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, behavioural 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 Take Care of a Kitten: 8 Tips on Raising a Kitten Into a Healthy Cat
    How to Take Care of a Kitten: 8 Tips on Raising a Kitten Into a Healthy Cat
    How To Take Care Of A Kitten

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    Bringing a kitten home is an experience full of joy and warmth. The internet is filled with kitten photos and videos, and you are soon going to find out why! However, these cute creatures are extremely delicate and need hands-on attention while growing up. If you bring home a kitten without a mother, you will have to be extra careful with it. Every cat parent should be well-informed about how to take care of newborn kittens or kittens in general.

    We have put together a few tips to get you started on your journey of raising a kitten. From vet visits and food selection to grooming and keeping it hydrated, this article will give you a basic understanding of how to take care of a kitten.

    Take your kitten for regular check-ups

    Routine check-ups are highly recommended for kittens. Once you get a kitten home, your responsibility as a caregiver is to take it to the vet for a basic health check-up. During this check-up, the veterinarian will check for any health concerns that need to be addressed immediately. They will also walk you through the vaccination and spaying/neutering process. If you are a first-time cat parent, do not hesitate from asking doubts and questions regarding your cat’s health and well-being.

    Keep your kitten hydrated

    Since a dehydrated kitten can be vulnerable to many diseases and infections, make sure that fresh water is easily accessible. In fact, place multiple water bowls around the house for it to drink from. Clean these bowls regularly and fill them up with fresh water. If the vet recommends, you can also give your kitten electrolyte water.

    Provide your kitten with balanced nutrition

    A newborn kitten should be fed by its mother for the first few weeks. However, kitties that find a new home generally get separated from their mother at an early age. If you have adopted a newborn pet, you probably do not know how to take care of a kitten without a mother. Start by visiting a vet to receive a comprehensive feeding guide. It will help you meet the kitty’s nutritional needs. You might also have to switch to a different type of food at different stages like teething.

    Cats are carnivores; hence, their food intake is majorly meat. Ensure that the dry food you give your cat is made with high-quality protein. Made with chicken as the main ingredient, IAMS Proactive Health Mother and Kitten is a protein-rich meal option for your kitten. This kitten food also contains Omega 3, Colostrum, and DHA to support healthy eye and brain development!

    Comfort and pamper your kitten

    Cats are independent creatures that enjoy their space. However, from time to time, they also like being cuddled and picked up. They will also show affection in their own unique ways. Give your kitten some time to settle in and gradually start introducing it to your touch. Gently hold it and pamper it. Bring a few fun toys for it to play with. Kittens generally love playing with bells, strings, or anything that they can chase.

    Help your kitten socialise with other family members

    Taking care of a kitten involves introducing it to its new family members – including other pets – from the day it is brought home. After all, your new kitten will be the newest addition to the clan! If you are worried about your dog and cat not getting along because of age-old assumptions, let us assure you, it is nothing but a myth. However, some dogs may not be able to differentiate a cat from a rabbit and their prey instincts could kick in. If this happens, you need to train your dog by familiarising it with your kitten’s scent. Most dog breeds are hostile in nature and can coexist with other pets easily. Socialising for your kitten will also include grooming days, check-up days, and more.

    Groom your kitten’s fur

    Cats love grooming themselves and are very particular about how they look. However, kittens may need some help, especially in cases where they dirty themselves. Your vet will educate you about ways in which you can give your delicate and tiny kitten a bath. Post that, brush your kitten’s fur coat. Now, brushing its coat does not only remove dirt and dead hair, but it also regulates blood circulation, giving your kitty a healthy glow!

    Litter train your kitten

    Litter training is one of the most important aspects of raising a kitten. Choose a litter box that is big enough for your kitten to do its business. Finding the right type of litter may take some experimenting, but you will soon get there! Fortunately, cats usually eliminate in sandy or granular places by nature. So, when you introduce it to a litter box, chances are that it will use it right away. If your feline friend doesn’t, give it some time to get comfortable. Keep cleaning the litter box periodically to ensure hygiene.

    Dedicate a comfortable sleeping space for your kitten

    As a cat parent, you must pay attention to your kitty’s sleeping space. Kittens and cats are heavy sleepers; kittens can even sleep for 20 hours a day! For the first few nights, make sure your kitten sleeps next to your bed. It is normal for these feline creatures to cry during the first few days as everything is new. However, your kitten will eventually start getting used to its new space and sleep for long hours. Once it starts doing that, you can set up a cosy corner for it to sleep in. If you are wondering how to take care of a newborn kitten, just make sure that you place it somewhere near your bed. This will help you hear any cries and come to their aid as soon as possible.