how long indoor cats live

Cats are creatures that naturally roam the wild. However, since cats have been domesticated, it has become more than possible for them to be kept indoors.

Many household cats spend their entire lives indoors. How long do indoor cats live on average will depend on the degree of care and attention you give your cat. With loving pet owners, indoor cats get a fulfilling life and never get bored.

If you have just adopted a cat, you probably have some rules for your cat. You probably don’t want them venturing outside. This is a good decision since many dangers wait for cats outside.

However, there are also cat owners who allow their cats outdoors. Their belief is they want their cats to experience their natural instincts.

Whatever your decision maybe it is important to do your research and at least keep an eye or supervise your cat and do regular health maintenance through vet visits. 

How long do indoor cats live on average–Indoor Cats vs. Outdoor Cats

Many veterinarian associations consider that it is safer for cats to be kept indoors. An indoor lifestyle is much safer for cats due to the potential dangers that are waiting outside.

There are fewer chances for indoor cats to get ill or get hurt. They are farther from outdoor hazards.

Many pieces of evidence point to cats living longer than outdoor cats. How long do indoor cats live on average? The average lifespan of indoor cats is the ripe old age of seventeen years.

Outdoor cat lives are glaringly short at only two to five years. The longevity of indoor cats can also be attributed to pet owners being able to identify health problems early on. These symptoms can be cured before they become life-threatening.

Some owners have had bad experiences allowing their cats outdoors. Many tell stories of their cats getting fleas or bringing bloody small dead animals. 

Owners are also aware that cats who are allowed outdoors lead riskier lives. However, the owners’ decision to allow their cats outside is because they are concerned their pets may become fat and lazy.

They also think it’s cruel to suppress cat instincts and coop them up inside. They feel their cat’s yearning for the wildness of the outdoors

Some owners find a compromise of keeping an indoor-outdoor cat. Cats naturally yearn for the wild.

Some pet owners have experienced that once they have let indoor cats outside for a bit of frolic, the cat never returns to being satisfied with being strictly indoor cats.

They become crazy for the outdoors and will throw tantrums when not allowed outside. 

Outdoor Cat Health

Many vets will recommend that pet cats should be kept indoors. However, there are some benefits to letting your cat roam the outdoors.

Some pet owners say that their cats are trimmer and reach their ideal weight as outdoor cats. Pet owners also become free of having to clean litter boxes constantly. 

You have to take some precautions if you are to allow your cat to venture outside. One practice you can do is to make sure they are home by nightfall.

Many accidents happen in low light conditions such as getting hit by a car or being attacked by a wild animal. 

Safe Outdoor Areas

How long do indoor cats live on average

You can also get them outside but in the area that is still within your property, such as the yard or the garage.

If you are going to take them to the immediate outdoor area of your house, give your cats plenty of food and water.

Some owners even set up cat houses in the yard for their cats, complete with blankets. These are especially necessary during wintertime. 

Whether you choose to make your cat an indoor cat or outdoor cat, they will require vet visits at least twice a year. This is critical to how long do indoor cats live on average.

They need to get their regular regimen of vaccines. Your cat will also need some form of identification so you should get them a collar with a tag, or, even better, get them micro-chipped.

This chip will be implanted on your cat’s shoulder blades. Cats may wander away and get lost, and a proper identification means they will get returned to you.

Another maintenance you can do is neutering. This is crucial if you want to avoid getting unwanted litter. 

If you allow your cats outside, vet visits are especially necessary. Checkups for outdoor cays include vaccinations for rabies, distemper, and heartworm. 

Indoor Cat Health

Cats who are kept indoors are considered to lead safer lives. How long do indoor cats live on average? They live longer.

However, they need special care too. Indoor cats tend to be lazy and form bad habits.

They spend most of their time obsessing over their food bowls and leading a sedentary lifestyle.

This can predispose them to diabetes and obesity. It is important to give your indoor cats stimulation by giving them toys such as scratching posts, cat condos, and squeaky toys. These activities will get them to run and climb. 

If your cat insists on going outdoors, get them trained to get used to a harness. It may look silly walking around with a cat on a leash, but it can be an enjoyable bonding time for you and your cat.

Once your cat has adapted to a leash and harness, walking around the neighborhood will be a breeze. 

Some owners who really want to pamper their cats attach cat enclosures to their homes.

These areas give the cats the feeling of being outdoors while still being attached and coped up indoors. 

How long do indoor cats live on average–Indicators of a Cat’s Age

Sometimes you may encounter a cat whose age is unknown. How long do indoor cats live on average? You have no idea whether the cat you’ve gotten as a stray spent most of its life as an outdoor or indoor cat.

Most often, you’ve picked them up or were given to you. There are ways to determine a cat’s age, and vets can give you a general idea of how old a cat may be. 

Teeth are an indicator of age

Feline teeth are a vital indicator of a cat’s age. Older cats will have more staining than younger cats if the previous owner has been negligent in brushing the cat’s teeth.

A cat that is about kitten age will have permanent teeth that will appear about four months of age. This cat maybe a year old if you see a cat with a full set of permanent white teeth.

As cats age, they will have tartar build-up and some yellowing, which will indicate that a cat may be around one to two years old.

If there is tartar buildup on all the teeth, the cat is three to five. A senior cat will have some missing teeth. 

The muscles of the cat

Cats that are younger have more well-defined muscles. They have higher activity.

Older cats will have more prominent bones and tend to have sagging skin. You will notice that they have more pronounced shoulder blades. 

The coat of the cat

A cat’s coat should also be examined because it is a vital indicator of a cat’s age. If a cat is younger or around kitten age, they will have softer and finer coats.

Thicker and coarser fur is usually the feature of older cats. There may also be patches of gray and white on the fur of a cat if they are already in their senior years. 

Examine the cat’s eyes

Younger cats will have bright, clear eyes. There will be an absence of tearing or eye discharge. If you notice some cloudiness in the eye, the cat may likely be twelve years or older.

The iris of the eyes should also be examined while inspecting the lens. Older cats will have jagged irises while younger cats will have smoother ones. 

How long do indoor cats live on average?-How to Increase Cat Life Expectancy

How long do indoor cats live on average


It is crucial to minimize the stress your cat experiences. When a cat is in isolation all their lives, they may get stressed. Cats are not made to be cooped up in the house.

Boredom may set in, and they will get stressed. It is crucial to give your cat stimulation in the form of toys.

You can even go as far as getting them another feline companion. Cats will be much happier with another cat since they are social and benefit from living with other cats. 

Having another cat in the house will enrich your cat’s life, plus, plenty of stimulation will make them live longer. 

Monitor your cat’s health with regular vet visits  

To ensure that your cat will live a longer life, you should monitor its health. Once your cat reaches ten years old, it is vital to increase vet visits from once a year to twice a year or every six months. 

Some cats can live to an astounding 23 years of age. These cats were able to receive veterinary care regularly.

Any health problems they have encountered were promptly treated, so they were able to reach such a ripe old age. 

Proper nutrition can increase cat life expectancy

Genetically, crossbreed cats have the potential to live longer lives. This was proven in a research paper published by the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.

However, it is important to note that it is not only genetics that plays a role in longer lives. Each cat will have individual qualities that set them apart from the others.

The environment also plays a crucial factor in longevity. Diet is especially important. Cats who eat a lot of antioxidant-rich foods live longer.

Other beneficial nutrients include vitamin E and beta-Carotene. Fatty acids also add significant years to the lifespan of cats.

This diet has been proven with cats fed with a controlled diet. The frequency your cat eats is also a vital factor.

Making sure your cat is trim and increasing healthy nutrition will help your cat achieve longer lifespans. 

Simply paying close attention to your cat can positively affect the cat lifespan

Diet, genetics, and nutrition all play a role in making your cat healthy. However, cats need love, too, and they need your tender loving care.

Your cat may be getting on in years, and their bodies may already suffer from different ailments.

The love and care you give them and the number of cuddles you share will help determine your cat’s quality of life. The maintenance your cats get will help keep them in top shape. 

As a pet owner, you should also examine the changes n your cat’s habits and behavior. Examine their stool, urine, coat condition, and weight.

You should know what is normal for your cat so you can identify problems early on.

Feeding your cat premium food is not enough since every cat is different. You may have to visit a vet if you think your cat has special concerns. 

Cat Breeds that Live the Longest

Siamese cat

The Siamese cat is striking and beautiful and has intrigued cat aficionados for years. These cats originally come from Thailand.

They have svelte figures and beautiful, distinct markings. They are highly social and have distinct vocalizations.

Siamese cats are vulnerable to dental and respiratory conditions. The breed overall is healthy, with no major health concerns. Siamese can live for up to 12 to 20 years. 

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 8 to 10 inches

WEIGHT: 8 to 10 pounds

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Svelte body; almond-shaped eyes; triangular-shaped head


A native little brown cat from Burma and the Siamese make up the bloodlines of the Burmese cat. The Burmese are social, adventurous, and playful.

This breed has good overall health, although it is predisposed to having cranial deformities.

Glaucoma is another problem with this cat. Despite these health issues, expect a Burmese to live for 16 to 18 years

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 10 to 12 inches

WEIGHT: 6 to 10 pounds

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Golden round eyes; well-muscled body

Savannah Cat

This cat originated from Africa and is recommended for experienced cat owners only. This is not a fully domesticated cat and tends to be wild.

Despite this, they can be friendly with people. However, it should be noted that they are rather unpredictable. They are highly active with bold natures.

Savannahs can come as hybrids, and these varieties are generally healthy. This cat has an average lifespan of 12 to 20 years

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 12 to 14 inches

WEIGHT: 20 to 30 pounds

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Tall, svelte body; upright ears; yellow coat with dark spots and stripes

Egyptian Mau

As the name suggests, this cat comes from ancient Egyptian cat breeds. In fact, if you look at ancient Egyptian art, you will be beholding the ancestors of the Egyptian Mau.

This is a beautiful cat with spots on the coat. These cats are amiable and comfortable with people. They can easily be integrated into a family.

This type of cat wants to be close to family members. Health issues of this breed include heart disease. Egyptian Maus can live for 12 to 15 years. 

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 8 to 10 inches

WEIGHT: 7 to 9 pounds

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Long, well-muscled body; Jade green eyes; huge ears


The ragdoll is easygoing and gentle. This cat loves its human owners and tails them everywhere they go. Ragdolls can be like furballs when they are totally relaxed.

The breed is healthy overall, but it does have a predisposition to having bladder stones and heart disease. How long do indoor cats live on average? Ragdolls live for 15 years or more.

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 9 to 11 inches

WEIGHT: 8 to 20 pounds

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Cerulean eyes; semi-long-haired coat


Balinese cats look similar to the Siamese cat and evolved as its long-haired version. As such, the only difference between the breeds is the length of the coat.

Balinese cats are friendly, energetic, and have loud vocalizations. It wants to be involved in the activities of its human owners and family life. Balinese live up to 12 to 20 years.

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 6 to 7 inches

WEIGHT: 8 to 12 pounds

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Triangular-shaped head; svelte body; sapphire eyes

Russian Blue

This breed is distinct for being quiet. The Russian Blue is affectionate to family members but is not the clingy type.

Russian blues love high places, and you can find them resting on a sunny spot or the highest point in your home. They are like little monarchs observing their territory.

The breed has a predisposition to developing bladder stones and eye problems. How long do indoor cats live on average? The lifespan of this cat is considerably ranging from 15 to 20 years.

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 8 to 10 inches

WEIGHT: 8 to 12 pounds

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Blue or grayish coat; jade green eyes; triangular-shaped head


Bombays are exotic and sleek and look like miniature panthers. This breed of cat was specifically bred to look like that wild version, and it certainly fulfills the role.

These cats are easygoing and affectionate. Bombay cats love to play, but they are also satisfied curling up on their owner’s lap or simply cuddling.

The health problems of this breed include respiratory problems. This is partly due to the short muzzle of the breed. They are also prone to heart disease. Its average lifespan is around 12 to 16 years.

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 8 to 10 inches

WEIGHT: 8 to 15 pounds

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Well-muscled- body; rounded head; black, glossy coat

American Shorthair

This breed is much beloved because of its playful and easygoing nature. These cats are great at entertaining themselves, and they don’t need much attention.

However, they do appreciate socialization and play that requires interaction. They are generally healthy but are prone to heart disease. American shorthairs have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years.

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 8 to 10 inches

WEIGHT: 10 to 15 pounds

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: well-muscled build; a short, thick coat


This breed is hairless, but on the contrary, it is a high-maintenance cat. They are vulnerable to getting cold, so they need to wear something warm in cool temperatures.

Their skin also produces excess oil, so they need to be bathed often. Some of the health issues of this breed are heart disease, neurological issues, and skin conditions. Despite this, Sphynx breeds will live up to 10 to 15 years.

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 8 to 10 inches

WEIGHT: 10 to 12 pounds

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Hairless; wrinkles on the skin; svelte build

Breeds to Avoid

The average lifespan of a cat should be 15 years. Some breeds fall short of this average and have relatively short lifespans.

How long do indoor cats live on average will be affected by the breed of cat? One breed is the Manx, which only lives for 14 years. Singapura also has a short lifespan at only 9 to 15 years. The average lifespan of Munchkin cats is 12 to 4 years. 

The breed’s lifespan doesn’t matter because overall, domesticated cats that are permitted to go outdoors have the shortest lifespans. They only have 2 to 5 years of life expectancy. 

Aging Cats

No matter what precaution you do, cats will eventually age. Cats age in a healthier way than others and the following is what to expect:

Behavioral changes

Aging cats will have different sleep cycles. You may also notice that their voice changes. They also have reduced tolerance to stress 

Appearance changes

How long do indoor cats live on average

The appearance of your cat will change, especially in the eye area. The eye may get cloud and blue-gray in appearance. This condition is called lenticular sclerosis. 

Their skin will also have more sag. The nails will become thicker. You will observe changes in their weight and visual acuity. The teeth will have more tartar making it more yellowish. 

Daily functional changes

There will be changes in activity patterns, as well as movement. Vison will decline, and their sense of smell and hearing won’t be as sharp.

DISHA pattern

Generally, unhealthy aging cats will exhibit the DISHA patterns


Cats will get in familiar places. They may fail to recognize family members.

Interaction changes

There will be a difference in how the cat relates to its owners and other cats. Some changes include irritability, clinginess, and becoming more distant. 

Sleep/wake disturbances

Aging cats may sleep more during the day while being more vigilant and awake up at night. There are marked irregular sleep cycles. 


Cats may urinate or defecate where they shouldn’t. If they were trained to expel outdoors in the yard, they might do it indoors. 

Activity changes and anxiety 

They will have a marked disinterest in play. On the other hand, they may display restlessness and repetitive behaviors such as excessive licking. 

Final Thoughts

The first time you have taken your cat to your home was an exciting time. Over the years, you may have found a friend and a loving companion with a cat.

Cats will inevitably age, and it is crucial to take care of your cats if you want to have fruitful years with them.

How long do indoor cats live on average is determined by how much care you give them. Genetics, vet visits, nutrition, and TLC all play a role in your cat’s eventual lifespan. 

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