Our Veterinary Blog
What is a Cat’s Average Lifespan?
Your cat is family, and you want them to live a long, healthy life. As a cat parent, there are ways you can help make it possible for your cat to achieve a longer lifespan. So, how long do cats typically live for?
Cats typically live for about 14 to 18 years on average. Your cat should get a wellness checkup once a year, possibly more if they are seniors. By doing this, you are potentially saving them with early detection of illness and proper treatment if an issue with their health should occur.
Another factor is that certain cat breeds may live longer than others. If you would like to discover further information about the typical lifespan of a cat, this is the article for you.
Who Are the Oldest Cats, Present and Past?
It is impressive the way that some cats live an exceptionally long life. It is not unusual to see a cat live to be twenty years old. It may be rare, but it is not uncommon. Would it surprise you that some cats have lived even longer than that? Let’s dive into the oldest cats that have ever lived.
The Oldest Cat Ever Recorded
The oldest cat ever documented was a cat named Crème Puff, who was born in 1967 and died in 2005. She was thirty-eight years old when she passed. Talk about defying the odds! She lived in Texas, and she was a tabby mix. Crème Puff’s diet was highly unusual and included:
- Coffee with heavy cream
On special occasions, Crème Puff was allowed to have a drop of red wine. Her pet parent, Jake Perry, had another cat who lived to be thirty-four years old!
The Oldest Living Cat
The oldest living cat on record, as of 2022, is an adorable ginger cat named Samm. He is twenty- six years old. Samm’s pet parent, Charly Briggs, rescued Samm from the streets. He is presently living the high life in Oregon, and his favorite food is macaroni and cheese. Samm’s veterinarian says he is in good health for his age, despite having vision loss in one eye and mild kidney issues.
What is the Average Lifespan of a Cat?
As a pet parent, you want your fur baby to live a long, healthy life. Many aspects come into play regarding how long a cat will live. Typically, outdoor cats do not live as long as indoor cats. Some breeds have a tendency to live lengthier lives than others as well.
The average lifespan of a cat is about 14 to 18 years. Outdoor cats are more susceptible to getting struck by cars, falling prey to predators, and coming in contact with toxic chemicals. Indoor cats tend to live longer lives. Quality veterinary care is also a determining factor.
If you take good care of your cat and they have the right genes, it is the recipe for long, healthy life. Certain cats may live up to 20 years of age if their needs are met, and they receive the care they deserve. However, certain breeds have been known to reach a ripe old age. Below are some examples of different breeds and their average lifespan in years:
- Maine Coon: 10 to 13
- Persian: 10 to 17
- Sphynx: 10 to 15
- Egyptian Mau and Calico: 12 to 15
- Savannah and Siamese: 12 to 20
- Bengal: 14 to 16
- Ragdoll: 15 to 18
- Russian Blue: 15 to 20
- Burmese: 16 to 18
Research has demonstrated that mixed breeds tend to live longer than pure breeds. Research has also suggested that female cats tend to live longer than male cats. However, neither of these factors are set in stone. A well-cared for cat will typically live longer, regardless of breed or sex.
What Factors Determine How Long a Cat Lives?
There are some great ways you can maximize your cat’s life expectancy. When you combine proper nutrition with exercise and regular vet checkups, you give your cat the best chance to be your feline companion for a long time. The following include some of the factors involved in helping to lengthen a cat’s lifespan:
Routine Veterinary Check-ups
Routine checkups are necessary for you to be able to monitor your cat’s health. During your cat’s checkup, the vet will check the state of their overall health, and you will be able to catch any illnesses that may be present early on. This will give them a chance for treatment, a better prognosis, and longer life.
You can avoid many complications from illness with early detection. It is recommended that a cat has a checkup once a year, but more often with older cats, as they become prone to diseases as they age. Cats require ongoing preventive healthcare, no matter their age.
Cats need proper nutrition to keep them strong. Adequate protein helps cats:
- Develop and maintain muscle
- Manufacture antibodies
- Grow and develop
- Break down amino acids
- Have a healthy metabolism, skin, and fur
- Have energy
In addition to getting enough protein, your cat’s food should not have too many carbohydrates. Cats are carnivores, so the bulk of their diet should involve high-quality protein. Essential omega-three and omega-6 fatty acids are also crucial for their health. Taurine is an essential amino acid that protects the heart and overall health.
Diet plays a key role in sustaining your cat’s overall health. You also want to be mindful of how much they eat, and not overfeed them. Overfeeding leads to obesity, which is a significant concern, as it can harm their health.
Nutritional requirements are different for every cat’s age and stage of life. Also, it is imperative that you keep your cat well hydrated. Sufficient hydration will benefit the health of your cat’s kidneys.
Getting Enough Exercise
Making sure your cat gets sufficient exercise is beneficial to their health and can strengthen the bond you share with them. You can get them a cat teaser wand toy and drag it around the house with your feisty feline not far behind, running and hurrying to catch it.
You can also arrange kitty clouds on your wall and encourage your cat to jump and climb up onto them from one to the next. You can also play catch with a good old-fashioned ball and watch them catch it in mid-air. All these options are a great way to get your cat moving and keep them active and healthy, which will help prolong their lifespan.
Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene
The cat community often overlooks this one, but ensuring that your cat has a healthy mouth free of plaque and tartar is essential. Keeping your cat’s teeth and gums clean will help prevent periodontal disease and other health problems.
Getting Them Neutered or Spayed
Overbreeding can break down a cat’s health, and spaying a female cat helps prevent certain types of cancers. Neutering a male cat helps eliminate the chance of testicular cancer and decreases the risk of prostate problems. Spayed and neutered cats have a tendency to live longer, healthier lives.
Many illnesses can be prevented by getting your cat vaccinated against them. Pet parents must keep their cats up to date with all their vaccinations, as they help improve your cat’s good fortune of living a long and fruitful lifespan. Some of these vaccinations include:
- Feline panleukopenia virus
- Feline leukemia virus
- Feline herpesvirus
It is a myth that only outdoor cats need vaccines. Indoor cats need their vaccines just as much as outdoor cats. You should always discuss what vaccines are necessary for your cat with your vet.
Keeping Your Cat Indoors
Keeping your cat indoors protects them from getting hit by a car or being attacked by a wild animal. A cat may also stumble upon toxic chemicals that can be lethal. There are a plethora of dangers for a cat outdoors. Having your cat stay cat indoors is much safer for them.
Cats can survive for a long time if you take steps to protect their health. While your cat cannot live ‘furever,’ there are ways you can prolong their lifespan. Regular checkups, proper nutrition, and keeping them indoors can help keep your feline companion with you for many years.
Do you have any questions about how to help your cat live a long, healthy life? Lakeland Animal Clinic in Lakeland, FL is here to help! Reach out at (863) 688-3338 or book an appointment online. Are you looking for a veterinary career? Our team at Ascend Vets is hiring! Visit our careers page to learn more about veterinary career openings.
Family is family, whether it has two legs or four. At Lakeland Animal Clinic, we've spent the last 40 years healing and caring for your pets. As a family-operated practice, we know that family is about more than simply being related. Animals give us the ability to develop strong bonds and feel great compassion for a fellow living creature.