Cats are one of the most popular pets in the country. Many Americans have taken these cute animals into their homes and one of the most popular domesticated cats is the tabby cat. If you're the owner of one of these beautiful cats you might be wondering how long they live.
In this article, we will look at how long tabby cats can live and what factors affect their lifespan.
What Is A Tabby Cat?
Before we begin we should define what we mean by a tabby cat. A tabby cat isn't a particular breed of cat but is the term used to describe any type of domesticated cat that has a particular set of patterns on its coat.
These patterns are characterized by an M-shaped mark on the cat's forehead as well as a variety of stripes, dots, lines, and flex across its body.
Many different breeds of cats can have tabby markings and being a tabby has no direct relation to how long the cat will live. A cat's lifespan is affected by many other factors instead.
Tabby cats will have a similar lifespan to other cats that have different colored fur and markings. As a general rule of thumb, this is around 14 to 16 years. Some cats can live longer than others and may make it to nearer 20 years of age.
What Factors Affect a Cat’s Lifespan?
Many factors will affect how long a tabby cat will live. Let’s look at some of these factors in turn.
Breed And Genetics
Some breeds of cats will naturally live longer than others and any tabbies of these breeds will likely live longer than tabbies of other breeds. Some of the breeds with longer lifespans include the British Shorthair, Burmese, Savannah, and Siamese.
All of these breeds naturally have better health and generally suffer from fewer health issues. It’s not unusual for some cats of these breeds to live for up to 25 years!
In contrast, some other breeds will not live as long. For example, breeds such as the Manx and Selkirk Rex have an average lifespan of only 8 to 14 years old and this will also be true of any tabby cats of these breeds.
Indoor Cats Versus Outdoor Cats
This is one of the major factors in how long a cat of any breed or markings will live.
Domesticated cats that live their life indoors have a much higher chance of living a long and healthy life. Cats that live outdoors or have the option of going outside unsupervised will, on average, live much shorter lives than purely indoor cats.
The outside world is full of dangers that can seriously injure or even kill cats. Some of these dangers include cars, dogs, or even fights with other cats. This is especially the case if they get into a fight with a feral cat that may have a variety of diseases.
If you want to give your tabby cat the best chance of living a long and healthy life, you should keep them indoors. If you do let them outside, this should be in a supervised environment such as a catio or cat-proof enclosure.
Some cats can even be leash-trained and taken out for walks in cat backpacks, so even indoor cats can still enjoy some fresh air.
Proper Care And Nutrition
Like any pet, or even any human, a cat’s lifespan and health are also going to depend on whether they get proper care and nutrition. You need to look after both the physical and mental needs of your tabby to ensure they live as long as possible.
You should make sure that your tabby is registered with a local veterinarian and that you take your cat to all of their regular checkups, including any dental ones. Cats need a variety of vaccinations when they are younger so ensure that all of these are given as and when they’re needed.
Cats can be very greedy and demanding when it comes to food and it can be tempting to spoil them, but only give them veterinarian-approved food. A few treats here and there will not harm your cat but don’t overdo them. You should also make sure that your cat always has some clean and fresh water to drink.
Although cats aren’t as time-demanding and energetic as dogs are, they still need mental and physical stimulation.
Consider getting a cat tree or perch for your tabby to climb (and sharpen their claws on) and take the time to play with your cat. Tabbies need mental stimulation and there are plenty of toys designed to make your cat think while they play.
Life Cycle of a Cat
Cats are generally categorized into four different life stages. Let’s take a look at these.
Cats are considered to be kittens from their birth until around one year of age. If you have a tabby cat from a young age you will find that kittens of three to six months are full of playful energy and will need lots of attention and mental stimulation.
You should play with them frequently and introduce them to a variety of toys.
The young adult stage covers the ages of one to six years old. Cats will begin to play less during this time and will approach their sexual maturity. You should consider getting your tabby fixed during this stage, especially if their behavior is a little wild.
This covers cats that are seven to ten years old. Cats can begin to become more sedentary and put on weight more easily. This is the stage where regular veterinarian checks start to become even more important.
This is the final stage of a cat’s life cycle and starts at 11 years old. Keep up the vet visits and follow any instructions given about diet and care.
In this article, we discussed how long tabby cats live. On average, they will live for 14 to 16 years.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.