Indoor and Outdoor Cat Life Expectancy Differences

Cat life expectancy depends on numerous factors. One of these factors is whether the cat is an indoor or an outdoor cat. Typically, cats that spend more time outdoors will live less. Stray and feral cats live even less than domesticated cats.

Indoor Cats Life Expectancy

Cats that spend time indoors only, will have a longer life. Indoor cats are less exposed to bacteria, diseases, traffic accidents or the danger of chewing on toxic plants. Indoor cats may live between 12 and 15 years of average. However, the record age of an indoors cat is 25. This is the official record cat age that appears in the Guinness book of records, however, unofficially, some say that the record age is close to 36 years.

Outdoor Cats Life Span

Outdoor cats live less as they are exposed to viruses, bacteria, accidents and fights, which can endanger their health.

A pet that spends more time outdoors may live on average 2 to 3 years less than a cat that lives exclusively indoors. In addition, unexpected accidents may end an outdoor cat's life at any time.

Stray and feral cats live significantly less. On average, a stray cat lives 5 years if he is in a community of cats and 2 to 3 years if he lives by himself. This is due to unbalanced nutrition and lack of veterinary treatment and vaccinations. In addition, feral cats may get killed while fighting other wild animals.

Calculating Cat Years

As cats live less than humans, it is helpful to know how to calculate cat years.

Cats develop a lot in the first 2 years of their life. The first cat year is the equivalent of 15 human years; the second year counts for another 9 human years. By the time the cat is 3 years old, his age is the equivalent of a 32 year old human. The following years will each count as 4 human years. So, a cat that lives to be 12 (which is the average cat life span), is like a 64 year old human.

These are only guidelines; each cat will develop according to breed and environmental factors.

Knowing how to calculate cat years will help you identify and understand the cat's behavior. You may also know what to expect and prevent some age-specific medical conditions and take care of the cat's diet according to his age.

Other Factors Determining Cat Life Span

Other factors that contribute to determining your cat's life span include:

  • Health condition; cats with certain medical conditions will live less
  • Home care; how well you take care of your cat
  • Balanced diet
  • Exercise; a less active cat will have a shorter life span
  • Genetic factors

So, if you want to ensure that your pet lives a long and quality life, make sure you visit the vet on a regular basis, take care of his diet and have him exercise at least a few minutes per day. Prevent cat obesity, as this shortens your cat's life significantly.