How Long Do Indoor Cats Live? – The Meowy Reality

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

how long do indoor cats live

Cats are man’s best friend, and we can’t deny that we’ve all wished cats could live forever. The sad reality is that cats, like humans, have endings. If you have lovely house cats or are thinking about getting one, you may be wondering ‘how long do indoor cats live?’

To answer your question, the indoor cat’s lifespan is 10-15 years. However, it depends on the care you provide for your cat, their health, and the living environment. A happy, stress-free, and healthy cat lives longer and can live for up to 20 years!

What is the Average Cat Lifespan?


The average cat lifespan is 12-18 years. They can live up to 20 years, the longest cat lifespan, if they are treated with adequate care and depending on their surroundings and health. This is applicable to any type of cat, whether indoor-outdoor cats, such as domestic, and tabby.

Tabby cats are the cats that have this M-shaped feature on their forehead (see photo above). Their color is usually striped and is usually black or grayish. This type of cat is pretty common.

Cat Life Expectancy in Human Age


Just like dogs, cats age faster than humans. How many years a cat lives depends on its breed and whether it is indoor or outdoor. The average domestic cat lifespan is about 13 to 17 years, while outdoor cats live about half as long.

A cat lifespan in captivity usually always exceeds outdoor cats. You can equate a cat’s age to human years by doing some calculations.

It’s not as easy as adding and subtracting, though. Cats grow faster in their first years, so the estimated years vary. Here’s a rough estimation of their human age.

  • 1 month cat year = 1 human year
  • 6 month cat year = 10 human years
  • 1 cat year = 15 human years
  • 1 and a half cat year = 21 human years
  • 2 cat years = 24 human years
  • 4 cat years = 32 human years
  • 6 cat years = 40 human years
  • 9 cat years = 52 human years
  • 12 cat years = 64 human years
  • 15 cat years = 76 human years
  • 18 cat years = 88 human years
  • 20 cat years = 96 human years

Cats enter their senior years at around 11 years old. By comparison, dogs are considered seniors at around six or seven years old.

Types of Cats and Their Life Expectancy

While every cat ages differently, there are some general trends in feline lifespans. Certain breeds tend to live longer than others.

1. Siamese


Siamese cats often live 15 to 20 years, they enter their senior years around age 11. During this time, you may notice your cat sleeping more, drinking more water, or urinating more frequently.

She may also have a decrease in appetite or a change in her eating habits. She may become less active and playful and suffer from arthritis or other joint problems.

2. Maine Coon Cat


Maine Coons can reach into their early 20s. In their senior year, you may start to see some changes in their behavior or health, and it’s important to keep an eye out for them so you can help your Maine Coon enjoy a long life.

3. Sphynx


Sphynx have a shorter life expectancy than most cats, living only about 12 to 15 years on average. This means they enter their senior years at around age ten.

4. Devon Rex


Devon Rex, like Sphynx, tends to have shorter lifespans of around 12 to 14 years.

How Do We Know When Our Cats Enter Senior Years?


As cats enter their senior years, they may experience changes in their health and behavior. These changes can be subtle at first, and you may not notice them immediately. But if you know what to look for, you can help your cat stay healthy and comfortable as they age.

One change you may notice in your senior cat is a decreased activity level. They may sleep more, and they may not be as interested in playing or going for walks. This is normal, and it doesn’t mean your cat is lazy or bored.

Their reduced activity level is usually just a sign that they have less energy than they used to.


The lifespan of a cat is not as long as we would like it to be. If you have a feline friend and wonder “How long do indoor cats live?”, the answer should be 12 – 18 years only.

But there are ways to make sure our beloved feline friends enjoy their time with us for as long as possible. Proper nutrition, exercise, and regular vet check-ups are key to keeping your cat healthy and happy into its golden years.

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