The lifespan of a domestic cat – the maximum length an individual can expect to live – is around 30 years. However, this doesn't mean that the average cat will live this long: the real length of a feline's life is influenced by genetics, environment and lifestyle, as well as injury and illness.


Cats tend to live around 15 years, on average.

As in humans, female cats tend to live for longer than male cats. Neutered cats are also likely to live for longer than intact ones, and pure breed cats are less likely to live as long as crossbreeds.

Top 5 oldest cats

Creme Puff (38 years and 3 days)

3 August 1967 – 6 August 2005

Guinness World Records lists Creme Puff, a tabby mix, as the oldest cat ever to live. She was owned by Jake Perry of Austin, Texas.

Baby (38 years)

1970 – March 2008

In second place is Baby, a black domestic shorthair who lived in the USA and also reached 38 years old.

Puss (36 years and 1 day)

28 November 1903 – 29 November 1939

The 1990 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records listed Puss as the oldest cat ever recorded. The tabby was owned by Mrs T Holway of Devon, and died the day after his 36th birthday.

Ma (34 years and 5 months)

May-June 1923 – 5 November 1957

In the same edition, Guinness features Ma, a female tabby owned by Mrs Alice St George Moore, also of Devon.


Granpa Rexs Allen (34 years, 2 months)

Also owned by Jake Perry, Granpa Rexa Allen was a Sphynx-Devon Rex who lived to the age of 34. Perry claims that the cat's diet was the secret to its long life: eggs, broccoli, bacon and coffee with cream.


Sara RigbyOnline staff writer, BBC Science Focus

Sara is the online staff writer at BBC Science Focus. She has an MPhys in mathematical physics and loves all things space, dinosaurs and dogs.