Different species of animal have different lifespans. Even different breeds of cat can vary in their life expectancy by several years.
Why do cats only live 15 years on average for most breeds?
The good news is that there is evidence to suggest that are living longer now than ever. This is mostly due to advances in knowledge and quality of nutrition and health care.
The average life expectancy of a cat is actually mostly dependant on whether you have an indoor or an outdoor cat. Not necessarily the breed, lifestyle, etc.
Outdoor cats are much more likely to have their lives cut short due to the risk of injury of fatality from traffic, predators, and an increased chance of contracting diseases.
Should I Make My Cat an Indoor Cat?
Knowing that your cat will be safer indoors, it’s tempting to make your cat an indoor cat. Cats love the outdoors however, they are natural predators and being outdoors gives them a lot of fun and satisfaction.
Here are some things to consider if you’re debating whether or not to let your cat outside:
Breed – If you have a pedigree breed of cat it’s usually advisable to keep them indoors. If they are worth a lot of money they might get stolen. It’s sad to say it, but it’s true and happens a lot.
Safety – If you live by a busy road, rail tracks, or near any other potential hazards you might have to keep your cat indoors.
Access – How easy will it be for your cat to get home? Will they have easy access to get in day and night? If not, you need to consider if they should be going out.
Advantages of Having an Indoor Cat
- You know where they are at all times
- Indoor cats live longer on average
- It’s fun being able to interact with your cat and give them fuss
Disadvantages of Having an Indoor Cat
- You are responsible for making sure they get enough exercise
- Cats get bored and can be needy at times
- They may destroy furniture sharpening their claws
Tips to Keep Your Cat Healthy and Give Them a Long Life
Good Nutrition – Good nutrition is vital for a healthy and long life. While cats have complex dietary needs, it’s easy to just pick up a bag of food from a supermarket.
Consult with a vet or pet food store attendant and buy the best food for your breed and age of cat. As tempting as it is, lay off the treats and keep them for special occasions only.
Keep up-to-date with Vaccinations – Even indoor cats need their vaccinations to protect them from diseases. As well as being wormed and treated for fleas as often as directed by a vet.
Exercise – This is very important if you have an indoor cat. Cats have a lot of explosive energy to burn off at times, so it’s up to you to play with them or set up some obstacles in your home for them to use.
Oral and medical care – Cats are good at hiding when they have health issues. Check their teeth on a regular basis and take them to the vet if you suspect they are having any kind of health issues.
Average Life Expectancy of Indoor, Outdoor, and Tabby Cats
How long do indoor cats live? – Between 18-20 years.
How long do outdoor cats live? – Between 13-17 years.
How long do tabby cats live? – Between 15-20 years.
You can find the average life expectancy of some of the longest living breeds in this post.