How to Decipher Cat Food Product Labels
How to Decipher Cat Food Product Labels

Cat Life Expectancy: What Affects Your Cat’s Lifespan?

The average cat’s lifespan is around 15 years. While a cat’s lifespan indoors can range from 12 to 18 years, some pet cats even live for up to 20 years. Outdoor cats lead significantly riskier lives as they are more prone to accidents and being attacked by other outdoor animals. Moreover, they often cannot receive medical attention in cases of ailments or injuries. This leads to them have a shorter life expectancy in comparison to their indoor counterparts. 


As a pet parent, you would want your fur baby to live a long and healthy life. It’s common sense that feeding your cat a high-quality diet has its benefits. But when it comes to maximizing your cat’s lifespan, diet is only part of the equation. Read up on everything you need to do to ensure your cat lives happily for a long time to come.


What are the different cat life stages?

A cat’s age span is divided into six stages. To understand how you can maximise your cat’s life expectancy, it is necessary to understand these life stages.

  • Kitten

    From birth till 6 months, the cats are in their earliest years and are called ‘kittens’. They undergo quick development during this time and require a lot of nutrients.

  • Junior

    From 6 months to 2 years of age, cats are considered ‘juniors’. During this time, they reach sexual maturity and develop a personality. When your cat is about a year old, they can be switched from kitten food to adult cat food.

  • Prime

    Between the age of 3 to 6 years, cats are considered to have reached their ‘prime’ age. They will be in their best physical condition during this time. However, do make sure that you still take your cat to the vet for regular check-ups.

  • Mature

    Cats are considered to be in their ‘mature’ life stage between 7 to 10 years of age. During this time, they might become less active. This might even cause them to put on some extra weight, so you may have to make changes to their diet. You may also have to add some extra vitamins to meals to improve immunity. This will be an important step in maximizing cat life expectancy.

  • Senior

    Between 11 to 14 years of age, cats are considered seniors and are at a higher risk of catching an illness. Ensure that you make regular visits to the vet and consult them frequently to ensure that your fur baby is not missing out on nutrition.

  • Geriatric

    At the age of 15 years or higher, cats are at the ‘geriatric’ life stage. During this time, they may remain mostly inactive and need more attention.

What is my cat’s age in human years?

Here is a brief guide to explain what the average age of cats is in human years:

  1. When a cat turns 1 year old, it is equivalent to a human turning 15 years old.
  2. When a cat turns 2 years of age, it is considered equivalent to a human turning 24 years old.

  3. After a cat turns 2, each following year in their life amounts to 4 human years. So, when a cat is 3 years old, it amounts to 28 human years; when 4 years old, it amounts to 32 human years, and so on.


What factors affect the average lifespan of a house cat?

Knowing what affects your pet’s lifespan can help you take the right steps to prolong longevity. 

  1. Proper diet and water

    Let’s start with something you do every day: feed your cat. There are several healthy options to choose from, so we’ll help you zero in on the formula that’s best for your cat. It’s important to note that cats are natural carnivores. Therefore, a formula with meat as the primary ingredient is a great place to start. Meat as a protein source has certain nutrients, such as taurine, that non-meat protein sources simply do not. Also, along with a proper diet, ensure your cat stays hydrated.

  2. Medical maintenance

    Regular visits to the veterinarian can help nip health issues in the bud. For instance, a vet will be able to tell if your cat is gaining too much weight and can recommend a diet and fitness program to get your kitty back to a healthy size.

    You may even want to bring a fresh faecal sample along to your next appointment. Your vet can use this sample to search for ringworms. This tip can save you extra trips to the vet’s office in case your cat does not cooperate, so to speak, during their appointment.

    Also, vets provide your cat with the vaccinations they need to fight off diseases such as feline rabies. Some vaccinations are required annually, while others should be administered every three years. Your vet’s office can help you keep track of it all, so remember to schedule that appointment!

  3. Attention

    Your cat relies on you for more than just healthy food and fresh water. They need stimulation. Sure, cats love their independence, but let’s be honest, they love getting attention. By playing with your cat for even 10 to 15 minutes a day, you are doing wonders for their lifespan. Some great games to play don’t even require fancy toys. Get a piece of string and tie it around a clean sock, then yank the string whenever your cat comes in close to investigate. Voila! Instant fun!

  4. Exercise

    Cats don’t go on runs as dogs do, so keeping your cat active with games and toys is the best way to help keep them fit. About 30 minutes of exercise or playing in a day is enough to have a significantly positive impact on maximizing your cat’s lifespan.

  5. Oral health


    If your pet’s teeth are left unclean, they can develop plaque and tartar which can cause severe problems like pain, tooth loss, or kidney ailments. So, ensure that you take your cat for regular dental check-ups.

Follow these tips and your cat will be on her way to a long and happy life with you. You’re a great owner for taking the time to read this article. It shows how much you really care about her. Now step away from the computer and show your cat some attention!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the maximum lifespan of a house cat?
    • The average cat’s lifespan lies in the range of 12 to 18 years. However, some cats do live up to 20 years.

  2. How old is an 18-year-old cat in human years?
    • When a cat turns 1 year old, it is considered to be about 15 human years. The second year of a cat’s life amounts to about 24 human years. After that, every following cat year amounts to about 4 human years. So, when a cat turns 3 years, it is considered equivalent to 24 human years, and when the cat turns 18 years old, it amounts to about 88 human years.


  3. Can cats live longer than 20 years?
    • The average age of cats is considered to be around 15 years. However, some cats do live up to 20 years and even longer. In fact, there are numerous records of cats having lived for more than 25 years; the oldest one (named Creme Puff) lived for 38 years and 3 days.


  4. What are the signs of an old cat?
    • When cats enter the senior life stage, you will notice a few of these signs - inactivity, weight loss, change in appetite, disorientation, behavioral changes, and change in the sleep cycle, among others.


  5. Do male cats live longer than female cats?
    • As per records, female cats tend to live longer than their male counterparts. Also, neutered cats have been known to live longer than unneutered cats and spayed cats have been known to have a higher chance of outliving unspayed cats.


  • Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes
    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes-mob
    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes

    Understanding and learning how to decipher kitten food product codes will help you choose the right kitten food. While selecting the right ingredients is important, making sure those ingredients are fresh is just as vital to your young cat. Learn how to read the product codes of kitten food packages and cans with our handy guide.


    What Is a Product Code?

    A product code is a series of numbers and letters printed on the outer package of each product a manufacturer produces. This code provides information about when and where the kitten food was made.

    As part of the product code, IAMS™ products include a “Best Used By” date, or the date at which the product is no longer considered fresh and should no longer be sold. This date is expressed in “ddmmyy” and “ddmmmyy” formats.

    The second line of the product code represents company internal information for use in traceability and inventory control.

    Line 1: (ddmmyy) (ddmmmyy)

    Example: 040220 04FEB20

    Line 2: 60351111## QQQQQQQ

    This product should be used before February 4, 2020.

    Depending on the production line, pouch products* may have code date information in a single or double line. By recognizing and understanding these codes, customers can make sure they are receiving a fresh product.


    What Is Shelf Life?

    Shelf life is the duration, measured in months, during which a properly stored kitten food product maintains its freshness. This means if a product has a 16-month shelf life, it is fresh for up to 16 months from the date of manufacture.

    The shelf life for IAMS dry kitten foods is 16 months. All canned formulas have a shelf life of 24 months.


    How to Properly Store Dry and Wet Kitten Food

    Unopened dry kitten food products are best stored off the floor in a cool, dry place. Open bags of kitten food should be stored in a clean, dry container with a tight seal. Dry kitten food products may also be frozen without loss of nutrients.

    Opened wet kitten food products are best kept refrigerated in tightly sealed containers for no more than three days after the container has been opened. Wet products should not be frozen in unopened cans. However, wet kitten foods can be frozen if removed from the container, packed in freezer containers and frozen immediately.

    *IAMS has no kitten pouch products at this time.

    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes