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

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

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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.


  • How to Cut a Cat's Nails: A Comprehensive Guide to Understand and Manage Cat Clawing
    How to Cut a Cat's Nails: A Comprehensive Guide to Understand and Manage Cat Clawing
    How to Cut a Cat's Nails: A Comprehensive Guide to Understand and Manage Cat Clawing

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    If you share your living space with a feline friend, you’ve likely experienced the fascinating yet perplexing world of cat nails. From the loud, rhythmic sound of scratching that greets your early morning to those tiny prods every now and then, the claws of cats are as intricate as they are functional. Let's take a journey together to understand why cats scratch and learn how to cut a cat's nails. 

    Why do cats scratch?

    First and foremost, let's understand why your cat is a passionate ‘cat clawing expert’. Cats scratch for various reasons, including claw maintenance, exercise, marking territory, and even attention-seeking. Scratching enables them to remove the outer husk of their claws, revealing a sharp new surface underneath. Additionally, scent and sweat glands in their feet produce a unique smell, which is deposited when they scratch, marking their territory - a clever, multi-purpose act, isn't it?

    Identifying normal cat clawing

    If you're wondering, 'how much cat clawing is too much?', you're not alone. Many cats scratch indoors due to limited outdoor access, comfort, or safety concerns. If you find your cat scratching extensively, especially around doorways and windows, it could be a sign of insecurity or anxiety. 

    How to determine if your cat's nails are too long

    Spotting when your cat's nails are too long is crucial. Overgrown cat nails can cause injuries to their paw pads, lead to changes in gait which can affect their joints, and cause damage to your furniture. Generally, indoor cats require nail trims every couple of weeks, whereas outdoor cats may need them less frequently. 

    Cutting cat nails: A step-by-step guide

    1. Establishing a calm environment for cat nail trimming

      When it comes to cutting cat nails, creating a calm environment is key. Choose a quiet spot and find a comfortable position for you and your cat. You could try trimming their nails when they're sleepy or relaxed, like after a meal. Avoiding distractions such as windows or other pets can also make the process smoother.

    2. Building trust through paw handling

      Get your cat used to paw handling. Gently hold and rub their paw daily for a few seconds. If they're comfortable, extend a nail and reward them with a treat. This slow, rewarding process will make them more amenable to cat nail trimming.

    3. Familiarizing your cat with the nail clipper

      When learning how to cut a cat's nails, it's important to familiarize your cat with the nail clipper. Let them see and sniff it to reduce anxiety. You could also familiarize them with the sound of the clipper by cutting a piece of dry spaghetti near their paw. Always remember to reward their calm behavior.

    4. The process of trimming cat nails 

      Now it's time to clip. Carefully isolate the nail to cut and note where the quick is -- a vein that can cause pain and bleeding if cut. Cut the nail at a 45-degree angle, starting with the very tip. Be patient and careful not to cut the quick. 

    5. Importance of patience in clipping cat nails

      This isn't a race, so take your time when clipping cat nails. If your cat becomes agitated after a few nails, stop the session, and try again later. Forcing the process can cause stress and erode trust.

    6. Cat nail trimming schedule

      Maintaining a consistent cat nail trimming schedule is vital. As a rule of thumb, trim their nails once every one and a half to two weeks. But remember, every cat is different, so adjust as necessary. If you struggle with the process, seek advice from a professional groomer or veterinarian. 

    How to stop your cat from clawing furniture: Enter the scratching post 

    To keep your beloved furniture intact, providing an acceptable alternative to your cat's claws is crucial. A cat scratching post, sturdy and tall enough for the cat to stretch fully, is an excellent solution. These scratching posts mimic the texture and orientation (horizontal or vertical) of their preferred scratching area, redirecting their cat clawing behavior. 

    Caring for kitten nails: The basics

    Kitten nail trimming is similar to adult cat nail trimming, but with a few modifications. Firstly, begin the process of desensitizing their paws early. Show them the nail clipper and make sure it's not a source of fear. When cutting kitten nails, remember they're smaller and softer, so be extra cautious. And, don't forget the kitten scratching post. It's never too early to provide alternatives for their clawing needs.

    With these steps, you're now well-equipped to take care of your cat's claws. Remember to stay patient and calm during the process, and always reward your cat for their cooperation. In no time, you'll become a pro at handling your feline friend's claws, ensuring their comfort and wellbeing.