Many people ask, “how long do cats live,” it is, of course, the responsibility of all cat owners to look after their cats’ well-being. It can be easy for some cat owners to get this assignment done while being a challenging task for others. It has been recorded recently that cats live longer than they use to in time past. This longevity of these feline creatures can be traced to the improvement in nutrition and medications. In present days, cats generally can live up to or over 15 years with respect to their nature, whether it’s an indoor or an outdoor cat.

The life expectancy of a cat being indoors or outdoors depends on many things, including diet, health, and environment. In the general view, it is possible for indoor cats to live up to 20 years, as a matter of fact, Cream Puff, which was recorded the oldest cat lived for 38 years and 3 days and passed away in the year 2005; isn’t that amazing? On the other hand, the cats that stay mostly outside do not live very long due to circumstances as attack-from external factors like predators, road accident, food poisoning, and so on. They’re exposed to life-threatening diseases such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Leukaemia, which are communicable and can be contacted by meeting or mingling with infected cats.

The average life span of a cat

You may be wondering as someone who is about to own a pet and still confused on which to choose between a dog and a cat because you may not know how long a cat can live compared to a dog. Maybe you have been asking the question of “how long do cast live” because you’re new to the system. Averagely, the range of the lifespan of cats has been narrowed down to approximately 9 to 15 years. You’re so lucky to have a cat that may live longer than you ever expect if you have an indoor cat, but outdoor cats don’t live longer as much as indoor cats. Mathematically, we can see that an outdoor cat’s lifespan can be reduced by 2.5 times to that of an indoor cat.

Here, we shall compare and contrast the lifespan of the indoor cats and the outdoor cats, and discuss how to improve on them.

An indoor cat

Indoor cats are most likely to get cared for; they tend to eat nutritious food, good water, shelter, and medications. These all together are the major reasons why indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats. Indoor cats live for an average of 12 to 15 years. Most importantly, indoor cats enjoyed shelter from a harsh climatic condition that could be hazardous to their health. They are prevented from being attacked by wild animals or other big pets that can cause injuries. They don’t engage in combat with other cats, and sexual intercourse is also restricted. They mostly don’t suffer an attack from vehicles on the road due to them always being inside the house most time.

It could be helpful if you can ensure that your cat experiences a good time indoors almost every time, which will prevent them from seeing the outside world.

An outdoor cat

An outdoor cat is a surviving cat. The huge number of challenges they’re facing from time to time is a big factor that is affecting their lifespan. In the bid to answer the question of how long do cats live, it is important to talk about their homes too. Outdoor cats usually use to be wild in nature due to their experiences; they tend not to be very friendly because they see many creatures as their enemies.

Outdoor cats are exposed to parasites and diseases of all sorts that can attack a cat. They’re also exposed to combat with other cats or animals, which may lead to severe injuries. Harsh weather is also a lifetime limiting factor to this creature. Although, there are some funs times which they also experience, such as exploring the city, having playmates, and get natural exercises. Medically, outdoor cats don’t live long due to these reasons. They live at an average age of 5.625 as they can live as low as for 3 years and die.

However, an outdoor cat can be helped, especially if you own one. It is not new to say that many wandering cats have been adopted and made happy indoor that would not want to have anything to do with outside. If you own an outdoor cat or you’re willing to help one on your street, here are some tips that can be used to make them indoor cats.

  • Endeavor always feeds the cat inside and not outside and makes sure it remains inside even after the meal.
  • Avoid yelling, kicking, or hitting the cat. It’ll get scared of you and look for alternatives.
  • Teach them to run away from an open door by throwing their toys or treats to the other side of the rooms.
  • Give them a splash with a water gun or rattle a jar if they try to break the door.
  • Give them a convenient time indoor in any atmospheric condition.
  • Even out of your busy schedule, give them the required time and attention.
  • Buy enough fascinating and safe toys for them.
  • Plant cat grass for them to chew on.

How to improve the lifespan of a cat

To be able to get a valid answer to the question of how long do cats live, one should be able to help the cats improve their well-being.

  1. Giving them nutritious meals: primarily, cats feed on meat so they can be predatory in nature, this should likely reflect in their daily meal. One must be able to watch the cats’ diet because it goes a long way in helping the well-being of the cats. Older cats find it difficult to digest carbohydrates, so some may not be necessary for their meals. It is good for them to consume more protein and fat-rich meals because it helps them so much and does not risk them to cats diabetes. Methionine, taurine, and cystine are some essential amino acids which’s absence may deny them the proper amount of protein that is needed by the cats.
  2. Medications of the cats: parasites and diseases can likely attack cats either indoor or outdoor. Even cats could get infected by diseases through food if they didn’t eat healthy food. Some diseases have a long-term stay in the cats’ body, while some can easily be corrected. Observe your cat’s health condition and take them for medical checkups from time to time to ensure their well-being. Cats which have poor immune defense system may not live as long as those who are healthy. It is advisable to treat diseases and sicknesses in cats at the early stage so that the immune system will not be damaged by the persisting existence of these diseases.
  3. The lifestyle of cats: quite sometimes, the lifestyle of cats, which includes how they live their lives daily, can determine how long cats can live. Indoor cats lifestyle is totally different from that of outdoor cats. It is unarguable that the lifestyle of the indoor cats is far preferable to that of the outdoor cats, which is why the indoor cat spend more years on earth than the outdoor cats. In the case of the indoor cats, they don’t fancy life outside their territory, inside the apartment where they are being looked after. They eat, play, sleep, and enjoy themselves all inside the house. The outdoor cats in the other hand will always spend their time outside, eat from the bin or in the bush, drink dirty water, sleep in an unsafe environment, get bitten by insects, parasites attack them too, and many bad experiences which are strictly far beyond the fun in staying outside the house.

The challenges of an aging cat

It is of great importance to know what happens to our feline friend when they’re growing older. Aging cats face some problems when growing, they must be studied if we must be able to get an answer to how long cats live. Some of the things that will be observed in an aging cat are as follows:

  • Aging cats are likely to gradually lose the ability to hear.
  • The immune system of an aging cat becomes weaker as they are growing older and may not be able to defend the body from foreign
  • Aging cats often develop overgrown claws, which are usually brittle and thick. You will need to regularly trim to avoid inlet of diseases through there or injury during playtime.
  • They begin to develop thinner and less elastic skin. Their blood circulation, too, becomes reduced, which is more open to infection.
  • Felines get older with their eyes having issues too. Diseases like those associated with high blood pressure can also affect the sight of the cats.
  • Disease-associated with the teeth (dental diseases) is also a very common aging challenge that cats face. This challenge can cause them not to eat, and it’s always painful.
  • They do not engage in many things, as usual, they tend to be lazy than usual. Staying almost one place throughout a day may cause hair matting, skin odor.
  • The kidney of an aging cat usually undergoes a lot of changes that may ultimately lead to impaired kidney function due to the cat’s aging. If problems with the kidney are detected earlier, it will help the feline creature get quick medical attention and prolong the cat’s life.
  • There will be a decreased in the sense of smell of an aging There are actually many diseases that can lead to loss of appetite in the cat, but most aging cats will lose interest in eating unlike usual because they could not perceive the food as much as before and they lose interest in the meal. Having issues with the teeth can also be a factor causing them not to eat well as a result of pain encountered from the teeth.
  • Loss of memory and alterations are also signs seen in older cats, just as in the case of aging They wonder, they make sounds unnecessarily and excessively, isolation of themselves from social interactions, and apparent disorientation, which are all a result of memory loss.
  • Hypertension, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, and diabetes mellitus are all diseases that are most common in older cats. Although, any of these diseases can affect a younger cat but not as common as the case may be. Many aged cats can easily be attacked by any of the mentioned ailments.
  • Arthritis or otherwise degenerative joint disease is prevalent among the older cats. This can cause a cat to groom less and may not like to be pat at the back or around their tail. They seem to find it difficult getting to the litter boxes, food and water bowl.

In conclusion, the question: “how long do cats live?” is not the one which can be given a particular or a direct answer. Being an indoor or outdoor cat does not really determine the lifespan of the cat. An indoor cat can die young, but it is more likely for an outdoor cat to face many challenges than the indoor in all aspects. You can also help your outdoor cat become an indoor cat if you have one and can also help a wandering cat on the street. The lifespan of most cats are determined by their owners; how much they cater for them, feed them, check them up medically, shelter them, and make them happy. Just as in the case of humans, cats too get exposure to many challenges as they’re growing older on a daily basis, observe these problems, and improve on them.


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