How Long Do Cats Live?

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Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world, and for good reason. They are adorable, playful, and provide great companionship to their owners. However, just like with any pet, it’s important to understand how long they typically live so that you can provide them with the best possible care and attention throughout their lives.

So, how long do cats live? The answer is that it depends on a variety of factors, including breed, environment, and overall health. On average, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, cats live between 12-16 years, but some can live much longer. In fact, the Guinness World Record for the oldest cat ever recorded is held by a feline named Creme Puff, who lived to be an incredible 38 years old!

kitten feed from bottle

Breed Specific

Breed plays a significant role in determining a cat’s lifespan. Some breeds are more prone to health issues and have shorter lifespans, while others are hardier and can live well into their late teens or even early twenties. For example, Siamese cats are known for their longevity and can live up to 20 years, while Persian cats may only live for 10-15 years.

Indoor vs Outdoor

Another important factor that can affect a cat’s lifespan is their environment. Indoor cats tend to live longer than outdoor cats, as they are not exposed to the same risks such as traffic accidents, predation by other animals, and exposure to diseases. However, it’s important to note that indoor cats can also develop health issues such as obesity and dental problems if they are not given proper exercise and nutrition.

stray cat

Overall Health

Finally, a cat’s overall health and wellness play a significant role in determining their lifespan. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help catch health issues early on and ensure that your cat is receiving the best possible care. Additionally, providing your cat with a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and plenty of mental stimulation can help keep them healthy and happy throughout their lives.

How to Help Keep Your Cat Healthy

Here are some tips to help keep your cat healthy and increase their chances of living a long life:

  • Provide a balanced and nutritious diet: Choose high-quality cat food that provides a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your cat’s age, weight, and health needs.
  • Ensure access to fresh water: Make sure your cat has access to clean, fresh water at all times. Encourage them to drink by providing multiple water bowls throughout your home, especially if you have a multi-level house.
  • Keep your cat active: Provide your cat with opportunities for exercise and play, such as interactive toys or games, climbing structures, and scratching posts. Regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of health problems.
  • Regular veterinary care: Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor your cat’s overall health, detect and treat any health problems early, and keep up to date with vaccinations.
  • Provide mental stimulation: Cats also need mental stimulation, so provide toys that challenge their brain and provide opportunities for exploration, such as puzzle feeders or hiding treats.
  • Keep your cat safe: Keep your cat indoors to protect them from outdoor hazards such as cars, predators, and disease. If you do allow your cat outside, make sure they are supervised and protected with collars and identification tags or microchips.

By following these tips, you can help keep your cat healthy and give them the best chance of living a long and happy life.

cat feeling comfortable with human


It’s important to note that while cats typically live for around 12-16 years, some can live much longer with the proper care and attention. However, it’s also important to be prepared for the possibility of your cat passing away sooner than expected due to unforeseen health issues or accidents. This is why it’s important to cherish the time you have with your feline companion and ensure that they receive the best possible care and attention throughout their lives.

In summary, cats can live for a range of different lengths depending on various factors such as breed, environment, and overall health. While the average lifespan for a cat is between 12-16 years, some can live much longer with the proper care and attention. By providing your cat with the best possible care and attention, you can help ensure that they live a long, healthy, and happy life by your side.

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Reviewed by: Tim Winter

Tim Winter has dedicated his writing and research efforts to animals and wildlife. He explores the globe and sees firsthand the negative impact humans have on the environment. Tim is dedicated to promoting responsible environmental stewardship. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications.