How Long Do Cats Live?

how long do cats live

When it comes to a cat’s lifespan, there are obviously several factors that play into it. One thing that many cat owners will argue is the importance of keeping your cat indoors to ensure a longer lifespan. And while practicing precaution is absolutely important, you might be surprised to learn that some of the oldest living cats were actually permitted the opportunity to travel outdoors. But aside from the age-old debate over whether or not cats should be permitted to travel outdoors, there are a few key factors that play directly into determining a cat’s lifespan. Keep reading to find out what they are.

how long do cats live

How long cats live depends on a few key factors…

We know that indoor cats are highly likely to live longer than a cat that is allowed to travel outdoors freely. With that being said, routine veterinary and preventative care go a long way when it comes to a cat’s life expectancy. And there are certain breeds of cats that are known for their longevity, like the Siamese. For a Maine Coon cat, their impressive size can be an exact reason why these cats might not have a lifespan as long as their smaller domesticated kitty counterparts. For the Maine Coon cat breed, their life expectancy is typically 12-15 years. But, this is certainly not to say that the largest cat breed in the domesticated cat world couldn’t live well past that mark!

These days, most felines who are well cared for can live anywhere from 15-20 years, and sometimes, even longer.

So, while a cat’s breed can play a factor, it’s important to note that when it comes to a cat and their health, which in turn plays a factor in their life expectancy, a mixed breed cat has a better chance of being healthier for longer since there are less breed specific health issues to put them at risk. So, if you ask me, it’s just another reason to go and set your heart on a healthy shelter kitty!

For a cat that spends their life exclusively outdoors, it’s suggested that their lifespan is approximately seven years at best. And it would be even less for a feral or stray cat who doesn’t receive shelter and care. Obviously, the elements, predators, cars, and a number of other dangers all directly factor into that number.

Curious how a cat’s life compares to a human’s life in terms of aging? Check out this estimation chart for you below courtesy of The Spruce Pets:

It’s important to note that having your cat spayed or neutered is important aside from just helping to control the pet population, as it’s been proven that cats that have been spayed/neutered are proven to live longer, too.

If you’ve ever wondered why it is that cats go away to die, then you’re certainly not alone. It’s a painful experience that doesn’t give you the comfort of that final goodbye and can leave a lasting impression on you that takes even longer to heal than your cat’s passing alone. If you’d like to know more about why this happens, read my article on this topic here on

If you learned anything new and exciting about our feline friends, don’t forget to share this article with other cat lovers so that they can learn something, too.

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