Cat lifespan relies on many factors: vaccinations, nutrition, lifestyle, environment, weight and a lot of others. It also depends on whether it’s an indoor or outdoor cat.
So how long do cats live as a pet? During an era of the English literary history when all sort of media seem to short-live and novels just started to rise to become popular, Philip Stanhope, the fourth lord of Chesterfield, had a famous aphorism saying that a novel should be exceptionally good to live as long as the average cat.
Does it mean that the average lifespan of a cat could be very long? What exactly did Philip Stanhope mean by this quote of his? It seems like there’s a similarity between the cat lifespan and the novel’s and obviously many criteria to take in consideration in order to better estimate it. So what can affect a cat’s lifespan?
The average lifespan of a cat:
What can affect a cat’s lifespan?
When thinking about the cat lifespan a lot of components get involved. First, there’s cat’s gender, in cat’s world gender equality isn’t applied, but unlike in people’s societies, it’s dictated by nature rather than cats; as female cats genuinely have one or two years longer life expectancy than their male counterparts.
Plus, mixed breed cats live longer than purebred cats according to studies.
Furthermore, even though natural reasons can either shorten or extend the lifespan, a few more reasons get in the way too. The environment where the kitty lives has certainly a huge impact on its life expectancy; an indoor kitty lives longer than an outdoor one which is due to the various threats that it goes through when living in the streets.
And in general, wild, homeless and feral cats live very shorter lives than domestic cats. Also sterilized cats live longer too; as the removal of their genital parts lowers significantly the risk of developing reproductive system related diseases when hitting the old age.
Finally, just like for people, a healthy lifestyle with all the requested medical and nutritional needs is crucial for a longer cat lifespan.
What does Philip’s quote infer to?
The fourth lord of Chesterfield certainly has a deep knowledge when it comes to cat’s life expectancy; as according to a survey of 10 reputable sites discussing the average domestic cat, cat lifespan ranges from 10 to 20 years to make the average cat lifespan 15.1 years . And with the right medical and dietary advancements, a domestic cat can live even longer than 20 years.
How to Convert Your Cat’s Age to Human Years?
With an average lifespan of about 12–14 years, a cat reaching their late teens or even their 20s isn’t unusual and these below are the major 6 life stages for cats:
- Kitten from birth to 6 months: It’s a period where the kitten grows up rapidly but still isn’t sexually mature.
- Junior from 7months to two years: It’s a period during which the kitten reaches full size, starts learning about life and how to survive it.
- Prime from 3 to 6 years: The physical and behavioral aspects have reached their maturity, the cat is now living his best life being healthy and active, also looking smooth and shiny.
- Mature from 7 to 10 years: The cat is currently mature, in a human’s scale, it’s equivalent to a mid-40-50 years person.
- Senior from 11 to 14 years: It’s equivalent to about 70 human years.
- Very… like very Senior from 15 years: Nowadays with the nutritional and health care advancement, many cats not only reach this age and above it, but also reach it with no signs of being geriatric at all!
Are 15 years old for a cat?
According to the list above made by many pet professionals to give the kitty its approximate age, 15 years is certainly old for a cat, also knowing that it’s around the average lifespan so far, a 15 years old cat is certainly not a little kitten. So what is considered old for a cat?
Starting the senior phase (around 11-14 years) the cat is considered old, but with the right home care and the adequate lifestyle 15 years old could be just another year in the long life of the kitty without any signs of aging.
Calculating the equivalent of the cat’s age:
How old is a 13-year-old cat in human years? There’s a formula by which you can calculate the equivalent age. It’s very simple: The first two years are equivalent to 24 human years, and every year afterward is equivalent to 4 human years. So if we do the math correctly: 13 years would be equivalent to around 68 human years.
How old is a cat in 7 human years?
Knowing that during the first two years the kitty ages tremendously fast, 7 human years would probably be equivalent to a 6 months old kitty.
What is the average life expectancy of an indoor cat?
Do indoor cats live longer?
Researches have concluded that thanks to the home care indoor cats live around three times longer than an outdoor cat, which makes sense; indoor cats have the chance to find clean freshwater and foods whenever they need, they’re mostly sterilized which prevents late reproductive parts related diseases, they live a stress free life, they are informed of all the necessary vaccinations and have regular vet visits to prevent any future health complications and above all they’re protected against any outdoor risks and dangers.
Maybe they require more attention and more time to distract them and make them exercise to avoid obesity and joint issues as well, but fortunately, with attentive and caring cat owners, all of these needs are provided and more. Thus, the lifespan of an indoor cat is ranging from 14 to 20 years, which makes the average cat lifespan around 16.875 years.
When it comes to outdoor cats, the lifespan depends on different criteria, due to the different challenges it gets confronted to every day. But before estimating the outdoor cat lifespan, we need to define what “outdoor” means in terms of where the cat lives. It could be an urban, suburban, rural or remote location, or it could be a neighborhood with an abundance of predatory wildlife, where lots and lots of feral or stray animals live nearby, or next to roads.
Also read : Cat Hair Loss Home Remedies
All of these factors increase the risk of getting fleas, ticks, and all sort of illnesses, get into ferocious fights or having an unfortunate accident. Although they get to be free to explore, mark their territory, and get natural exercise, because of the unpredictable variables, their cat lifespan ranges from 3 to 10 years, and the average is around 5.625 years.
Also Check this interesting post If you are interest in how to apply revolution for cats
Do smaller cats live longer?
Small cats tend to live longer than larger cats, but the difference isn’t noticeable as in dogs. What really makes a difference are all the elements mentioned above and most importantly the quality of the lifestyle.
I agree, but isn’t there an exception?!
One of our writers said: “yes…I hear you, but my cat Princess has always been an outdoor cat and she’s now more than 16 years old. Does it mean that Princess is the exception that defies the general rule of the average cat lifespan?”
Actually, The Guinness Book of World Records listed the oldest cat recorded called Creme Puff; it’s a cat who passed away in Austin, Texas, at the age of 38 years and three days old, A real miracle, maybe it’s the cat Philip Stanhope was talking about!
Currently, the oldest cat alive is much more variable because that information can go out of date at any given moment.
During these last years, the “current” oldest living cats have ages ranging from 23 to 36. The average oldest living cat is 29.857 years old, in the last decade. Maybe Princess could hold the title of the next oldest cat alive in a few years, who know!
Tell us what is the oldest cat you’ve owned, seen or known? And if you have a story about an old cat you’d want to share don’t hesitate to do it in the comments below; we’re interested to know more about the subject if you have anything to add and share with us!