Better veterinary treatment and care means our cats are living longer than ever. learn about the average lifespan of a cat, its life cycle and more
If you have a pet cat or are thinking of getting one, you may be wondering; how long do house cats live in human years?
A cat’s life expectancy will depend on many factors, including health, diet, and its environment, but the average lifespan for a domestic cat is about 12-14 years. however, some domestic cats can live to be 20 years old. Breed is also often considered a factor in determining a cat’s life expectancy, but this is not a guarantee.
The good news is that advances in veterinary care and awareness of cat welfare mean that domestic cats are living longer than ever before. according to our cats and statistics report 2020, almost half (43%) of owned cats in the uk are considered ‘old’.
unfortunately, however, cats in our care who are 11 years old or older take an average of one month to find their new forever home, more than triple the time it takes for kittens who take just eight days.
To show these older kitties still have a lot to give, cats protection has launched mature moggies day on June 16, encouraging people to share inspiring stories of their older cats with #maturemoggiesday.
How old is the oldest cat in the world?
flossie, 26, currently holds the guinness world records™ title for world’s oldest cat as of 2022. flossie came into the care of cats protection’s tunbridge wells, crowborough & district branch in 2022 and branch coordinator naomi rosling said: “we were stunned when vet records showed flossie was almost 27 years old. she is the oldest cat I have ever met; at least 120 in human years.”
flossie was rehomed to vicki green, in orpington, who said: “i knew from the start that flossie was a special cat, but i didn’t imagine i would share my home with a world record holder. she is so loving and playful and sweet especially when you remember how old she is. I am immensely proud that cat protection has matched me with such an amazing cat.”
flossie had remained in the same extended family since she was taken in as a street youth in 1995. she had been living in a cat colony near a merseyside hospital, when two workers took pity on them and each had a cat . they lived together for 10 years until the owner died and flossie was taken in by her sister. after another 14 happy years the new owner passed away as well. flossie was at least 24 years old at the time. For the next three years, Flossie lived with the woman’s son, until her situation led him to make the difficult decision to relinquish the family cat to cat protection.
Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records™ Editor-in-Chief, said: “We were so excited to hear about the lovely flossie and celebrate her long life – it’s not every day you come across a cat that has been around since the mid-90s. This is the human equivalent of over 120 years, which would put her on a par with Jeanne Calment, the French supercentenarian who lived to be 122 years and 164 days and holds the record for the oldest person in history.”
The world record for oldest cat is held by Crème Puff, a cat from Texas in the United States who lived to be 38 years and three days, the longest lifespan of any known domestic cat!
what kind of cat has the longest life expectancy?
While there is no guarantee that a cat will live a long and healthy life, some breeds are known to live longer than others. Siamese, Burmese, and ragdoll are just a few of these breeds. but remember, a healthy diet, good exercise and other external factors are vital to ensure a long life for your cat.
How long are the years of a cat?
Just like dogs, cats’ life stages can be roughly equated to human years, which means we can calculate a cat’s age in both cat years and human years. however, this is tricky, as cats mature much more in their first human year than they do in the rest of their lives. this is much like humans, who age more and more slowly as the years go by. below you will find ages in terms of cat years roughly equivalent to human years.
- 1 month = 1 human year
- 3 months = 4 human years
- 6 months = 10 human years
- 12 months = 15 human years
- 18 months = 21 human years
- 2 cat years = 24 human years
- 3 cat years = 28 human years
- Kitten (0-1 year): This is when cats grow the fastest and learn the most about what is safe and unsafe in their environment. a one-year-old kitten is 15 years old in human years
- junior (1-2 years) : Cats reach their full size during this period and continue to learn important skills such as playing or hunting. a two-year-old cat is 24 in human years
- Prime (3-6 years) : This is when cats are in the prime of their lives and generally at their peak of physical fitness. this period covers age 24-40 in human years
- Mature (7-10 years) : Cats begin to consider themselves “old” when they reach this stage and may begin to slow down a bit and gain weight. this is when they are the human equivalent of being in their 40s and 50s
- senior (11-14 years) : At 14, cats reach the human age of 70, so they may not be as agile as they used to be and their health may need to be monitored up close
- Super Senior/Geriatric (15+) : Some cats will reach this stage still with the energy of a kitten, but others will prefer a slower pace of life with lots of comfortable places to snooze at 15 they are 76 in human years and reach 100 in human years when they are 21
after three years, your cat has developed as much of the will of a 28-year-old human. after this stage, each feline year is equivalent to around four human years. So, an 11-year-old cat has 60 in human years.
when are cats considered “old” in their life cycle?
Cats go through six life stages as they grow, beginning to be considered “old” when they reach the “mature” stage at seven years old. however, they usually don’t start to slow down until they reach the ‘senior’ stage at age 11. The six life stages of a cat’s life cycle are:
how to tell the age of a cat
If you don’t know a cat’s birth date, it can be difficult to determine its exact age. To get the best estimate of a cat’s age, take her to a veterinarian who can examine her teeth, eyes, coat, and other factors related to her health and body condition to determine approximately how old she is.
How long do indoor cats live?
Cats that go outdoors are more likely to face risks such as car accidents, fights with other cats, and other hazards that could affect their life expectancy. however, they are also likely to exercise more since they have more room to move, which helps them stay fit and healthy. there is currently limited evidence to suggest that adopting an indoor or outdoor lifestyle results in significantly longer life expectancy. If you keep your cat indoors, he’ll need plenty of opportunities to exercise with fun toys that he can chase and catch. there are still other risks for house cats, so you’ll need to monitor them closely to keep them healthy for longer.
how to help your cat live longer
There are six easy steps you can take to help increase your cat’s life expectancy.
- neutering them: Neutered cats tend to live longer as it prevents them from contracting diseases during mating and they are less likely to wander far from home, reducing the possibility of trafficking on the road. accidents and cat fights
- Get regular vet checkups: Taking your cat to the vet for checkups at least once a year will help you catch any health problems early so they can receive effective treatment
- Get them vaccinated : Making sure your cat is up-to-date on all her vaccinations will help protect her from any nasty diseases that could shorten her life
- Encourage Exercise: Whether your cat is outdoors or not, try to spend a little time each day encouraging him to play so he can get some exercise and stay fit
- Feed a healthy diet: Make sure your cat is eating a complete cat food appropriate for her age, as it will contain all the nutrients she needs for a long and healthy life. avoid giving cats too many treats, as they can be high in calories and cause them to gain weight
- Keep them inside at night: The risks of your cat being involved in a traffic accident or fighting with another cat are higher at night, so we recommend keeping them inside when it is dark
for more advice on keeping your cat healthy, visit www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/health