How Long Do Cats Live? All About Your Feline Friend’s Average Lifespan

A cat owner’s most common question is probably, how long will my cat live? After all, we treat our furry friends like family. If you are worried about your kitty, read on to find out more about the average cat life expectancy. In this post, we will also go over factors that can potentially increase your cat’s lifespan!

How Long Do Cats Live?

On average the lifespan of a cat is 13-17 years. The oldest cat according to the Guinness Book of World Record lived to 38 years old. Just like with humans, there are several factors that can influence a cat’s life expectancy. The biggest factor to affect lifespan is whether the cat is an indoor or outdoor cat. Other factors include genetics, breed, nutrition and whether they are spayed or neutered.

Indoor cats vs outdoor cats and Lifespan

Unowned cats are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to lifespan. On average only 25% of kittens born outside survive their first 6 months. If the kittens do become adults but they do not have a caretaker, the average life expectancy is only 2 years.

If you have a pet cat and you let them go outside, they will be exposed to more risks than an indoor cat. Outdoor cats have a greater risk of getting injured by a predator, hit by car and exposure to illness and parasites. If you want your cat to live a long healthy life, they have much better odds if they are an indoor only cat.

Purebred cats vs Mixed Breed cats and Lifespan

While certain cat breeds do have long lifespans, there is some evidence that suggests Mixed Cat breeds can live longer and have less health problems than than their purebred counterparts. This is due to heterosis. Simply put, mixed breed cats have access to greater gene pool which reduces the risk of genetic disorders. Both purebreds and mixed breed cats can live past the average.

Diet and Lifespan

Just like with humans, a healthy diet can increase your cat’s odds of living longer. Cats are obligate carnivores and their bodies function best on a high protein diet. Feeding your cat a balanced raw food diet can keep your cat a healthy weight and reduce the risk of disease. Feline Diabetes, Kidney Disease and Urinary Tract Infections are all linked to cats a diet high in dry cat food and should be avoided if possible.

Female vs Male Cats and Lifespan

On average, female cats live a year or two longer than their male counterparts.

Can Spaying or Neutering increase lifespan?

When you spay and neuter your cat, not only do you prevent unwanted pregnancies, you also reduce your cat’s risk to certain illnesses and diseases. Spayed female cats have a lower risk of certain cancers including mammary, ovarian and uterine. Neutering males reduce the risk of testicular cancer and significantly lowers the risk of prostate cancer.

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