How Long Do Domestic Cats Live?

What is the life expectancy of the average house cat? There is a bit of variation in that answer depending on the source. Some sources report the domestic cat can live about 10 to 15 years, depending on their overall health and living situation. Other sources report the average lifespan is  12 to 18 years.

Cats are considered senior when they are 11 to 14 years old, and geriatric from 15 to 25 years old. The maximum lifespans of domestic cats ranges from 22 to 30 years although there are some cats that have lived beyond 30 years.

Longest Living Cat

Creme Puff was the world’s longest-living cat, according to Guinness World records. Creme Puff was born on August 3, 1967, and died on August 6, 2005, after a life span of 38 years and 3 days.

Outdoor Cats Have Shorter Lives

Living primarily outdoors can have a detrimental effect on the lifespan of a domestic cat. Predators such a coyotes and owls, fights with other cats, parasites, and bacterial infections can have a fatal effect on cats.

The lifespan of an outdoor cat is only 2 to 5 years on average, significantly shorter than the 10 to 15 years of an indoor cat.

Indoor Cats Live Longer on Average Than Outdoor Cats

Living indoors removes many of the dangers that can reduce the lifespan of a cat.

No Difference in Longevity Between Female and Male Cats

There doesn’t seem to be a significant difference in lifespan between male and female cats. One study study published in 2010 looked at the lifespans of 196 American domestic shorthair cats. All cats had been neutered in their first year of life. The study found that there wasn’t a significant difference in median age of death between females (13.1 years) and males (12.6 years).

Mixed Breed Cats Tend to Live Longer than Purebred Cats

One study published in 2014 in England looked at the lifespans of 4,009 cats. The study found that crossbred cats had a higher median age at death, 14 years compared to purebred cats at 12.5 years. The interquartile range (IQR) for crossbred cats was 9.1 to 17.0 years and for purebred cats it was 6.1 to 16.4 years. The study also found that the lifespan of purebred cats “varied substantially in longevity” for individual cats.

Life Expectancy by Cat Breed

Listed are are generalized expected lifespans. For many breeds, the expected lifespan varies greatly depending on the source.

Cat health, living conditions, and medical care all can play a factor in influencing how long an individual cat lives. Some cats live well beyond their expected lifespan.

  • Abyssinian ~ 9 to 15 years
  • Aegean ~ 9 to 12 years
  • American Bobtail ~ 13 to 18 years
  • American Curls ~ 12+ years
  • American Ringtail ~ 15 to 20 years
  • American Shorthair ~ 15 to 20 years
  • American Wirehair ~ 14+ years
  • Aphrodite ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Arabian Mau ~ 12 to 14 years
  • Asian ~ 9 to 15 years
  • Australian Mist ~ 15 to 18 years
  • Balinese ~ 18 to 22 years
  • Bambino ~ 9 to 15 years
  • Bengal ~ 12 to 16 years
  • Birman ~ 12 to 16 years
  • Bombay ~ 12 to 18 years
  • Brazilian Shorthair ~ 14 to 20 years
  • British Shorthair ~ 14 to 20 years
  • Burmese ~ 16 to 18
  • Burmilla ~ 10 to 15 years
  • California Spangled ~ 10 to 14 years
  • Chantilly-Tiffany ~ 11 to 14 years
  • Chartreux ~ 11 to 15 years
  • Chausie ~ 11 to 15 years
  • Colorpoint Shorthair ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Cornish Rex ~ 11 to 15 years (can live up to 20 years)
  • Cymric ~ 9 to 15 years
  • Cyprus ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Devon Rex ~ 10 to 15 years
  • Donskoy or Don Sphynx ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Dragon Li or Chinese Li Hua ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Dwelf ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Egyptian Mau ~ 13 to 16 years
  • Exotic Shorthair ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Foldex ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Havana Brown ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Highland Lynx ~ 13 to 16 years
  • Highlander ~ 10 to 15 years
  • Himalayan ~ 9 to 15 years
  • Japanese Bobtail ~ 9 to 15 years
  • Javanese ~ 10 to 15 years
  • Kanaani ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Khao Manee ~ 10 to 12 years
  • Kinkalow ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Korat ~ 10 to 15 years
  • Korn Ja ~ 13 to 16 years
  • Lambkin ~ 12 to 16 years
  • LaPerm ~ 10 to 15 years
  • Lykoi (Werewolf cat) ~ 12 to 15
  • Maine Coon~ 12 to 15 years
  • Manx ~ 9 to 13 years
  • Minskin ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Minuet ~ 15+ years
  • Munchkin ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Napoleon ~ 9 to 15 years
  • Nebelung ~ 11 to 16 years
  • Norwegian Forest Cat ~ 14 to 16 years
  • Ocicat ~ 14 to 18 years
  • Ojos Azules ~ 10 to 12 years
  • Oriental ~ 10 to 15 years
  • Persian ~ 12 to 18 years
  • Peterbald ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Pixie-Bob ~ 13 to 16 years
  • Raas ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Ragamuffin~ 13 to 18 years
  • Ragdoll ~ 9 to 15 years
  • Russian Blue ~ 15 to 20 years
  • Sam Sawet ~ 11 to 15 years
  • Savannah ~ 15 to 20 years
  • Scottish Fold ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Serengeti ~ 9 to 15 years
  • Serrade Petit ~ 12 to 16 years
  • Siamese ~ 12 to 20 years
  • Siberian ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Singapura ~ 11 to 15 years
  • Snowshoe ~ 14 to 20 years
  • Sokoke ~ 10 to 16 years
  • Somali ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Sphynx ~ 9 to 15 years
  • Suphalak ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Tiffanie ~ 11 to 16 years
  • Tonkinese ~ 15 to 20 years
  • Toybob ~ 14+ years
  • Toyger ~ 12 to 15 years
  • Turkish Angora ~ 9 to 14 years
  • Turkish Van ~ 12 to 17 years
  • Ukrainian Levkoy ~ 9 to 15 years
  • York Chocolate ~ 13 to 15 years

References

Comfort, A. (1956). Maximum ages reached by domestic cats. Journal of Mammalogy37(1), 118-119. https://doi.org/10.2307/1375545

O’Neill, D. G., Church, D. B., McGreevy, P. D., Thomson, P. C., & Brodbelt, D. C. (2015). Longevity and mortality of cats attending primary care veterinary practices in England. Journal of feline medicine and surgery17(2), 125-133. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098612X14536176

Yu, S. (2010). Life expectancy of American Domestic Shorthair cats. The FASEB Journal24, 738-3. https://doi.org/10.1096/fasebj.24.1_supplement.738.3