Do Cats Live Longer than Dogs?

Do Cats Live Longer than Dogs?

Dogs and cats have been popular companions for decades with some people preferring to share their homes with a feline friend whereas others enjoy having a dog around. With this said, a lot of households have both a dog and a cat and the two tend to get on very well especially if they have grown up together. In general, cats tend to boast longer life spans than their canine cousins although this does depend on several factors, including how well they are cared for, the diets they are fed and their environments.

A Cat's Average Life Span

Indoor cats tend to live longer than cats that are allowed to explore the great outdoors. However, with this said and all thanks to the wonderful advancement in all aspects of veterinary medicine and the better understanding of a cat's dietary needs, our feline friends now live quite a lot longer with many of them getting to the ripe old age of 20 plus. One moggy is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records having lived for 30 years and 3 days!

To average things out, however, it would be fair to put the lifespan of an indoor cat anything between 12 to 15 years whereas a cat that's allowed to go outside would boast a shorter life span of around 8 to 12 years. The reason being they are more exposed to disease and injury than an indoor cat and this tends to shorten their lives considerably. Cats that live as indoor pets live in a safer environment that's usually stress-free with the added bonus being that if they show any signs of being ill, owners tend to pick up worrying symptoms that much sooner than they would if their cat spent most of their time in the great outdoors and only comes in to nap in their favourite spot.

Diet plays an essential role in the lifespan of our feline friends. It has to include the correct levels of taurine for cats to remain healthy throughout their lives. Fortunately, most of well known pet food manufacturers now include the right levels of taurine in their commercially produced cat food whether it's one that's specifically formulated for kittens, mature cats and when they reach their golden years. Cats need to be fed a correct diet to suit their ages with kittens needing higher levels of protein than an older cat would need simply because they are still growing.

A Dog's Average Lifespan

With dogs, there's a lot that plays a part to their life expectancy. This includes diet, exercise and their size. Big dogs tend to have shorter life spans than their smaller counterparts. A good example being the Great Dane, a large breed that boasts a life expectancy of around 8 years whereas a smaller miniature Poodle could live as long as 15 years plus. The reason why larger breeds don't live as long as smaller ones is because their hearts and other vital organs are put under a lot more pressure throughout their lives.

However, a dog's lifestyle and the environment they live in can have a bearing on the length of their lives too. A dog that lives outside is likely to have a shorter life span simply because they have to put up with all the elements which could negatively impact their overall general health. On the other hand, a dog that lives as an indoor pet would be a lot more comfortable and therefore stand a much better chance of staying healthier throughout their lives which tends to become more evident when they reach their “golden years”. An dog that lives in an outdoor kennel is more at risk of developing arthritis, a crippling and painful condition than a dog that’s lived indoors where it’s always dry and warm.

Neutering & Spaying Dogs and Cats

There is evidence that when both cats and dogs are spayed and neutered at the correct age, it can extend their lives quite considerably. The reason being that by having the surgery at an appropriate time in their lives, it reduces the risk of them developing certain health conditions which includes specific types of cancer associated with their reproductive organs and which attack a female’s mammary glands.


It would be fair to say that cats boast longer life spans than their canine cousins, but with this said there are many factors that can influence each individual’s life expectancy. Dogs and cats when they are well cared for, fed the correct sort of well-balanced diet and are taken for regular veterinary health checks will naturally boast longer life spans than animals that are not given this amount of care. In general, a well cared for cat can live a very long time which could be well over the age of 20 whereas a well loved and cared for dog can be expected to live anything from 8 to 15 years depending on their size.



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