What is the average lifespan of a cat?

The lifespan of a cat is very dependent on a number of factors such as environment, breeding, diet and so on. This article aims to talk about all these factors to help inform the average reader what they can expect when owning a cat.


While breeds themselves don’t seem to overly effect the life span of a cat, cats that are mixed-breed tend to live longer that their pure bred counterparts. This is likely due to past inbreeding with pure-breads which leads to an increased likelihood of genetic diseases that can severely limit the age a cat can reach and quality of life. It is for this reason that this site encourages adoption from a shelter instead of a pet shop or breeder since shelter cats are more likely to be mixed-breed and therefore live a longer and fuller life.


Diet is incredibly important for a cat. Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT feed a cat a vegetarian or vegan diet! They need protein above all else and require an even higher ratio than dogs do. They are obligate carnivores (true carnivores) and do not have the necessary organs to digest plant material. Also, as they get older they are less able to digest carbohydrates and lactose so a more pure meat diet full of poultry and fish is the way to go. Cats that do not have a good diet are likely to be prone to more illnesses and can even start to lose their fur!

Spay and Neuter:

Cats that have been spayed or neutered are no longer prone to developing diseases that affect the cat’s reproductive system when they get older. This and the fact that they will be less likely to roam looking for a mate will increase your cats chance at a longer and healthier life.

Environment : Inside vs Outside

Outside cat

Outside cats on average life to be 5-10 years. This is because they are more prone to dangers outside of the house. They could be hurt from falling from trees or from fights with other animals. They could also contact illnesses from other cats as well as have a higher change of getting fleas and ticks that could be fatal. The main benefit from a outside lifestyle is that cats get more exercise and are stimulated by their surroundings.

Inside cat

Inside cats on average live 2-3 times longer that outside cats, living to be around 15-20 years old! Inside cats are often vaccinated and sterilised so are less likely to get diseases and infections from these factors. They are also not exposed to the hazards that exist in an urban environment (such as cars and dogs). However, they need be given more attention. Play time is very important as it is one of their main ways to exercise which is necessary to avoid obesity which comes with other health issues.

Longest living cat

The title of longest living cat in the Guinness book of records is held by a cat by the name of Creme Puff who lived to the ripe old age of 38 years and 3 days! Today the oldest living cats seem to average around 30 years which is still an impressive feet.

I hope this article was helpful and remember that cats are a long-term partner and should be treated as such.

Here are also some other helpful articles on cat lifespans that you can check out!