Skip to main content

How Long Do Cats Live?

How Long Do Cats Live?

Posted by Kara on 3rd Jan 2022

Whether you already are a cat parent or are planning to become one, you’ve likely questioned how long cats live. While an average cat’s life expectancy does exist, it’s important to know that there are also many factors that will have an impact on the lifespan of your cat.

The Average Cat Lifespan

Thanks to medical and other advances, cats are living longer than ever. Still, cat years are much shorter than human years.  Very generally speaking, the average lifespan of the domestic cat is between 12 and 20 years of age, which is admittedly a sizable gap.

There are also cats who have outlived the average by decades, such as Creme Puff, the world record holder for oldest cat, who lived an incredible 38 years! 

The length of time a cat lives will depend on many factors. So what determines how long your cat will live?

What Influences Feline Life Expectancy?

Some factors  are obvious influencers where it comes to feline life expectancy, but others may surprise you.

Activity Level and Age

A sedentary lifestyle has a negative effect on feline health and lifespan. A moderately active cat may tend to live longer than a sedentary one. Cat age can also influence their activity level. Older cats may be less active and, therefore, live shorter lives.


Believe it or not, the breed of your cat can be very influential on their life expectancy. For example, a Domestic Shorthair may live between 15 and 20 years, whereas a Devon Rex’s life expectancy is between 9 and 15 years. Of course, this will vary again if your cat is a combination of breeds vs. a purebred.


Diet is important for humans and cats alike. However, dietary balance is incredibly important for your cat’s overall health because cat bodies are sensitive to hydration and sodium levels, to name a few. A general rule is to avoid giving your cat any human food and stick to cat food only.


The environment a cat spends most of their time in will also influence their lifespan. Cats that spend the bulk of their time outdoors tend to experience shorter lifespans than those whose lives are spent indoors. This is because an outdoor cat is exposed to, and therefore more likely to be affected by, dangers like traffic, animal attacks, and certain diseases.

Frequency of Vet Visits

Cats are notorious for keeping illness on the down low. While it may seem like this is a personality trait, it’s actually a survival mechanism. A cat that doesn’t look or act ill won’t appear vulnerable to predators. In a domestic situation, however, this can mean that problems get overlooked until symptoms appear. When this happens, health issues can become irreversible and life-shortening.

Ways to Help Your Cat Live as Long as Possible

There are many ways owners can help their cats live long and healthy lives. These include:

  • Choosing the right food for their dietary and/or medical needs
  • Providing a continuous supply of fresh water
  • Ensuring they receive regular veterinary care
  • Eliminating inactivity with regular playtimes and/or exercise opportunities
  • Considering an indoor lifestyle for your cat

It’s important to always consider your cat’s age and current activity and health levels before implementing any of the above items. Discussing your ideas with your vet first will help you choose the foods, toys, and activities that are best for your cat.

Cat Trees Offer Many Health Benefits

Cats are predators that have evolved to become some of our most beloved family members, but your cat is also a predator with millions of years of climbing, scratching, and scent-marking built into its DNA.

A cat tree provides your kitty with their own space, not to mention the high altitudes they love and many places to scratch, which keeps their claws and bodies healthy. Climbing helps build muscle and releases pent-up energy and excess weight. 

Quality cat furniture from Armarkat offers a wide variety of surfaces, toys, heights, and textures, and many places to nap! With 180 easy-to-assemble models to choose from, it’s easy to find the perfect, environmentally friendly cat tree for every home. Browse our selection today.