What’s the Average Lifespan of a Cat


As a loving pet owner, you certainly want your cat to live as long as possible, and the good news is that specific actions can significantly improve your cat’s total lifetime. Currently, the average lifespan of a cat is 13 to 17 years. However, we can achieve a higher lifespan through advanced veterinary treatments, better nutrition, and a safe lifestyle. 

The fact is that indoor cats have a longer lifespan than outdoor cats because they are not exposed to predators, wildlife, cars, and toxic chemicals. An indoor cat can live up to 20 years because they get a nutritionally balanced diet, get regular health checkups, and live inside a secure home.

Certain cat breeds are known to live longer than others, i.e., Siamese and Mix. Mix breeds are also known for their longevity due to broadening the gene pool, while some species fall short of the average life span, such as Manx and Munchkin.


Table of Contents

  1. Factors affecting the life expectancy
  2. How to increase the life expectancy of your cat?
  3. Final Thoughts

Factors affecting the life expectancy

Want to increase the Average Lifespan of a Cat?

Although some cats can live up to 20 years, the average lifespan varies from 13 to 17 years and greatly depends on many factors. These include:

Routine health checkups

Health care is essential for a pet’s well-being. Therefore, routine checkups are vital to make sure your cat is not dealing with any medical condition. In some cases, many diseases can be treated if detected early; otherwise, even a minor medical issue, if gone unnoticed, can become life-threatening. 

Cats that are immunocompromised and have disrupted organ function might not live as long as other healthy cats. Therefore monthly vet checkups are necessary to protect the health of your cat. 


Diet and nutrition play a crucial role in maintaining good health that ultimately adds to a longer life span. A healthy diet includes feeding cats enough and ensuring that they get a new, breed-appropriate high-quality diet.

Poor and inadequate nutrition makes them prone to health conditions like joint issues. 

Many pet owners get tricked into overfeeding by their mischievous feline companions. Unfortunately, overfeeding leads to obesity which is a growing concern that results in shortened life span. In addition, nutritional requirements vary with age, and some breeds are allergic to certain foods. Therefore, high dietary nutrition must include a ready supply of freshwater to keep your pet well-hydrated. 


Exercise helps stimulate the mind and body by keeping your cat active. The benefits of exercise can promote strong muscles, limber joints and maintain mobility. 

Immobility and lack of proper exercise can cause obesity and other health-related issues that, in return, cut lifespan even shorter.

Keeping them busy

Preventing your cat from boredom and keeping them engaged relieves stress, which positively impacts their life span. For this purpose, you can:

  1. Regular new toys
  2. Provide them climbing opportunities (Cat towers)
  3. Spending time and interacting with them daily

Environmental Factors

When the environment is harsh, such as extreme and variable temperatures, heavy rains, or terrains. These factors act as a stressor for your pets and stimulate anxiety. 

Prolonged exposure to such conditions can make your pet age quicker. Moreover, stress may be caused if they are constantly exposed to toxins like pesticides, lawn fertilizers, insecticides, and other chemicals.

How to increase the life expectancy of your cat?

Keeping your cat active is crucial in increasing the lifespan of your cat.

Regular health checkups

Visit your vet frequently because it aids in the speedy detection of any disease so that it can be treated before it becomes critical or fatal. 

Neuter your cat

Neutering or spaying your cat can extend their life span and also prevents overpopulation. 

Healthy balanced diet

Make sure your cat is getting a complete, age-appropriate, and nutritionally balanced diet. The portion should be according to the cat’s size and age to prevent overfeeding, eventually leading to obesity.

A well-balanced diet should meet the dietary needs of an obligate carnivore. Consequently, the diet must carefully select proteins, fats, carbohydrates, water, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, essential amino acids and vitamins should be added to their diet. 


If your cat has an inactive lifestyle, chances are he’ll soon be overweight due to lack of exercise and urge them to achieve diabetes. Instead, keep your cat active by regularly exercising, climbing, and running. This improves their general health and overall well-being.

Good hygiene

Taking care of oral hygiene and regular brushing can help prevent inflammation of the mouth, soft and healthy fur. Practicing good hygiene can ultimately prolong life and essentially add more years to your cat’s lifespan.

Cat vaccination

Many cats face several life-threatening diseases, and as conscientious pet owners, we have to take steps to protect them from any risks. Fortunately, many illnesses can be prevented through vaccinations. 

Pet owners should keep their cats up-to-date on all of their vaccine shots. Vaccinations can improve the quality of life and ultimately add many years to your cat’s life.

Keep your cat indoors

Keeping your feline indoors protects your cat from getting involved in any fights or being injured by the environment. In addition, a cat with fewer stressors and greater well-being has a longer chance of living a longer life span.

Final Thoughts

The lifespan of a cat varies between 13 to 17 years. Routine visits to the veterinarian, feeding a balanced diet, and regular exercise are some of the most critical factors that can help your cat live longer. 

You can enjoy the company of your four-legged friend for a few more years than average by keeping him up to date on his vaccination and minimizing exposure to outside threats. 

What to do next?

Be sure to check out how much should I feed my cat! This article establishes how much individuals should be feeding their cats to keep them healthy and happy. Read Here!

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Matt Uthaya

Current editor and managing partner at PersonalCat.com. Passionate cat lover and enthusiast, who has 12+ years of cat experience. With years of experience in the cat industry, he is ready to release new feline tips and tricks.

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