How Long Do Indoor Cats Usually Live?

Indoor cats typically live longer than outdoor cats, with an average lifespan of 12-15 years. But how long do indoor cats usually live? In this article, we will explore the factors that affect the lifespan of indoor cats and provide tips on how to help your cat live a long and healthy life.

Factors Affecting Cat Lifespan

The lifespan of an indoor cat can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors. Age, health, and genetics all play a role in how long an indoor cat can live.


Age is the most significant factor affecting the lifespan of an indoor cat. Generally, cats that are younger than 6 years old have a longer life expectancy than cats that are older than 6 years old. Additionally, cats that are spayed or neutered tend to live longer than cats that are not.


The health of an indoor cat also affects its lifespan. Cats that receive regular veterinary care and have healthy diets will typically live longer than cats that do not receive regular care or eat unhealthy diets. Additionally, cats with chronic illnesses such as diabetes or kidney disease may have shorter lifespans than healthy cats.


Genetics also play a role in how long an indoor cat can live. Cats with certain genetic predispositions may be more prone to certain illnesses or conditions which can shorten their lifespan. Additionally, some breeds of cats tend to live longer than others due to their genetics; for example, Siamese cats tend to live longer than other breeds of cats on average.

Average Lifespan of Indoor Cats

The average lifespan of an indoor cat is between 12 and 15 years. This is significantly longer than the average lifespan of an outdoor cat, which is only 2 to 5 years. Indoor cats are less exposed to disease, predators, and other dangers that can shorten their lives.

Domestic Shorthair Cats

Domestic shorthair cats typically live between 12 and 18 years with proper care. These cats are known for their short fur and wide variety of coat colors and patterns. They are also known for being very friendly and affectionate with their owners.

Domestic Longhair Cats

Domestic longhair cats typically live between 10 and 15 years with proper care. These cats are known for their long fur coats that come in a variety of colors and patterns. They are also known for being very loyal to their owners and forming strong bonds with them.

Purebred Cats

Purebred cats typically live between 10 and 16 years with proper care. These cats come in a wide range of breeds, each with its own unique characteristics, such as size, coat color, temperament, etc. Purebred cats may require more specialized care than domestic shorthair or longhair cats due to their specific needs.

Ways to Increase Your Cat’s Lifespan

Indoor cats usually live an average of 12-15 years, but with proper care and attention, you can help your cat live a longer, healthier life. Here are some tips to increase your cat’s lifespan:

Diet and Nutrition

Providing your cat with a balanced diet is essential for their health and longevity. Make sure to feed them high-quality food that is specifically designed for cats and contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Additionally, keep their water bowl filled with fresh water at all times.

Exercise and Activity Level

Cats need regular exercise to stay healthy and active. Provide them with plenty of toys to play with, such as scratching posts, balls, or even laser pointers. You can also take them for walks outside or play interactive games with them inside the house.

Veterinary Care and Preventative Measures

Regular visits to the vet are important for your cat’s health. Make sure they receive all the necessary vaccinations and checkups so any potential health issues can be identified early on. Additionally, keep your cat indoors as much as possible in order to protect them from diseases or accidents that could occur outdoors (CDC).


Common Health Issues in Older Cats

As cats age, they may develop certain health issues that can reduce their lifespan. Indoor cats typically live longer than outdoor cats, but they are still prone to common health problems that can affect their quality of life and longevity.

Arthritis and Joint Pain

Older cats may experience arthritis and joint pain due to the natural wear and tear of aging. This can cause stiffness, difficulty walking or jumping, and a decrease in activity level. To help manage this condition, owners should provide comfortable bedding for their cat as well as ramps or steps to help them access furniture or other high places.

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is a common problem in older cats that can lead to dehydration, weight loss, vomiting, and anemia. To help prevent kidney disease, it is important to feed your cat a balanced diet that is appropriate for their age and lifestyle. Additionally, regular veterinary check-ups are essential for early detection of any potential problems.


Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid gland which can cause increased appetite, weight loss, restlessness, vomiting and diarrhea. Treatment options include medication or surgery depending on the severity of the condition. It is important to consult with your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior or appetite as this could be an indication of hyperthyroidism.

Signs of Aging in Cats

As cats age, they may experience a variety of changes in their behavior and physical appearance. Knowing the signs of aging can help you determine how long your indoor cat will live.

Behavioral Changes

Cats may experience changes in their behavior as they age, such as:

  • Decreased activity level
  • Increased sleeping
  • Decreased interest in playing or interacting with people
  • Changes in litter box habits

These behavioral changes can be a sign that your cat is aging and may have a shorter lifespan than younger cats.

Physical Changes

Physical changes that may occur as cats age include: