of Cats Jackson Galaxy, recommend keeping cats indoors for this reason. You might take you cat’s window-staring and their sulking around the house as a sign that they are longing to be outside, but you’re just projecting your human feelings. Trust us, that’s not what they are thinking and they are perfectly happy to have their own little territory to protect and to keep them cozy and warm.

Not only will they be safe and happy, but you will be free from worry and you will have a beloved animal that lives for 12 to 18 years on average.

That’s a huge difference from wild, feral and outdoor cats, but there are still a few things you can do to extend their lifespan and limit their chances of contracting illnesses and suffering from debilitating conditions.

First, make sure they are tagged. That way, if they do get lost you have a greater chance of returning them safely. Secondly, ask your vet to treat them for worms and fleas and to give them their vaccines as soon as possible. That way you can prevent against everything from parasites to leukemia.

Finally, get your door cat spayed or neutered, reducing the chances of many different forms of cancer, as well as hormonal issues, spraying, aggression and more. 9 out of 20 cats that get mammary cancer will die from it, so by paying for this straightforward surgery you can drastically improve their chances of having a long life and also save yourself the stress of having to put up with a cat in heat.

Which Cat Breeds Live the Longest?

Different breeds of cat  have different lifespans, with the lower end ranging from 8 to 12 years and the higher end going all of the way to 16 to 18 and even beyond. Check with our cat breed sections linked above to learn which cat breeds are best suited for your needs as an individual or family and make sure you pay attention to the “lifespan/life expectancy” section on each page.

It’s probably not going to be the main factor in helping you to determine which cat breed is best for you, but it should certainly be a consideration because every cat owner wants their furry friend to live as long and as healthy of a life as possible.