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Life Expectancy in Cats

By: Dr. Dawn Ruben

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Today cats live longer than ever. Just 20 years ago the life expectancy of a cat was four to six years; today they live 15 years or more. Life expectancy in cats depends on many things, but the most important factor is whether he is an indoor-only cat or an outdoor cat. Life expectancy varies significantly between the two.

  • Indoor cats generally live from 12-18 years of age. Many may live to be in their early 20s. The oldest reported cat was 28 years old at the time of death.

  • Outdoor cats generally live to be around four to five years of age. Their deaths are typically due to traumas such as being hit by a car or dog attacks. Outdoor cats are also more susceptible to several deadly viruses that are spread by fighting or prolonged intimate contact with an infected cat.


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