Have you ever asked yourself how long cats live? People joke that cats have nine lives, but is there really any truth to all of that? First, you need to consider the fact that there are a whole lot of different factors that go into the average lifespan of a cat. Sure, there a ‘textbook’ average, but it will really depend greatly on a variety of different things. For instance, you have to consider their environment, their health and nutrition, and other factors that play an important part in how long a cat will live.
If you take everything out of the equation, and just look at the average lifespan of a housecat, you will see that there are severe inconsistencies, with the average being anywhere between 10 and 20 years of age. This is a rather large range, and some cats can even live longer than 20 years! Let’s take a closer look into the factors that will ultimately determine how long a cat will live.
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How Sterilization Plays a Role
You hear all of the hype about how it is so important to have your pets spayed and neutered, and we couldn’t agree more. Having your cats spayed or neutered will help to cut down their risks of developing certain diseases of the reproductive system that often affect older cats. If you want your cat to live a long and healthy life, it may be time to book an appointment for them to be sterilized. This has many other great benefits as well, and isn’t only beneficial when it comes to improving the chances of a long life.
Is Breed a Factor? What About Gender?
Breed is definitely a huge factor when it comes to how long a cat will live.
Surprisingly enough, mixed breed cats tend to live longer than purebred cats. While we don’t have the time to go into each breed and how long they live on average, we do know that it does play a part. Aside from breed, gender may also play a role. Female cats will usually live a couple years longer than male cats, on average.
Indoor Cats Vs. Outdoor Cats
Another important factor to consider is indoor vs. outdoor cats. Indoor cats are typically going to live longer than outdoor cats, and for obvious reasons. When cats live outdoors, they don’t usually have as long of a life because they are often left to fend for themselves. Homeless cats and wild cats, however, have the shortest life expectancy, because they may be unable to fend for themselves in the presence of danger, or may be unable to find adequate nutrients in the wild. If you have a cat, it is recommended that you keep them indoors to ensure their safety. While many cats know how to hold their own, some cats may not have what it takes to stand up against a ‘bully’.
Did you know that indoor cats can actually live up to three times longer than outdoor cats? While we already stated obvious reasons why this would be the case, you also have to consider other factors. Typically, indoor cats have been sterilized and vaccinated. They also don’t have to deal with the dangers and stresses that come along with living in the outside world. They also have clean water and fresh food readily available to them, giving them an edge against outdoor cats when it comes to lifespan.
But My Cat is 23!
Okay, so there are going to be a few people reading this that have a cat that has far outlived the average lifespan. That happens.
In fact, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the record for the oldest cat in the world is held by a cat named Crème Puff, who lived to be 38 years old! While it isn’t likely that your cat will live that long, it has happened before. This is why you see some people that have cats that live 20 plus years, and others that may not even make it ten years. Since the numbers are just averages, you can’t really say for sure how long cats live.
Tips to Ensure a Long Life
When it comes to ensuring that your cat lives a long and healthy life, there are a lot of things that you can do.
Here are a few tips to ensure that your cat lives as long as possible:
- Get your cat spayed or neutered, preferably by around 5 months of age
- Properly groom your cat regularly to prevent hairballs and other problems
- Stimulate your cat’s mind with fun toys and other activities that keep them engaged
- Avoid having poisonous plants in your home that may look appetizing to your cat
- Ensure that you feed your cat a healthy diet that grows with them as they age
- Make sure that you are using pet friendly cleaning agents around your home
- Avoid feeding your cat too much by scheduling their feedings regularly instead of free feeding
- Maintain good dental health from the start
- Give your cat unlimited access to fresh water so that they stay healthy and hydrated
- Use high quality cat food that has all of the proper nutrients needed for their life stages
- Avoid declawing your cat as it impairs their ability to defend themselves should they get outside
- Let your cat stay indoors, especially at night and during the cold winter months
- Stay current on vaccinations and schedule regular visits for your cat to have a checkup at the vet
Now that you know the answer to the age old question of how long do cats live, you can measure and see how your cat falls among the averages. Comment below and let us know how old your cat is!