Veterinarian-written / veterinarian-approved articles for your cat.

How Long Do Cats Live?

How long do cats live?

One of the hardest parts of having pets is that they have shorter lifespans than we do. You may be looking at your sweet, new kitten and wondering, "How long do cats live? How long do I have to spend with her?"

The average lifespan of an indoor, spayed or neutered cat is between 14 and 16 years of age. While these are the average numbers, many cats can live much longer than that. In fact, the oldest known cat, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, was a Texas-born kitty named Creme Puff. She was born on August 3rd, 1967 and died on August 6, 2005. That made her 38 years and 3 days old! (Guiness, Oldest Cat Ever)

Currently, the oldest living cat position is held by Scooter, a 30-year-old cat in Mansfield, TX.

Cats Are Living Longer All the Time

The good news is that the lifespans of cats are increasing. Some of the reasons that cats are living longer these days are:

  • The life span of cats is 9-16 years.

    Scientific advances. Medicine is always marching forward. The benefits of this can be seen in the increase in human lifespans as well as those of our pets, due to:

    • Better understanding of disease processes
    • New treatments
    • Improved medications and ways to administer them to cats
    • Increased control of infectious disease through vaccination
  • Cats are more often viewed as part of the family now. Because more and more people view their feline companions as family members, the money for their care is increasingly being worked into the household budget, rather than taken out of discretionary income when it is available.
  • Better access to veterinary care. There are more veterinarians available that work exclusively on small animals, and there is often at least one within a reasonable drive from most homes.
  • Pet insurance. The availability of pet insurance has begun to increase the quality of the veterinary care that cats are receiving, and it is likely that it will continue to do so as more people discover its benefits. Pet insurance allows many people to agree to diagnostics and treatments for their cats when they may not otherwise be able to afford them.

  • Fewer outdoor cats. The outdoors holds many perils for our feline friends. Cars, other cats, wild animals, people that don't like cats, infectious feline viruses; these are all hazards that have shortened cats' lifespans. An increased number of people keeping their cats inside has raised the average lifespan of our feline companions.

One thing is for sure, no matter how much time you have with your sweet kitty-cat, it will never seem like enough. But don't let that stop you from adopting; just because cats' lifespans are shorter than ours doesn't mean that they can't be filled with love, fun, and memories that will last for YOUR entire lifetime.

Works Cited

  1. Oldest Cat Ever. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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