Tabby Cat Lifespan: How Long Do Tabby Cats Live?

Written by Heather Hall
Updated: June 27, 2023
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How Long Do Tabby Cats Live? infographic
Tabby cats typically have an average lifespan of 12 to 18 years,

The tabby cat is an incredible and friendly pet to own! Cat enthusiasts all over the globe agree that they make the ultimate perfect family addition to any family home. From their beautiful coat to their infectious, playful personalities, tabbies continue to be a popular pet choice. 

If you’re considering taking in a tabby cat as a pet or just happen to love cats, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll explore the tabby cat lifespan to find out how long tabby cats live and what to expect from them at every different life stage. 

How Long Do Tabby Cats Live?

tabby cat in litter box

Tabby cats can live as long as 18 years.


On average, tabby cats live between 12-18 years. This is relatively long when compared to outdoor cats. Cats that live out on the streets have been known to survive for 2-5 years at best. This is due to the numerous hazards that a cat may face when living outside. These include getting hit by a car or being attacked by a dog or other large predators

Some of the oldest cats on record have been tabbies, including “Creme Puff,” a tabby who lived to be 38, and “Puss,” a tabby who lived to be 36! Puss was featured as the oldest cat ever recorded in the 1990 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. However, he was surpassed by Creme Puff who lived to 38 and the Guinness World Record was updated to reflect this. 

The tabby cat’s lifespan ultimately depends on two major factors. The breed of the cat and how well you care for your tabby cat. Taking good care of your tabby cat is the secret to longevity and a good life.

Now that we’ve gone through the tabby cat lifespan, let’s find out more about how they transition from kitten to adult. 

The Average Tabby Cat Life Cycle

Like other breeds, tabby cats are categorized into four life stages: kittens, young adults, mature adults, and elders.

Let’s explore each life stage in detail. 


The tabby cat is considered a kitten from birth to 1 year of age. As a newborn, the tabby cat is at its most delicate and sensitive stage. Within the first 3-6 months of their life, the tabby kitten will have the most playful energy! Kittens learn the most through play and this is the stage where they will seek lots of stimulation. 

Young Adult

The young adult stage for tabby cats is between 1-6 years of age. During this period, the tabby cat may begin playing less than they did as a kitten and gradually begin to approach sexual maturity. It is critical to ensure they are consuming protein-rich meals during this time. This is also the time to consider getting the tabby fixed in order to prevent any undesirable or harmful behavior. 

Mature Cat

domestic shorthair laying down with toy

Tabby cats mature into senior cats as soon as they are 11 years old.

© Iacob

The mature stage is between the ages of 7-10 years old. Your cat’s play activity begins to decline, and he or she is more prone to putting on weight. During this stage, it is easy to assume that the tabby is still young and healthy. However, a lot may happen in a cat year, which is equivalent to four human years. This is why regular check-ins with the vet are important during this life stage in order to prevent illness. 

Senior Cat

The senior cat stage is the final stage of a tabby cat’s life cycle. This stage begins when the tabby cat reaches the age of 11 and beyond. At this point of the life cycle, regular vet exams are critical. Switching to a senior cat food advised by your veterinarian can also assist with any digestive issues they may have. Senior cats, depending on the cat, will not engage in much playful behavior, preferring instead to lounge around and snuggle. 

How to Extend The Life Of Your Tabby Cat

Your tabby cat may live an extraordinarily long life, as we saw with the two oldest tabbies, Creme Puff and Puss. As with any pet, ensuring that your cat receives the finest care, food, and exercise is critical to its life. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to extending the lifespan of your tabby cat.

  • Kitten-proofing your home: Make sure you’re kitten-proofing your home. This includes covering vents, locking windows, and sealing off any areas where your tabby kitten may get into trouble or be wounded. Kittens have a habit of getting into areas you wouldn’t anticipate!
  • Getting them neutered or spayed: There are many reasons to get your tabby cat neutered. The most obvious reason being to avoid litters of kittens, spraying, and near-monthly heat cycles. However, according to new research, a spayed female cat will live 39 percent longer, while a neutered male cat will live 62 percent longer.
  • Feeding them a healthy diet: Obese cats are nearly three times more likely to die between the ages of 8 and 12 than healthy-weight cats. Obese cats are also considerably more prone to acquire types of cancer, heat intolerance, and joint problems. Feed your tabby a healthy diet only twice per day to keep them at a good weight. If your cat has attained senior status, switching to a senior formula might be quite beneficial if they are experiencing digestive issues.

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

Heather Hall is a writer at A-Z Animals, where her primary focus is on plants and animals. Heather has been writing and editing since 2012 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture. As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, Heather enjoys hiking, gardening, and trail running through the mountains with her dogs.

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