Cats Lifespan: How Long Indoor and Outdoor Cats Live – Brisk Pets (2023)

The lifespan of cats is 2 – 16years. Outdoor cats live 2-5 years (in the wild), while domestic cats have a long lifespan. Domestic cats have an average lifetime of around 15 years, which means they frequently outlive most of our companion canines.

Numerous factors might influence how long your cat may live including, breed, environment, diseases, and diet.

Cats are the only domesticated animal in the Felidae family and are frequently referred to as the domestic cat to differentiate it from its wild members.

How Long Does an Indoor Cat Live on Average?

Indoor cats usually have 10-15 years, but outdoor cats have 2-5 years. This handout is meant to help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each lifestyle option so that you can be confident that your cat will have an enriching existence while also being protected from environmental risks.

Notes 1: Indoor cats do not receive the activity they require, which can result in obesity.

By enhancing your environment, you may encourage your cat to get more active and stay fit. A cat tree provides a position for your cat to climb while also sharpening its claws.

A supply of toys, such as plastic mice, bottle corks, or wand-type toys, can stimulate your cat’s natural need to hunt and pounce. Even something as basic as an old box or paper bag may be transformed into a play toy, satisfying a cat’s natural need to hide.

Particular cats require a bit extra encouragement to become active. Making time to play with your cat regularly may provide additional excitement and exercise while also serving as a bonding activity.

Notes 2: Cats are not tamed and thrive in their natural environment’s open spaces, fresh air, and sunshine.

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Many indoor cats like resting on a windowsill, sniffing the breeze, and chatting at the birds just as much. Indeed, one study discovered that cats utilize windows and sunshine at a lower rate than many owners believe.

However, there are methods to provide your cat access to the outdoors while reducing the hazards. A screened-in porch or an outdoor cat enclosure can provide your cat with the sensation of being outside without exposing to the dangers mentioned above.

Sections can be constructed at home or purchased from firms that specialize in cat enclosures. If a selection does not appeal to you, you can teach your cat to walk using a harness.

It will require some time and work, but it is entirely feasible. Consult your veterinarian for advice on pleasantly accomplishing this for both you and your cat.

Notes 3: If cats are not let outside, they are more prone to urinate in the house.

The majority of indoor cats are easily litter box trained. If they begin urinating outside the box, this does not always signal they need to go outdoors.

Cats, for example, frequently wander outside the box when their package is unclean. Additionally, there might be a medical condition causing this difficulty. For further information, see your veterinarian.

How Long Does an Outdoor Cat Live on Average?

Outdoor cats have a life span of about two to five years. The considerable difference is attributable to the numerous risks encountered by an outside cat, including traffic and predators.

Cat Life Cycle

Kitten (up to six months)

This is the most fantastic time to introduce your cat to a variety of new experiences, such as other pets, household noises, being groomed and handled, as well as being acquainted with youngsters and other people.

During this period, you will witness them going through their most rapid growth surge. This is also an excellent time to neuter your pet to prevent undesired litters from occurring.

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Junior (six months – two years)

During this time period, your cat will have grown to its full adult size and will have reached sexual maturity

It is critical to play correctly with your pet since this will positively teach them how to interact with other people. This implies that you should avoid rough and tumble activities with your cat and instead engage with them through toys.

Playing with your hands might encourage biting and scratching, which may seem charming while they’re kittens, but keep in mind that they’ll grow up, and the bites and scratches will become more challenging to deal with as they mature.

Prime (three-six years)

As the name implies, your cat will be at the peak of its physical and mental development during these years. While they are young and healthy, it is still vital to ensure that your cat is up to date on their vaccines and health checks in order to help avoid any infections or illnesses from affecting them in the future.

Mature (seven – 10 years)

At this age, your cat will be the human equivalent of someone in their mid-forties to mid-fifties in terms of physical appearance.

As a result, you may perceive that your pet is becoming more sluggish, and they are more likely to gain some weight as a result. It is critical to closely monitor their food intake to ensure that they are getting the appropriate number of calories for their level of exercise.

When in doubt about whether your cat is overweight or how to reduce feeding times, consult with your veterinarian for assistance.

Do Male Cats Live Longer Than Female Cats?

According to a 2013 research by Banfield Pet Hospital, neutered male cats live 62 percent longer than unneutered male cats, while spayed female cats live 39 percent longer than unspayed female cats.

According to the World Guinness Book Records, the oldest cat ever recorded was Creme Puff, who died in mid-2005 at the age of 38 years, three days.

On average, female cats outlive male cats, whereas neutered cats and crossbred cats outlast whole and purebred cats.

(Video) Indoor Cat Vs. Outdoor Cat?

Can A Cat Live 20 Years?

While it depends on various factors, including chance, some domestic cats can live to be as old as 20 years. They will pass through six critical life phases over their lifetime, which may assist owners, understand specific health/behavioral issues that may emerge and things to watch for.

Variables such as nutrition, healthcare, and environment can affect how long a cat lives. Neutered cats live longer because they are protected from reproductive illnesses and are less inclined to wander.

Almost all domestic cats will die before they reach the age of 20. Some will live into their twenties, and a tiny percentage will live into their 30s.

If one selected a random sample of 1000 cats, I’d estimate that around five would survive to the age of 20. That is a big prediction, and it is 0.5 percent in percentage terms (half a percent).

However, an indoor cat can comfortably survive to the ripe old age of 20 years or more. Indeed, cats may survive into their early twenties if they are kept chiefly inside and their health is maintained. Indoor cats have an average lifetime of 13 to 17 years.

What is Considered Old Age For A Cat?

Cats survive longer than they did 20 years ago, owing to improved diet, veterinarian treatment, and home care.

In recent years, feline ages and life stages have been revised; cats are deemed old when they reach the age of 11, senior cats when they reach the age of 11-14 and super-senior cats when they reach the age of 15 years.

When caring for elderly cats, it might be beneficial to consider their age in human terms.

It is the moment, above all others, when your cat requires some primary care. As cats age, they become less able to maintain their hygiene and checking on your cat often can help you identify any problems that require immediate attention.

A cat’s physiology, behavior, and susceptibility to specific ailments undergo several changes with growing age. Physiological alterations include impaired smell and taste, impaired fat and protein digestion, impaired hearing, immunological function, skin elasticity, and stress tolerance.

(Video) Should You Have an Indoor or Outdoor Cat?

Do Cats Know They are Dying?

Your cat’s activity level will likely decrease as she approaches the end of her life. She will sleep more and may appear to be frail while awake. Additionally, some cats may look sad and listless.

Because cats communicate primarily through body language, they must be sensitive to biological and behavioral changes in the other animals in their environment.

It involves recognizing signs of weakness or changes in body temperature or odor. Additionally, they are perceptive in that they frequently recognize when they are going to die.

Cats have been connected with death for ages, and their perception differs between countries. Black cats are linked with ill luck, sickness, and witches in Western cultures.

However, cats were worshiped and mummified in Ancient Egypt. This resulted in the wholesale slaughter of black cats and the “witches” who care for them.

Summary: Veterinary Care is a Must if You Want To Increase The Cat Lifespan

Even the most knowledgeable cat enthusiast cannot handle everything on their own. Your veterinarian is a partner in pet care, a knowledgeable professional who will provide hands-on assistance from the kitten days to the senior years of your pet’s life.

They will advise you on how to live a happy and healthy life at home, and they will assist you in recognizing warning signals before they develop into significant health problems.

Cats, like people, are prone to chronic health problems that can shorten their lifespan and have a negative influence on their ability to live comfortably.

A qualified veterinarian will ensure that you are doing all possible to make the most of your time with your pet while avoiding giving them excessive stress or pain.


What is the average lifespan of an outdoor cat? ›

Can Indoor cats live 20 years? ›

Indoor cats generally live from 12-18 years of age. Many may live to be in their early 20s. The oldest reported cat, Creme Puff lived to be an amazing 38 years old. Outdoor cats generally live shorter lives due to being more likely to be involved in traumas such as motor vehicle accidents or dog attacks.

Why do outdoor cats have a short lifespan? ›

“Outdoor cats may have shorter lifespans as there are a lot of risky situations out there that indoor cats are not exposed to, such as predators, vehicular injuries and exposure to toxins and infectious diseases, such as of bacterial, viral, parasitic or fungal origin,” Dr. Spano said.

Are cats happier inside or outside? ›

If you love letting your cat lounge outside, you may feel tempted to stop reading, but AHS experts want you to know that your outdoor kitty isn't any happier than it could be indoors.

Who lives Longer indoor or outdoor cats? ›

The answer is clear when you realize that the average lifespan of an indoor cat ranges from 10 to 20 years, whereas cats who go outdoors typically live only 2 to 5 years. Cats who are allowed to roam outdoors face huge safety and health risks, and sadly, some pay for that freedom with their lives.

How old is a 14 year old cat in human years? ›

A 14 year old cat is the equivalent to 72 human years old.

Do male or female cats live longer? ›

As in humans, female cats tend to live for longer than male cats. Neutered cats are also likely to live for longer than intact ones, and pure breed cats are less likely to live as long as crossbreeds.

What is the oldest age of a house cat? ›

Flossie is usually found curled up in her favorite yellow blanket. The oldest cat who ever lived, Crème Puff, reached the age of 38 years and three days. They died on August 6, 2005.

What does it mean when a cat sleeps next to you? ›

Cats are often thought of as being independent creatures who are happy in their own company. But your cat can get lonely. Interacting with the human they love helps to enrich their lives (and yours). If your cat sleeps with you this indicates that they enjoy your company and want to spend time with you.

What does it mean when a cat follows you? ›

Your cat is following you because they want your attention

Perhaps they're afraid of something or they may be feeling ill and this has caused a change in their behaviour. Sometimes cats experiencing distress will also want to keep as close to their owner as possible.

Is it cruel to keep a cat outside? ›

In addition to the dangers cats face, it's not fair to wildlife to turn cats loose outdoors. Cats are an invasive, non-native predator species. Your cat may occasionally bring home a mouse or bird, but that's no doubt just a fraction of the animals they actually maim and leave to suffer and die.

Do outside cats get lonely? ›

As it turns out, cats may not be what is perceived by us humans as "lonely" for the same reasons that humans become lonely. According to Dr. Liz Bales, VMD, cats, by nature, are solitary survivors, which means that their social structure does not depend heavily on other cats.

Should you let your cat sleep with you? ›

Allowing your cat to cuddle up with you at night can help reduce stress and may help you fall asleep more quickly. However, they can also interrupt your sleep throughout the night and bring a number of health risks to your bed, too.

Where do cats sleep outside at night? ›

In the wild, cats will sleep wherever they can. They may sleep in caves or abandoned buildings, under porches and trees, or even in bushes. They will also sleep outside on open ground if no shelter is available.

How old is a 12 year old cat in human years? ›

Cat Years to Human Years Chart
Cat Years (cat's age according to the calendar)Human Years (cat's age in equivalent human years, based on stage of development/aging)
21 more rows
Dec 21, 2022

How old is 15 in cat years? ›

3-month-old kitten = 4-year-old child. 6-month-old kitten = 10 human years old. 8-month-old kitten = 15-year-old human. 1-year-old cat = adulthood, the equivalent of 18 human years.

How old is a 20 year old cat in human years? ›

If your cat gets to 20, she's around 97 human years old. Unlike dogs—who have different human age equivalents depending on their size—the formula for cats is universal because they're all roughly the same size.

Do cats remember their owner? ›

When it comes to short-term memory and your cat, cats do have short-term memory and are known to recognize and remember humans (as well as other animals) even after only one interaction.

Do cats forgive? ›

The good news is, despite their reputations for being antisocial, cats love bonding and they do forgive and forget. So, if you're at a loss as to how you're going to rebuild trust and affection with your cat, don't fret.

How do you know it's time to put your cat down? ›

If your pet has lost their zest for life, their appetite or doesn't enjoy any of the things they used to, then it's time to either enlist veterinary intervention or discuss end-of-life care.

Does having two cats make them live longer? ›

Cats that come in pairs tend to be healthier and live longer than single cats because they often get more exercise, which keeps their hearts healthy and reduces their stress. Additionally, exercise lessens the risk of having an overweight pet, and can add years to their life.

Which breed of cat lives longest? ›

Burmese. The official record of the oldest living cat holder is a 35-year-old Burmese cat. Of course, most Burmese cats don't live that long. The average lifespan of Burmese cats is 18 to 25 years and that is certainly much longer than most cats.

How can I increase my cats lifespan? ›

9 Tips to Help Your Cat Live Longer
  1. Keep Up with Those Vet Visits. Regular nose-to-tail examinations are a must for keeping your feline in tip-top shape. ...
  2. Keep Them Inside. ...
  3. Keep Them Hydrated. ...
  4. Spay or Neuter. ...
  5. Improve Their Diet. ...
  6. Manage Their Weight. ...
  7. Dental Hygiene. ...
  8. Fend Off Boredom.
May 31, 2018

Is 17 a good age for a cat? ›

The average lifespan for a pet cat is probably around 13 to 14 years. However, although their lifespan varies, a well cared for cat may commonly live to 15 or beyond, some make it to 18 or 20 and a few extraordinary felines even pass 25 or 30 years of age.

What is a senior cat? ›

Do You Have a Senior or Geriatric Cat? The average age of a domestic indoor cat is 12 to 16 years. By the time your cat reaches the age of seven, they're officially a senior cat. Senior cats have the same needs as adult cats, but a few dietary and behavior changes can help your cat live their best life into old age.

How old is a thirteen year old cat? ›

Cat age chart
Cat AgeHuman Age
12 years64 years
13 years68 years
14 years72 years
15 years76 years
14 more rows

How do cats pick their favorite person? ›

According to a study done by the nutrition company, Canadae, they discovered that the person who makes the most effort is the favorite. People who communicate with their cat by getting to know their cues and motives are more attractive to their cat companions.

Why do cats follow you to the toilet? ›

You'll probably never fully understand why your cat insists on following you into the bathroom. It could be because they hate being away from you, or perhaps they hate that you have access to a part of the house they don't. It could be your kitty is simply curious. Or it's plain old cat stubbornness.

Do cats feel love when you kiss them? ›

Cats do not understand kisses in the same way as humans do. This is because cats interpret emotions and communicate affection very differently from humans. However, many cats do know that a kiss is a human's way of showing love and affection. Some cats will like kisses while others will not.

Why do cats follow you everywhere you go? ›

Apart from showing love and affection, it may also be because cats feel safe when their owners are close by or are curious about where you're going or what you're doing while also acting on their instincts.

Do cats greet you at the door? ›

Although not all cats will come running to greet you as you walk through the door, your cat will show excitement and anticipation in their own way.

What does it mean when a cat purrs? ›

In most cases, cats will purr when they are in a relaxed environment, sending out waves of calmness. This may also occur when you stroke them, and if this is the case, your feline friend is feeling happy or sociable.

What diseases can humans get from cats? ›

Diseases associated with cats
  • Cat scratch disease.
  • Roundworms.
  • Toxoplasmosis.
  • Rabies.
  • Campylobacteriosis.
  • Salmonellosis.
  • Cryptosporidiosis.
  • Giardiasis.

What do cats need to be happy? ›

A typical day for a cat includes about 16 hours of sleep and four to six hours of grooming, playing, hunting, eating and exploring. Make your cat feel right at home by providing him with a few places to sleep. Cats like to sleep and perch in high places.

Are cats smarter than dogs? ›

Though this data might seem to suggest that dogs are twice as intelligent as cats, a direct correlation between larger brain size and increased intelligence has not been conclusively proven. Regardless, dogs' higher neuron count is often viewed as a gauge of their superior intelligence.

Is 10 old for an outdoor cat? ›

Cats older than 8 do not compete as well for resources inside or outside of the home. 1 in 3 cats older than 10yrs can develop arthritis. Elderly cats are average of 75 - 85 yrs old in human years.

What is the longest living outdoor cat? ›

Creme Puff

Do outdoor cats get lonely? ›

For some cats, yes! As mentioned earlier, kittens need other kittens/cats to interact with and develop, cats in the wild find each other and often share resources. Cats are social creatures by nature. The reason we say only some cats get lonely is because many have solitary survival instincts that kick in as an adult.

Is an 11 year old cat considered old? ›

In recent years, feline ages and life-stages have been redefined, cats are considered to be elderly once they reach 11 years with senior cats defined as those aged between 11-14 years and super-senior cats 15 years and upwards. When caring for older cats it sometimes helps to appreciate their age in human terms.

How old is my 17 year old cat in human years? ›

How old is a 17 year old cat in human years? A 17 year old cat is the equivalent to 84 human years old.

How old is 20 in cat years? ›

Cat Years to Human Years Chart
Cat Years (cat's age according to the calendar)Human Years (cat's age in equivalent human years, based on stage of development/aging)
21 more rows
Dec 21, 2022

Is it cruel to have only one cat? ›

Is it cruel to keep a cat as a single pet? Cats need plenty of social interaction, physical exercise, mental stimulation, opportunities for play, and companionship. These needs can often be met by the human family! Remember to meet the needs of your cat or cats every day.

How many times a day should you feed an outdoor cat? ›

It is best to feed once a day, and at the same time each day. Daybreak and dusk usually are the two best times to feed, as cats are up and active then. But keep in mind: if you have predators around, such as coyotes, they too are active at daybreak and dusk.


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