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How Long Do Cats Live?

By Stacy Painter
published: March 24, 2021 - updated: March 31, 2021 • 2 min. read
fluffy cat getting pet

Table of Contents

You’re well aware that bringing a young kitty into your life is a long-term commitment, but you may be wondering: how long do cats live? Of course the answer will vary, but a cat’s lifespan is affected by a number of factors, including overall health and whether they stay indoors at all times or get to explore the great outdoors. 

All factors taken into account, it is said that cats generally live to be anywhere from 10 to 20 years of age, but the average lifespan of a cat is 15.1 years. 

Every cat is different, and some may face unforeseen accidents or health conditions whereas others can stretch their nine lives to reach their twenties (in human years). According to the 2010 edition of Guinness World Records, the oldest cat ever recorded was named Creme Puff who lived to be 38 years old. 

Outdoor cats face more risks

If your cat is an outdoor explorer, the risk of an unexpected life-threatening accident increases. Getting hit by a car is not the only threat; outdoor cats may also face off with predators such as coyotes, hawks, or even other cats or the neighbor’s dog. Other risks include parasites and pests like fleas and ticks, ingesting pesticides, rat poison or other toxins, getting stuck in a tree, or contracting a disease from another cat such as feline leukemia virus. Due to these unpredictable variables, the average lifespan of an outdoor cat according to Catster is only 5.6 years. 

How to promote a long life

Taking special interest in your cat’s health over the course of his life can help you buy a few extra years with your feline pal. While keeping him indoors all the time is the first step to ensuring a longer life, these other cat care tips can also promote longevity:

  • Feed a healthy diet: Make sure your cat eats a high-quality diet and gets proper hydration each day. 
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight puts your cat at risk of certain health conditions that can shorten his life. Many of these are easily preventable by keeping your cat at a healthy weight.
  • Regular exercise: Keep your kitty active and healthy by playing with him every day.
  • Tune into your cat’s behaviors and body language: Get to know what is normal for your cat so you can recognize abnormal behaviors or body language that could be signs of a health problem. Being able to catch these early will ensure that your cat gets prompt veterinary care before a medical condition gets worse. 
  • Visit the vet annually: Even if you are well-tuned into your cat’s behaviors, your vet is an expert at catching the initial signs of medical issues that you may not be able to see. Regular checkups will help catch health problems early or give you peace of mind that everything is in tip-top shape.
  • Reduce stress: Just like with people, stress can have negative effects on your cat’s health. Maintaining a predictable schedule with dedicated time for bonding each day can help your kitty live a low-stress life.

Ensure good health for all nine of your cat’s lives by making sure you can give them the best veterinary care when they need it. Insuring your cat with a pet insurance plan from Healthy Paws can help cover unexpected veterinary costs.

Stacy Painter profile
By Stacy Painter

Stacy has always been an animal lover and has worked in the pet industry and pet insurance specifically for over a decade. As a writer since early childhood, content writing for Healthy Paws pet insurance was a natural career path to combine her two passions. She currently lives in Florida with her boyfriend and Taiwanese rescue dog, Kaya.

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