How Long Do Indoor Cats Live: Typical Life Expectancy

Cats are generally stubborn sorts of creatures, even when it comes to growing old. A cat’s longevity can be influenced by a number of factors. As a cat owner, you want to believe that your cat will live out a long healthy life of many years with you. There are certain steps you can take to help promote a long and healthy life for your feline companion.

Indoor Cats versus Outdoor Cats

Whether your cat resides completely indoors or goes in and out throughout the day can have more of an impact on their lifespan than some cat owners may realize. There are some more obvious reasons why indoor cats live longer lives than their outdoor counterparts. Some that you may already be able to guess. 

Most obviously, indoor cats have easier access to food and freshwater than outdoor cats do more often than not. Whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, you probably still take them for their needed cat vaccinations

Even with proper vaccines, outdoor cats are exposed to far more dangers than indoor cats’ lives are. Dangers that vaccines and other medicines cannot protect them from. A few of the lifespan threatening dangers that outdoor cats may encounter include ticks, cars, other animals, and many other stressful encounters that can shorten a cat’s lifespan. 

Promoting a Long Lifespan for Your Cat

Aside from keeping your cat vaccinated and indoors, there are several things you can do to help support a long and healthy life for your cat. A domestic cat lifespan can range from 12 years to 18 years. As a cat owner, you undoubtedly want to aim for 18 wonderful years with your cat by your side. 

Take them to the Vet

Taking your cat to the vet regularly and whenever a potential problem arises is a great place to start when helping your cat live its happiest and longest life. Cat care should be taken seriously and having your vet as a second set of eyes on your cat’s health will definitely support them in living a long and healthy life with you.

Part of taking your cat to the vet regularly is to have any new or existing issues addressed. These issues can be anything from a slight change in their sleeping or eating habits or a new onset of hairballs. Having your cat’s teeth checked by the vet at each visit is also important for your cat’s longevity. 

Watch Their Diet 

A cat’s health is significantly impacted by their diet for the better or the worst. As a cat owner, it is your responsibility to provide your cat with a healthy, balanced feline nutrition that will support a long lifespan. Always having fresh water available to them is a crucial part of a balanced diet. 

We all want to shower our cats in treats and other goodies, but this is also something you need to be mindful of. You should know how much to feed your cat based on their age and size.

Overfeeding your cat too many treats can have just as poor of an effect on their life span as if you were to overfeed them at mealtime or feed them the wrong kind of food. Treats are great when given in moderation. If your cat is obese, talk to your vet about healthy diet plans for your feline friend and give them cat food that will help them lose weight.

Playtime is Important

Cats are born with an innate love for running around, climbing and jumping, batting toys around, and often getting into mischief. Cats are very curious and active little creatures. You can keep your cat's cognitive abilities high by giving them lots of playtime and toys. Their love for physical activity is something that needs to be supported in order to promote a long and healthy life for your cat. 

Just as playtime is important for young humans, it is also crucial for cats as they grow and develop, even into their older years. If a cat cannot run around and play regularly, they may become depressed. This can have a significant impact on their lifespan. 

If you're not sure how old your cat is, you can refer to our guide on how to tell a cat's age.

Not being able to run around and play often can lead to health problems with your cat. From obesity to poor cardiovascular health. Both of which can also shortened their lifespan. As the owner, you should provide your cat with space to run around and play as well as some cat toys that they can engage with in order to stay happy and active. 

The Longest Living Cat

The cat who has lived the longest life on record so far was a cat named Creme Puff who landed herself a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for her impressive lifespan of 38 years and 3 days. Her owner credits her longevity to their interesting diet of dry cat food given in addition to broccoli, turkey bacon, eggs, and coffee with cream. 

Creme Puff’s owner even claimed to give her an eyedropper full of red wine once per week to “help her circulation.” It may not sound like your typical cat diet, but there must be some merit to it. Although, you definitely should consult your vet before adding coffee or wine into your cat’s diet. 


Cats undeniably have the potential to live long and happy lives with you and your family for many decades. The factors that influence their lifespan include important things like their diet and health maintenance habits. Just by bringing your cat to the vet regularly and providing a healthy and balanced diet, you could potentially help your cat sustain a lifespan for up to 40 happy years.

How long do cats live on average?

Indoor domestic cats live, on average, up to the ripe old age of 17 years (human years). This is a significantly longer lifespan than that of their wild outdoor counterparts.

How long is a cat year?

Generally speaking, the first two years of a cat’s life is considered to be the equivalent of 25 years. From that point onward, each additional year is counted as 4 “cat years” on their life.

How long do tabby cats live?

On average, a healthy indoor tabby cat will live for 12 to 18 long years. This is taking into consideration their health and environmental status. If they do not have any significant health problems and live in a home where they are well taken care of, you shouldn’t be surprised to see a tabby living happily to the age of 18 years old.

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Written by Leo Roux

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