“How long do cats live,” is a common question among cat owners. It’s natural to want to have an idea about life expectancy for our beloved feline friends. The legend says they have nine lives, and while that might seem true when they jump from a 12-foot bookshelf and land on their feet, we know that cat life expectancy is a little more complicated than that.
Cat owners want to know how much time we have to spend with our beloved pets, when to be on the lookout for signs of aging, and how to keep our cats with us as long as we can – so that’s what we’ll talk about here!
How Long Different Types of Cats Live
Cats typically live between 13 and 17 years, but there are a number of different factors that will impact this number. Answers will differ for the questions like, “how long do indoor cats live,” and “how long do outdoor cats live?”
But indoor or outdoor lifestyles aren't the only determining factor in cat life expectancy. Once you understand all the factors that influence how long a cat will live, we can delve into how long indoor cats live, how long outdoor cats will live, and which breeds of cats tend to live the longest.
Factors That Impact Cat Life Expectancy
As with people, various things impact the prediction for how long a cat will live – because remember, it’s only that: a prediction.
In addition to whether a cat lives indoors or outdoors, cat life expectancy will also be determined by a cat’s overall health generally. A solid daily wellness routine with exercise, a healthy diet, mental stimulation, and supportive resources like CBD for cats will certainly impact how long a cat lives. A better cared for cat with an attentive and thoughtful owner will likely live longer than a stray cat on the street. How long a cat lives will also be determined, at least in part, by natural factors like its breed and weight.
How Long Do Indoor Cats Live?
Indoor cats typically have a life expectancy between 13 and 17 years. Creme Puff is the Guinness World Record Holder for Oldest Cat Ever at just over 38 years, but that’s pretty unusual – even for an indoor cat!
Indoor cats benefit from a more consistent schedule, a provider of food and attention, and inherent protection from predators, which are abundant in the outside world – even in cities. This means their lifespan tends to be longer than that of outdoor cats.
Some pet owners feel sad about keeping their cats indoors all the time, but a cat can get plenty of joy from indoor spaces with windows where they can watch the birds and nap in the sun. As long as your indoor cat gets plenty of mental and physical engagement throughout the day, they can be as happy inside as out.
How Long Do Cats Live Outside?
Outdoor cats, on the other hand, can live between two and 16 years. A cat isn’t even considered an adult until about two years old, so this might sound shocking – but it also makes a lot of sense.
Outdoor cats face a number of challenges that indoor cats don’t have to deal with, including inclement weather, lack of food, vehicles, and predators like hawks, dogs, and other cats. The life expectancy range of an outdoor cat is much larger because there are many different definitions of an outdoor cat. If you have a cat who spends most of its time outdoors during the day but comes to you for meals and sleep, his or her life span will likely be on the higher end of this prediction. A stray, on the other hand, might not have a very long life.
An outdoor cat is obviously subjected to more risks that can cut his life short when compared to an indoor cat. But many pet owners decide to give their cats outside time because they are, after all, animals who appreciate the natural world.
Which Cat Breeds Live the Longest?
Typically, American shorthairs and Burmese cats are the breeds that live the longest. The oldest Burmese cat lived to be 27 years old!
An American shorthair is a sort of catch-all term for an American hybrid of many cats, basically the feline version of a “mutt,” so to speak. Creme Puff, the record holder for oldest cat, was a mixed tabby cat, a type of American shorthair. These cats have plenty of strong DNA through natural selection, so they tend to live quite a long time compared to some other pure cat breeds.
Common Issues as Cats Age
Part of the reason it’s important to know how long cats will live is to help cat owners identify when a cat is entering its senior years. A cat becomes a senior around 11 years old. There are a number of common issues that face senior cats, including:
- Sensitive teeth and dental issues
- Kidney health issues
- Weight gain or loss
- Cognitive struggles
Sensitive Teeth and Dental Health
One of the most common struggles for cats as they age is dental health. Many older cats suffer from inflamed gums and dental diseases that can be very painful and make it difficult to eat. Because cats are masters at hiding pain or discomfort, it’s important to make sure they see a veterinarian regularly to check their teeth and gums. No matter their age, many cats just have sensitive teeth, which is why we make our CBD chews for cats soft and tender.
Kidney Health in Senior Cats
A kitty’s kidneys can become a problem as they get older. Cats experience chronic and acute kidney disease at very high rates, and it is one of the leading causes of death among cats. A senior cat whose kidneys aren’t working properly might drink more water than usual, urinate more, have bad breath, or have less of an appetite. Keeping an eye on your cat’s daily behavior and regular veterinary visits can alert you to any issues early while they are easier to address.
To support your cat’s kidney health at every age, consider our Kidney Support Chews that contain CBD for cats and other wellness-boosting ingredients like astragalus root powder, licorice root powder, and nettle leaf extract.
Weight Fluctuation in Older Cats
Older cats often experience some weight fluctuation, meaning they lose or gain weight, sometimes rapidly. It’s important to keep a close eye on your feline’s weight. While the loss or gain of just a few pounds doesn’t seem like much to a human, it can be dramatic and possibly dangerous for a small animal. In cats, rapid weight loss is a cause for concern and can signify underlying severe health issues. If you notice your cat is not eating or losing too much weight, take them to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Cognitive Struggles for Senior Kitties
Older cats sometimes start to experience cognitive changes, especially in their geriatric years. A cat experiencing cognitive decline might display interrupted sleep patterns, less activity, and even aggression. Any changes in your cat’s behavior should be discussed with your veterinarian, who can advise you on how best to help your kitty companion.
How to Help Your Cat Live a Long Life
Now that you know what to expect for your cat’s lifespan and its senior behavior, it’s time to think about how you can keep your cat in tip-top shape for as long as possible. Cat owners are responsible for so much of their pet’s well-being, and there are many ways to improve your cat’s chances of living a long, happy life:
- Giving your cat mental stimulation every day
- Brushing your cat’s teeth
- Visiting your veterinarian regularly
- Providing a holistic daily diet and wellness routine
Mental Stimulation and Play Keep Your Cat Sharp
Daily mental engagement with your feline is just as meaningful as a daily physical wellness routine. Your cat is a smart cookie, and they need to be challenged and have their curiosity piqued every day to keep them that way. Each day, make time to play a quick game of chase-the-laser or feather toy. Also, be sure to set up your cat’s tower by a window with a bird feeder or tree outside so they can watch the world.
Dental Cleaning Is Important for Cats
Your cat needs regular dental care to ensure its gums and teeth stay healthy. Monitoring your cat’s mouth health isn’t always fun, but it’s very important. There are many tools you can use to clean a cat’s teeth, including full cat dental kits with everything you need. Some people just wrap a gauze strip around their finger to use as a “brush.” Never, ever use human toothpaste on your cat. No toothpaste is necessary, just a good brushing!
You should clean your cat’s teeth twice weekly, though senior cats might need more regular cleaning. If you really struggle with the process of brushing your cat’s teeth, you might want to leave it to your veterinarian, who can do it under anesthesia. A professional cleaning can also include x-rays, which can make sure there aren’t any issues below the gumline where you can’t easily see.
Don’t Miss A Veterinary Checkup!
Your veterinarian is your partner in your cat’s health and wellness. They are the most familiar with your cat’s history and health, and it’s important to take your kitty in for regular checkups. Don’t ever hesitate to make an appointment or call your veterinarian regarding your cat’s health. It’s their job to help your cat live a healthy life, and they want to share their knowledge with you!
Provide a Daily Wellness Schedule for Your Cat
Each day, your cat needs to be consuming healthy cat food that gives them all the nutrition they need. You can decide on the proper feeding schedule for your cat by talking to your veterinarian and considering your pet’s age, breed, and activity level. Cats are very much creatures of habit, so feed your cat at the same time each day, so they adapt to their routine. This will strengthen the bond between you and your pet and provide them with mental and emotional security.
CBD for cats is the purr-fect addition to your cat’s daily wellness routine. CBD oil for cats or CBD soft chews for cats make adding CBD as easy as cracking open a can of your kitty’s favorite soft food. A supportive tool that can help your cat maintain playfulness and comfort, CBD has various applications and can be used throughout the day to keep your cat calm and stress-free.
A Healthy, Loved Cat Will Live Longer
As a loving cat owner, it’s natural for you to want to ask, “how long do cats live?” How long indoor cats live will be longer than outdoor cats. Still, the most important factor is the care cats receive in mental stimulation, dental cleanings, proper veterinary care, and a healthy diet and wellness routine. By taking good care of your kitty, you can help them live a long, happy life.