How Long Does a Cat Live?

When getting a cat you might wonder, how long does a cat live? The life span of a cat depends on several factors:

  • Whether he lives inside or outside
  • How well he is taken care of
  • Diet
  • Genetics
  • General state of health

Indoor Cats

Indoor cats can live a long life, provided they're well taken care of and they're in good health. On average, indoor cats live 12 to 15 years. A cat may reach the age of 21, if he doesn’t have any medical conditions and has a proper diet. The record age for a cat is said to be 36, however, the Guinness World Record is held by a cat in Australia that lived to be 25. Cats that are kept exclusively indoors should live a longer life.

To make sure your cat lives as long as possible:

  • Visit the vet on a regular basis
  • Ensure that your cat gets exercise
  • Take care of his diet

Weigh your cat on a regular basis to make sure he doesn’t get obese, which could significantly reduce his life expectancy.

The cat’s diet must contain proteins, and also fibers, to prevent digestive diseases. Talk to your vet about possible supplements that could prolong the cat’s life.

Outdoor Cats Life Span

Outdoor cats and feral cats that live without owners have shorter lives than domesticated cats. Stray cats live up to 5 years if they are in a community, or 2 to 3 years if they live alone.

Outdoor cats have a shorter lifespan because they may get killed in traffic accidents, animal fights, poisoning or other diseases. Outdoor cats don’t get proper veterinary treatment, and this shortens the feline life span significantly.

Cat Years

Cats develop quickly during their first 2 to 3 years of life. A 4 year old cat is considered in the prime of his life, being around 32 to 34 years old in human years. You can determine your cat’s age in human years according to the following criteria:

  • The first cat year is the equivalent of 15 human years
  • The second year will count as 9 human years, so when a cat is 2 years old, he is like a 25-year old adult
  • The following cat years count each as 4 human years

A 10 year old cat is around 56 in human years, at 15 your cat is like a 75 year old person, while 20 cat years equal 96 human years.

These are only guidelines and each cat’s development may differ according to diet, exercise and hereditary factors. Some purebred cats don’t reach maturity until the age of 3 or 4.

Knowing your cat’s age in human years can help you understand the behavior of your cat, and you can make analogies with human age-related health issues to know what to expect and be able to prevent certain problems.