Cats are a universally loved animal and the American Pet Product Association, APPA, estimates that approximately 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States alone. This goes on to show how much loved cats are amongst human beings. The reason for cats being popular as pets is their extreme honesty and devotion to their owner. As Ernest Hemingway once famously said “A cat has absolute emotional honesty”. If you have a much loved cat at home and have often pondered on the question about how long cats live until you have to bid it goodbye, then read on further to get your oft asked question answered. Although the oldest cat to have ever lived, Crème Puff, was 38 years and 3 days when it died at the home of its owner in Austin, Texas; the average age of a cat varies between 12 to 15 years. However, for all those cat lovers whose cat is nearing their 12th or even 14th birthday, there is no need to worry as genetics coupled with the correct diet, care and environment also play a key role in extending the cat’s life. Life span of outdoor cats Stray cats have a predictably shorter lifespan than that of indoor cats. This is owing to the fact the outdoor cats are more susceptible to traffic accidents or getting caught by predators or even contracting infectious and life threatening diseases from other stray cats. Outdoor cats are also more prone to getting accidentally poisoned thus cutting short their life. Inadequate nutrition or even starvation shortens the life span of an average stray or feral cat. Life span of an indoor or pet cat The life span of a pet cat is considerably longer than that of a feral cat and pet cats can comfortably live to the ripe old age of 21 years or longer if given proper care and nutrition. If you are wondering how long can cats live until you need to prepare for their last days then you should know that environment plays a very crucial role in the lifespan of your cat. If your cat is only an indoor cat then it would live longer than if it is both an indoor and outdoor cat as going outdoors makes it susceptible of catching viral infections from other outdoor cats, thus shortening its lifespan. An important aspect to remember for all those who often think how long would their cat live is to know that if they are attentive to the needs and changes in the behavior of their pet cat, then they can considerably elongate its life span too. Subjecting your pet cat to routine vaccinations and veterinary checkups; providing them with a balanced diet according to their age; getting them adequate exercise in the form of play; conducting mini- physical examinations to look out for any changes and even observing general behavior changes and reporting it to the vet are all steps which would help elongate the life of your beloved feline. All those cat owners can now stop worrying about the life span of their cat and instead pay attention to small details and enjoy their time with their favorite feline.