Cat Lifespan

What is the average lifespan of a cat?

With veterinary medicine and nutrition improving every day, it's no wonder cats are living longer than ever. The average lifespan of a cat is 15-20 years with the oldest cat on record living to the grand old age of 38!

Life expectancy of course depends on many things. There is the obvious factor; health. But, there are also other factors such as whether your cat is an outdoor or indoor cat, the former generally having a short lifespan.

So why do indoor cats tend to live longer than outdoor ones?

Indoor cats generally live from 12-18 years of age with many making it to their early 20s. Outdoor cats generally live shorter lives due to being more likely to be involved in traumas such as motor vehicle accidents or dog attacks.

Outdoor cats are also more susceptible to several life threatening viruses including Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)  and Feline Leukaemia that are spread by fighting or contact with an infected cat.

Cat life expectancy

Nutmeg, currently the world's oldest cat 1t 31 years of age. Source: Bored Panda

How can I help increase my cat's life expectancy?

There are many things you can do to help your feline friend live happily through their golden years, such as the following:

  • Observation - your role is essential in noticing small changes to your cat's behaviour or general well being. You can do this by performing a weekly mini-physical examination yourself (if you are unsure about how to do this, ask us next time your cat visits).
  • Also be on the lookout for changes in water intake, appetite, breathing patterns, coat quality, lumps and bumps, coughing, physical abilities, toileting habits and even grooming habits.
  • Routine vaccinations
  • Regular veterinary check-ups including a physical examination
  • Balanced diet to suit your cat's age
  • Maintain a healthy weight range
  • Exercise – regularly engage in moderate playtime
  • Provide a stress free environment