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Cat General Health

How Long Do Cats Live? Understanding the Average Cat Lifespan

As a pet owner, it’s completely normal for you to want your furry friend to stick around for as long as possible. But, how long do cats live for? The truth is, it depends entirely on their lifestyle, diet, and environment. 

Here, we’re going to tell you a little more about the average cat lifespan and what affects it. We’ll also tell you some key differentiators between illness and ageing so that you can look out for any signs that your cat may not be feeling its best. 

Understanding the Average Cat Lifespan

According to studies, the average cat lifespan in the UK is 14 years but the longevity of our purring partners does depend on a few factors. For example, crossbred cats tend to live 1.5 years longer than purebred cats. Also, Bengal cats have a life expectancy of 7.3 years while Birman cats have a life expectancy of 16.1 years. 

While breed does play a role in the average life expectancy of a cat, you also need to pay great attention to your cat’s overall health. A cat that maintains a healthy weight, eats high-quality food, is active, and receives a lot of affection is more likely to live longer than a cat with a poor lifestyle. 

Indoor Cats Vs. Outdoor Cats

When determining cat life expectancy, whether they live indoors or outdoors makes a huge difference. While you may think that they’d be happier outdoors, everything points towards keeping them inside. Yes, your four-legged friend will be itching to get outside but studies suggest that indoor cats live three times as long as their outdoor counterparts

Aside from the fact that they’re removed from the stresses of the outside world, indoor cats tend to have all their vaccines up-to-date and are generally sterilized. Most importantly, they have regular access to water and typically stick to a strict feeding regime. If you’re lucky, you could even spend up to 20 years with your feline friend!

So, how long do cats live for outdoors? Well, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends entirely on their outdoor space. Yes, they can get more exercise and have the freedom to explore but they’ll also be exposed to far more parasites, ticks, fleas, and illnesses

They may come face-to-face with predatory wildlife or worse, a car! The great outdoors can be a scary place for a cat who is used to the comforts of home. We’re sad to say that the average outdoor cat doesn’t normally live past 10 years old

Differentiating Between Sickness and Ageing

Cats are the master of disguise. They’re amazing at hiding when they’re not feeling well so you must pay close attention to their behaviour. If your cat is more lethargic than usual, doesn’t want to play, has gained or lost weight, you may want to get in touch with your local vet. 

While these can all be natural signs of ageing, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Other signs of illness include but are not limited to:

  • Hiding from you
  • Seeming ungroomed
  • Eating or drinking less or more than usual
  • Changes in their toilet habits

So, How Long Do Cats Live For?

As you can see, the average age of cats depends on a variety of factors. In addition to its breed, a cat’s health varies according to their age. Kittens are typically at higher risk of disease than older cats as their immune system isn’t as robust. Younger cats are also more likely to be involved in road accidents.

On the other hand, older cats usually experience more weight issues and aren’t as active as they tend to be less playful. Here’s a life stage chart you can refer to if you’re wondering why your cat isn’t as active or has put on a little weight. While it could be a health issue, you may find it’s a normal sign of ageing and maturity.

Cat Life Stages
Life StageAge
KittenZero to six months
JuniorSeven months to two years
AdultThree to six years
MatureSeven to ten years
SeniorEleven to fourteen years
GeriatricFifteen years old or above

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