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How old do cats live?

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Quick Answer

Cats on average live into their teens, with a life expectancy between 13 and 18 being typical for most breeds, barring other variables. Among these variables are whether the cat is kept indoors, and whether it is neutered. Certain breeds are more prone to genetic illness.

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For example, the Manx, a tailless breed, has a life expectancy between 8 and 14 years, due in part to genetic spinal abnormalities. Japanese Bobtails, a superficially similar breed, have life expectancies between 15 and 18 years because they do not carry the genes for spina bifida that Manx cats do. Cats with intact reproductive organs have significantly shorter lifespans. Although outdoor cats are more likely to face risks from cars and aggressive people or animals, neutered stray cats have a comparable lifespan to pet cats.

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