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Outdoor Cat Life Expectancy — 11 Comments

  1. I have been caring for a stray cat for 18 months outside of my work location. It is a male and has survived the winter and hot summer. I have a home I bought for him; feed him fresh Friskies-Purina; bottled water and can of wet Friskies food every AM and PM. Over the weekends and holidays I only feed in AM. It took him 10 months before trusting me. This cat, Goldie, is the MOST AFFECTIONATE/LOVEABLE cat I have ever known. He trots to me at every sight of me. Goldie gives me non-stop kisses also. I just lost another stray kitty last Thursday, Patches. Patches came about around 6 moths after Goldie did. He also was a lover but mixed personality/passive-aggressive. However, I taught Patches to not bat or bite me and became a lover. Goldie though was the alpha. Patches whereabouts became unknown for 2 days and then found him lying in front of the cat house I bought them. Patches was lethargic and having great difficulty lifting his back end up, specifically his back left leg/hip area. I eventually was able to place him in a spot with a towel underneath his neck, leaving a bowl of fresh water and kisses. However, I found Patches by side of the office no longer breathing. Patches did have a bad cough the past few months which was not a fur ball. I do not know what happened but have been emotional since his passing. One of my co-workers buried him for me in the woods.

    • Thanks, Kelli, for your tender, sweet but sad story about caring for feral cat that you domesticated. I may turn it into an article.

      • Hi,
        Thank you for responding to this. However, both of the cats are not feral but stray. Goldie is still around and greatly cared and loved for. Because Goldie is like a domesticated lap cat would I ever or someone be able to care for him in their home? I would take him in a minute but have a home cat of my own who is 10 years old and spoiled so do not feel would make a good fit??????

  2. Indoor/outdoor cats here live to around 17 years of age on average, enjoying the fulfilled life which every cat deserves to live.

    • My theory is that indoor/outdoor cats are likely on average to live a bit longer than full-time indoor cats as long as going outside for the cats is safe from cars, cat haters and predators.

      • Quality of life is as important as quantity of life. I’m sure American cats would choose to keep their claws and take their chance outside rather than sit day after day imprisoned for a long unfulfilled life.

  3. A completely outdoor cat can expect a life expectancy the same of a feral. ie. 3-5 years.
    An indoor/outdoor cat (50/50) can probably expect a lifespan of about 8-12 years. If they are well cared for, their life could exceed 12-15 years.
    A completely indoor cat can expect to live 15 .

      • So many factors come into play – all that you mention, right down to the types of food eaten. I think there is even an element of luck.
        Nothing is set in stone. I have some ferals that are beyond 10 years old. Absolutely certain, because I was there after they were born.

        • The fact you said that some ferals that you know live to 10 was the sort of detail I was looking for because almost every website quotes feral cat lifespans at 2-5 years as if all feral cats are preordained to die aged five. There so many variables and some outdoor cats are barn cats and well cared for. In the right climate and with vet treatment they should live as long as any other cat.

          • I, personally, believe that climate and medical care are key to most of it.
            I’m sure that I wouldn’t see the longevity that I do if I lived in the frigid north.
            I hate even thinking about that. I would be frantic trying to build warm shelters.

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