Ask Seth: Indoor Cat Lifespan

I have a cat I adopted as a kitten six months ago. I keep him in the house. He never goes outside. Is it true that indoor cats live longer?



I have a cat that I adopted as a kitten six months ago. I keep him in the house without him ever going outside. I hear that inside cats live longer than cats that live outside. Is this true? How long does a house cat live?


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Cats live much longer today than they did 20 years ago. Two decades ago, the average life expectancy for a cat was between 4 - 7 years. Today cats can live up to 15 years or more. Indoor cats live between 12 - 18 years, but some live into their 20’s. My cat lived till he was 21 years old. The oldest cat reported was an indoor cat that lived to be 28 years old.

Outdoor cats live a much shorter life averaging between 5 - 8 years of age. Environmental interactions with cars and other animals cause their shorter lifespan. There is a constant chance of a car hitting them or suffering an attack from a dog. Outdoor cats also interact with other cats, which makes them much more susceptible to deadly viruses when fighting or having intimate contact with infected cats.


Seth Mayersohn, CVT


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