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How long do cats live?

How long do cats live?
by Lucinda Beeman

Read time: 3 min

We’ve all heard the saying that cats have 9 lives. But that’s not entirely true. Like us, they only live once. (Which might explain the bookshelf parkour – what a thrill.) And compared to other pets, they have a fairly long lifespan. 

You’re going to be together for a long time. So learn a bit more about the average lifespan of your cat to make the most of your time together.

Average cat lifespan

The average lifepsan of a cat is around 12-14 years old. But depending on the breed, their health, and other factors (including luck), some cats can live to be 20 years old. 

Did you know that the world’s oldest cat record is held by Flossie, who was 26 when the Guinness World Records team visited her?

Indoor cat vs. outdoor cat life expectancy

In general, indoor cats tend to have a longer life expectancy than outdoor cats. 

Although there are certainly exceptions to the rule, cats who are kept indoors or restricted to an enclosed garden are less likely to be involved in traffic accidents, fights with other cats, and other things that might put them at risk. 

While indoor cats can live 12-20 years, the life expectancy of an outdoor cat is just 5-10 years.

Cat life stages

Kitten (up to 6 months)

They grow up so fast, don’t they? This is the lifestage when your cat will grow the quickest. And learn the most about what is safe and unsafe. Usually by personal experience. We’ve all found our kittens in places they shouldn’t be. 

This is the best stage to introduce your cat to lots of new things: other pets, household noises, being brushed and handled, and being around children.

Junior cat (6 months - 2 years)

Junior cats are mostly concerned with playing and hunting. And they’ll continue to learn lots over the first 2 years of their life. Including pouncing on your feet under the duvet. Their motto for this age is ‘F around and find out.’

They’ll also reach sexual maturity. So if they’re outdoor cats or you have other intact cats, it’s time to get them spayed or neutered to prevent unwanted kittens. You have been warned.

Prime cat (3 - 6 years)

No, they’re not a transformer – your cat is in the prime years of their life. This is when they’re likely to be the most healthy and active. Keep them up to date on their vaccinations and health checks to keep it that way.

Mature cat (7 - 10 years)

Once they reach this life stage, your cat is officially considered old. Yes, it’s okay to cry.

They’ll probably start to slow down a bit. And you’ll need to monitor how much they eat so they don’t gain too much weight, which can cause health problems. They’ll probably sleep more.and want more cuddles. And who are we to deny them? They’ve earned it.

Senior cat (11 - 14 years)

This is when your cat will start to slow down a lot more and will need their health monitoring more closely. Extra comfy sleeping spots will be needed too. 

It’s important to enrich your cat’s space at all stages of their life. But as they get older, and are less able to run around, they’ll need the extra mental stimulation. Pick up, or make, some puzzle toys to keep their brains engaged and provide entertainment.

Geriatric cat (15 years and older)

Some cats will enter their geriatric years with plenty of energy. But others will prefer to retire the zoomies in favour of a much slower pace of life – they are OACs (old-age cats) after all. Keep an eye on their behaviour and habits for indications of their health – such as more frequent visits to the litter box or not grooming themselves. You can use KatKin’s Scoop Health cat litter to keep an eye on their health too.

How to Help Your Cat Live Longer

Although part of your cat’s life expectancy is down to genetics and therefore out of your control, there are some things you can do to help extend their lifespan. 

  • Get them neutered – Neutered cats tend to live longer. It prevents them from contracting diseases through mating, developing pyometra (a severe infection in the uterus), and roaming too far from home. (So there’s less risk they’ll get lost or hit by cars.) 

  • Get regular vet checks – Vets will be able to catch illnesses and diseases early, as well as offer preventative care to help your cat live longer. 

  • Get them vaccinated – Making sure your cat has all of their vaccinations will protect them from many nasty diseases or illnesses that could shorten their life.

  • Encourage exercise – Whether your cat is an outdoor lover or you keep them indoors, exercise is an important part of living a long life. Try to play with them every day to get those muscles working. 

  • Feed a healthy diet – Make sure your cat is eating good-quality cat food. Like KatKin. A good diet will contain all the nutrients they need for a long and healthy life. 

  • Limit treats – As fun as it is to give your cat treats, try to avoid giving them too many. They can be high in calories and cause weight gain. That being said, not all treats are made equal. Our Nibbles treats are not only 100% meat (so are basically the healthy option) but also freeze-dried. So they taste great and have all their nutrients. They’re a great option for the occasional treat. 

  • Keep them indoors at night – The risks of your cat being involved in a traffic accident or fighting with another cat are higher at night. So we recommend keeping them indoors when it’s dark.

The best way to support your cat in their happy, healthy, and long life is to feed them the best food possible. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat to thrive. That’s where KatKin comes in. Our cat food recipes are made with 100% real meat, gently cooked to preserve nutrients and frozen to stay fresh without preservatives. Feed your cat fresh cat food to help them live longer and healthier.

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