Average life of the cat: how much breed and habits affect

If you have a cat or are thinking of getting one, you will certainly have ask yourself what the average life span of the cat is.

No doubt, it is a very adaptable animal to the environment in which it lives and this increases the life span of the catprecisely because it has a formidable survival instinct and the characteristics that favor it in this, for example a cat thinks of itself and not in a pack (unlike a dog) and is a skilled climber, capable of incredible jumps, almost like a “stuntman “.

In fact, even the life of the cat it is not eternal, on the contrary, its duration is quite predictable and influenced by specific factors: let’s find out more.

“Seven lives like a cat”: how long does the cat really live?

The existence of the common saying “cats have seven lives” (when obviously they only have one), may suggest that felines enjoy a very robust health and can face many dangers while remaining practically unharmed.

This belief derives from the fact that cats are often the protagonists of adventurous events: they disappear for months and then reappear, they fall from trees or terraces without getting a scratch, or they are involved in accidents in which many times (fortunately) they do not report trauma.

Furthermore, some of the cat’s abilities, such as being able to easily slip into narrow crevices (perhaps passing under a door) or landing on their paws even falling from considerable heights, have often made them considered as “supernatural” animals or with powers. details: in Ancient Egypt, for example, the cat was revered and adored, while iconographically, the cat has always been the pet of the witches of stories and films.

But in addition to the role of the cat in history and beyond what it represents in the collective imaginationit is necessary to be fully aware of the fact that, like all animals, cats also have a fairly defined amount of years, which can undergo fluctuations based on the breed, health characteristics and lifestyle habits of the individual specimen.

Before understanding how long cats live, however, it is also necessary to correctly calculate the age of the cat.

How to calculate the age of the cat

Compared to man, ithe cat grows faster:

  • already after two months he is able to separate from his mother and can be compared with a 5 or 6 year old child;
  • at 5 months he enters puberty;
  • at 1 year he can be considered, to all intents and purposes, an adult subject.

Being able to accurately determine a cat’s age isn’t easy at all: you can orient yourself (especially on young subjects) by observing the dentition, when the permanent teeth replace the milk ones: in fact, around 3-4 months cats replace the incisors, while the permanent canines arrive at 5 months.

If you are in front of an adult cat, the question becomes more difficult and it is no longer possible to establish with certainty lage of the cat.

You can certainly tell if the cat (adult) is young or old, by analyzing the general health of the mouth, also by examining the gums and evaluating the cleaning of the teeth.

How long do cats live

Before taking a cat or after taking it, it becomes a real member of the family (just as dogs, parrots, turtles, hamsters, rabbits and all the other animal friends who live at home with us are considered).

For this reason, we would like the death of your four-legged friend to take place as late as possible and it is natural to question the average life span of the catperhaps wondering which are the longest-lived breeds and what to do to make the life of your cat as long as possible.

Despite the extraordinary qualities and characteristics of the cat, even its existence has an end; it can be said that, on average, the life of the cat is around 15-17 years, although it is not uncommon to find cats that live up to 18 or 20 years.

As with dogs, the breed of the cat is also discriminating and affects life expectancy: for example, the European common cat tends to have a longer life than purebred oneswhich can suffer from weaknesses that can affect their longevity.

How long does a domestic cat live

A neutered or neutered domestic catseight subject to a correct and balanced diet and in perfect health (i.e. not suffering from disease) can reach even 20 years of age.

Stray cat average life

Unlike the domestic cat, the stray cat has a much lower life expectancy, which varies from 4 to 8 years: the lack of food, the climatic conditions, the continuous dangers to which it is exposed (including the high probability of contracting diseases) have a great impact on its longevity.

Cat life expectancy: what factors affect it?


It is true, the average life of the cat is characterized by a precise number of years and, as we have seen, race can be an important distinction.

However, it is possible to work on the life expectancy of the cat: there are, in fact, factors which, if neglected, can also significantly lower the average life span of the cat. That is why it is important to pay particular attention to the following aspects:

  • Diet: nutrition is often not considered among the main elements for what concerns the health of the cat. The diet, on the other hand, is essential to ensure that the cat remains healthy for as long as possible and can enjoy an active and fit life. The cat needs a balanced diet; therefore, the best choice is to seek advice from your trusted veterinarian, without resorting to do-it-yourself choices, which may not be suitable for the breed of cat in question. With the passage of time and aging, it is possible that some changes to its diet may also have to be made, so that the cat’s well-being rate remains always high.
  • Castration or sterilization: in the event that the cat has access to the external environment, castration and sterilization bring numerous advantages. First of all, you can protect the cat from sexually transmitted diseases, avoiding mating and reducing the risk of fights with other males; secondly, as far as females are concerned, any unwanted pregnancies are also avoided.
  • Vaccinations: the cat needs some specific vaccinations, such as trivalent vaccination (against feline panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis and feline calicivirosis) as well as vaccination against feline leukemia. Thanks to vaccinations, it is also possible to greatly reduce mortality, especially in small cats.
  • Sleep quality: As with humans, the quality of a cat’s sleep is also important for its life. If your cat spends many hours sleeping or napping, that doesn’t mean it’s enough. The quality of rest itself must also be high, in order to guarantee the right energy upon awakening. It is therefore important to provide the cat with a kennel and cushions dedicated to the feline (and of good quality!). There are also mats, mats and other accessories designed to increase the well-being in the cat’s rest.
  • Pest control: regularly subjecting the cat to prophylaxis against parasites (fleas and ticks) is essential to preserve the health of the cat. Both ticks and fleas feed on the animal’s blood and are capable of transmitting diseases. Deworming (getting rid of intestinal worms) is also an important and necessary practice.
  • Home life: some cats live or need to live inside the home. Compared to those that can get out, they are better protected from the pitfalls and dangers of the outside world (poisonous bait, speeding cars, blunt or rusty bodies, etc.).
  • State of general health: although it is possible to identify the average life of a cat in an approximate way, the general health of the animal remains a fundamental distinction for the length of the life of the individual specimen, regardless of the breed and the other factors mentioned above. To define the health of the animal, it is essential that periodic checks are carried out at the veterinarian, able to establish any treatments and provide the right advice on the various aspects of the life of your feline.

Average life of the cat: how much breed and habits affect