old man kissing black and white cat - how long cats live is a consideration for elderly people getting a cat

How Long Do Cats Live?


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How long do cats live? Whether you’re looking to become a first time pet owner, want to adopt a cat, or are just toying with the idea of a feline friend, it’s an important question.

A cat with an expected <10-year lifespan requires a vastly different commitment to a cat likely to live for 20 years, especially when you consider your own unique circumstances.

From an emotional standpoint, new kitten parents may wonder how many years of kisses, cuddles, and laughs they can expect to share with a cat. Because our cats are more than friends, they’re family.

Read on to find out more about about the oldest cat in history, and some general cat lifespan facts and figures.

How long do cats live, in general?

The average lifespan of a cat is around 15 years. However, this varies greatly depending on a number of natural and environmental factors. The oldest known cat lived to the astounding age of 38! But more on that later.

Like dogs, a year in a cat’s life is equivalent to much more in human years. So a one year old cat is already like a human teen. By the time they hit the terrible twos, they’re actually all grown up and in their twenties.

Cat years to human years are calculated on a sliding scale. By this we mean just one year when they’re young counts for more ‘human time’ than one year when they’re in their teens.

This chart shows roughly how old your cat is in people years.

Factors affecting how long cats live

Of course, every cat is different. Just like humans, there are lots of factors which influence your lifespan – from genetics right down to diet and exercise.

Here are just three of those factors that can have an impact on your kitty’s expected lifespan.

1. Breed

Like dogs, each cat breed has its own average lifespan and different health needs or predispositions.

For instance, Burmese cats are well known for living long lives and are often still healthy late into their teens or early twenties. On the other hand, Maine Coon and Abyssinian cats tend to have shorter life spans on average.

Take a look online for more specific information on the average lifespan of your cat’s breed. Keep in mind, mixed breed cats with no pedigreed origin often live longer than purebred cats.

And seeing as lifespan can’t be the only factor in your cat decisions, find out more about the friendliest cat breeds and cat breeds’ personalities.

ginger and white cat lying under covers in bed for long sleep

2. Health

Health, diet, and exercise all affect the lifespan of a cat. Just like in humans, a good diet and exercise regime won’t guarantee a long life, but will up your chances of living a long and healthy life.

Your cat needs access to quality food (but not too much of it!), clean water, plenty of space for playing and exercising, and quality medical care for check ups, routine care, and prompt treatment of illnesses. In fact, regular check ups aren’t just good for pets, but for vet mental health too.

Studies also show that if you spay and neuter your cat, they’re likely to live longer. Plus, remember your itty bitty kitty will be a teen in no time so think about this sooner rather than too-later!

3: Lifestyle factors

The way your cat lives and is taken care of can also make a difference to their lifespan. And we don’t just mean in terms of diet or access to medical care, although those are very important.

In the battle of indoor cats vs outdoor cats, indoor ones are generally known to live longer than outdoors. Why? They’re less likely to be injured in a fight, get hit by a car, or become lost. Plus, keeping our felines indoors more helps protect wildlife too.

Oldest cat in the world

The oldest cat in known history was Creme Puff. This tabby mix lived to the ripe old age of 38 years and lived both indoors and outdoors, with a screened outdoor enclosure.

Creme Puff lived with her owner Jake Perry and his many other cats. None of her furry siblings aged quite as gracefully as Creme Puff though. Before she passed away in 2005, her diet consisted of dry cat food. Watch the video below to see Creme Puff in real life:

How long do cats live with cat insurance?

They say cats have nine lives, so your pet insurance per life works out to be a total bargain if you think about it… Especially with our affordable cat insurance.

Depending on the pet cover you choose, it can help pay for a wide range of health care costs, from emergency vet care after an accident to routine vet care. It really will help you help your cat live longer.

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