That cat has nine lives. You’ve probably heard someone say that at least once in your life. Or, maybe you’re the one who uttered that very phrase. Cats always seem to land on their feet and remain safe – whether they’ve just jumped from the second story of a building or narrowly escaped from the oncoming path of a car – but how long do cats live?
Most people would submit that cats are resilient creatures with their keen ability to jump and to land safety even from almost unimaginable heights. While a cat may not really have nine lives, they can have long and happy lives.
How Long Do Cats Live?
What is a cat’s average lifespan?
On average, veterinary experts have found domesticated cats live an average of 15 years. However, you have probably heard of many cats who have lived 18 or 20 years or even longer. How long your cat will live depends on several factors, including:
Where does your cat live?
Some cats exclusively live indoors while others are outdoor cats. Where your cat lives will have a large impact on her lifespan. Indoor cats generally live nearly three times longer than their outdoor counterparts. In fact, cats who live indoors only live longer than both exclusively outdoor cats and cats who live indoors and outdoors. If you want your cat to live longer, keep her indoors.
Is your cat overweight?
Make playtime an important part of your day – every day – especially if your cat is overweight. Exercise is important to ensuring a longer lifespan for any animal. However, keeping your cat lean will help contribute to a longer and a healthier life.
In addition to ensuring your cat exercises daily, you can also help her become or remain lean by feeding her a proper diet. A veterinarian can provide you with nutritional guidelines for your cat’s needs, age, and health.
Does your cat have the proper veterinary care?
Younger cats generally have a visit with the veterinarian annually while older cats, often starting at 10, have two visits a year to ensure they are healthy and to keep track of any age-related problems, such as arthritis.
Remember, however, that you can do everything perfectly and your cat still may not live as long as you had hoped. Ensuring your cat gets sufficient exercise, has a healthy diet, and does not become overweight makes a big difference, but there is little you can do about genetics.
How old is your cat? We’d love to know more about them in the comments below.