How Long Do Cats Live?

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How Long Do Cats Live?

Cats typically live for 15 years on average; however, this number can differ depending on breed, lifestyle and disease factors. Like humans, good genes and leading a healthy life are essential in increasing longevity for your cat or kitten.

Indoor cats generally live longer lives than outdoor pets due to less exposure to hazards like traffic, predators, and disease. However, they still require regular veterinary checkups and vaccinations in order to stay safe.

Life Expectancy

Cats live an average lifespan of approximately 15 years in domestic environments, dependent upon factors like environment, genetics, and lifestyle factors.

Women tend to live longer lives than males. Additionally, females are more likely to undergo surgical sterilization procedures – known to increase lifespan significantly – which further extend their longevity.

Diet, nutrition and overall health all play an integral part in determining a cat’s longevity; providing them with regular exercise sessions as part of an ideal regimen is also crucial to their wellbeing and long-term survival.

Pet owners who provide their cat with a high-quality diet that contains protein-rich meats like fish, chicken or turkey are more likely to see their feline friend live longer. A balanced diet also ensures your feline stays hydrated which is key in maintaining a healthy weight and preventing chronic diseases like diabetes.

Pet parents can help their pets achieve optimal longevity by adopting healthy lifestyle habits for themselves and their animals. For instance, indoor cats tend to be safer because they’re exposed less frequently to elements, pests and diseases that might threaten them outside.

Indoor cats typically reside in cozy and insulated enclosures and have access to fresh water sources. Furthermore, they may receive vaccinations, medication and veterinary attention as necessary.

Popular domestic breeds of cats such as the Persian have an average lifespan between 10-20 years. These cats are affectionate and enjoy cuddling close to their humans.

Egyptian Maus are beautiful felines known for their distinct spotted coat. With an average lifespan of 12-15 years, this breed makes for an excellent investment and loving pet option for owners looking for smart companionship.

Abyssinians, medium-sized cats with strong, lithe bodies and long, slender legs, tend to live 15-18 years on average – although elderly cats may need additional vet checkups.

Some breeds are known to live even longer, such as the Burmese cat with strong Siamese heritage and an exceptional lifespan of 15-18 years. Nebelung are another rare pedigree breed renowned for long lives while Japanese Bobtail are sweet domestic cats that may reach this same longevity threshold.

Age at Death

The age at which cats pass can depend on a number of factors, including their health and environment. Some will live well beyond their expected lifespan while others may need to be put down due to medical conditions that make life less enjoyable or cannot lead a full and active existence anymore.

In this study, we analyzed mortality rates among purebred cats insured at a Swedish insurance company for 12 years (Agria database). Overall, there were 142,049 cat-years at risk in this population with a median age of death greater than 12.5 years and a high percentage insured before age one.

Mortality rates were measured according to gender, age group, breed and diagnosis between 1999 and 2006. Data collection began in 1999.

Utilising nonoverlapping confidence intervals (CI), we calculated median relative mortality (MRs) for 6 diagnostic categories with at least 80 deaths and 31 specific diagnoses accounted for at least 20 deaths each.

Urinary and neoplastic causes of death were among the top five, followed by trauma (NS judged by overlapping CIs), infections, gastrointestinal conditions, and cardiovascular diseases. With increasing age came a decreasing MR of RTAs.

Cats’ lifespans can also be threatened by illnesses like diabetes mellitus and hyperthyroidism, which can damage their kidneys severely and result in weight loss and diminished appetite.

Infection is another cause of cat mortality, especially if they live outdoors and come into contact with harmful pathogens. Other reasons can include chronic renal failure, heart disease or even cancer.

Pet owners going through the loss of a beloved companion should remember they’re not alone and there are resources available to them during this difficult time. Speaking to your veterinarian about how you are feeling can be especially useful; also consider reaching out to professional grief counseling groups or support groups as additional options for emotional support.

The increase in survival over time may be attributed to owners’ willingness to keep their pets longer, along with greater access to veterinary care, but it’s impossible to say for certain whether this increase was attributable solely to improved treatment for older animals and those suffering chronic diseases.

Causes of Death

Understanding what factors cause our beloved cats’ deaths can be heartbreaking, yet knowing why will help ensure they receive proper care in the form of veterinarian treatments as well as hereditary and environmental factors. There are various medical conditions which may hasten their death as well as hereditary factors and environmental issues which should all be taken into consideration.

Severe infections and strokes are often responsible for sudden unexpected cat deaths. They may lead to various symptoms in cats such as loss of consciousness, slurred speech, weakness, paralysis and seizures – often times these fatal conditions will even kill cats instantly!

Infections caused by bacteria can be life-threatening to cats. Brain infections in particular can be particularly severe. Signs of infection in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and fever.

Choking, envenomation, heartworm disease, giardia infection and poisoning are other illnesses which may contribute to sudden cat deaths; therefore it’s essential that any signs or symptoms be brought immediately to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. If your cat exhibits any of these signs it should be seen immediately so they may receive proper care before their condition worsens further.

Age can also play a large role in increasing risk of death for cats. Older cats are more prone to diseases such as cancer, kidney disease and arthritis which increase mortality risk.

Certain breeds are more prone to health conditions than others; as owners should always pay attention to the specific characteristics of each cat they own.

Other symptoms of illness in cats can include loss of appetite, slurred speech, heavy breathing and discharges from eyes or nose. Many times these changes are subtle and easily overlooked.

Feline leukemia virus is another serious threat to felines’ lives, transmitted by mosquitoes and leading to fatal infections and tumors, particularly among older cats.

Chronic kidney disease can quickly lead to sudden death for cats. It affects their kidneys and may be difficult to identify.

Cardiomyopathy, or abnormal thickening of the heart muscle, is one of the leading causes of sudden unexpected cat deaths in the US.

Other causes of sudden cat death may include heartworm disease, kidney failure and hereditary conditions – these can all be avoided by knowing your cat’s history and being aware of early warning signs for illness.


Knowing when it is time for your cat to die can be tricky, but with careful observation and the assistance of professionals you can ensure they enjoy an exceptional quality of life until the very end. Being aware of physical and behavioral changes that indicate when their time has come is key so they receive all of the love and care necessary to have an excellent final stage of life experience.

Pain – Cats that experience discomfort should visit their veterinarian as soon as you notice any sign of distress, as soon as their behavior changes such as moving away or becoming more distant from you. Additionally, keep an eye out for any changes in their personality such as becoming distant.

Dehydration – Sick cats often become reluctant to drink water due to being too tired to expend any additional energy processing it. This can result in severe dehydration that may ultimately be fatal without adequate fluid replacements being administered to your cat.

Heart Disease – Heart disease is another leading cause of cat deaths among older cats. It can progress slowly over time and lead to weight loss and reduced activity levels as well as difficulty in breathing or labored breathing.

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is a retrovirus that can lead to anemia or lymphoma in cats. Most infected cats will recover with supportive care from their owners and appropriate medical treatments, although not always immediately.

FeLV-infected cats can develop various infections, such as feline infectious peritonitis and feline respiratory tract infection. FeLV infections tend to be fatal for younger cats than for their elder counterparts.

As such, it’s vital that your feline friend receive regular checkups and vaccinations to protect them against this potentially lethal illness. You can do this through your veterinarian who will recommend appropriate vaccines for them.


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