Thursday, June 20, 2024

How Long Do Tabby Cats Live?

How Long Do Tabby Cats Live? Read on to find the best answer!

Tabby cats are very loyal, playful, and friendly pets. But how long do tabby cats live? Well, it depends on numerous factors, which we have discussed right here in this article.

How Long Do Tabby Cats Live?

The “tabby” gene is found in all domestic cats, including varieties that don’t look like tabbies. Tabby isn’t a specific breed but rather a mark or a pattern. The unique characteristics of tabby cats involve stripes, spots, and swirls. Tabbies have inherited these traits from their wild ancestors, especially the unique ‘M’ on their forehead.

Although some genes are recessive in some breeds, many factors influence cat longevity or have been modified through selective breeding to develop or dilute distinct features.

Color and pattern are two genes that have the potential to mutate and yield unexpected outcomes. As a result, even a completely black cat can be a tabby if the pattern is hidden within the hue.

On a black cat lying in bright light, such basal tabby markings are frequently visible.

As a result of selective breeding, some cats have lost many of their ancestors’ genes. They are now far from the tabby pattern, exhibiting traits such as diverse colors and patterns not associated with what we call tabby today.

The Average Life Expectancy Of Tabby Cats

A tabby cat’s expected lifespan is 10-20 years, similar to an average domestic cat (of any breed). However, this does not rule out the possibility of your tabby cat living for less than ten years or more than twenty.

In fact, the world’s oldest tabby cats were:

  • Creme Puff (a tabby mix) known to live for 38 years
  • Puss (a tabby) lives till 36 years old before passing away.
  • Ma (a short-haired tabby) lived to be 34 years old.
  • For 31 years, Nutmeg (a tabby) thrived.
  • Tiger (an orange tabby) lived to be 32 years old.

A tabby cat with FeLV, FIV, or cancer, on the other hand, will only live for a few more years after being diagnosed. In other words, your tabby cat’s life expectancy is determined by several factors other than the fact that she is a tabby.

What Makes Indoor Tabby Cats Live Longer Than Others?

One of the best methods to extend the life of your tabby cat is to keep her indoors. The average indoor-only tabby cat lives 10-20 years, whereas allowing your tabby cat to go outside for a short period of time can drastically reduce her life expectancy to just 2-5 years.

An outdoor cat may live only 1/3 as long as an inside cat for three reasons:

  1. It’s Dangerous: If a neighbor considers outdoor cats to be “pests,” they’re significantly more likely to be hit by a car, get into a fight with an aggressive cat (or predator), or even eat poison.
  2. Outdoor cats bring contaminants: Fleas, ticks, and mites can bring infections home, or they can contract non-curable diseases like FIV or FeLV after being attacked by an infected cat (about 4 percent of feral cats have FIV).
  3. Strolling Off is a Possibility: An outdoor cat may walk too far and end up off the path, with only 34% of missing tabby cats being found alive during the first seven days.

The chances of damage, illness, or separation from the family are high when the cat is outside. It could also result in her death or a non-curable ailment that would shorten her life by years.

Reasons That Affect the Life Of A Tabby Cat

Depending on several factors, tabby cats can live for up to 20 years. Some of the most prevalent factors that influence the longevity and lifetime of a tabby cat include:

Genetics and Breed 

Tabby cats like Burmese, Siamese, Savannah, and British Shorthair live longer than other tabby cat breeds. These breeds are generally healthier and have fewer health problems. The lifespan of Burmese tabbies, for example, is 18 to 25 years.

Other breeds, including the Selkirk Rex and Manx tabbies, have shorter lifespans. They live eight to fourteen years on average.

Nutrition And Proper Care

If your tabby cat has balanced nutrition and sufficient physical and mental care, this is a crucial aspect that influences her longevity. Always feed your pet meals that have been approved and suggested by your veterinarian. To avoid spoiling them, don’t overfill them with treats. Always keep a supply of clean water available.


How long do tabby cats live? As said above, it varies from breed to breed. Although all cats carry the tabby gene, the term “tabby” now exclusively refers to domestic cats with tabby markings on the outside.

Those cats survive longer than specified breeds like Persians or Siamese that have been tweaked more specifically away from the tabby pattern by humans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Tabbies Understand Human Language?

Yes. According to a team of experts, domestic cats like tabbies respond to their names more strongly than other phrases in a series.

Why My Sick Tabby Cat Is Biting Me?

It is because when cats bite, they’re usually attempting to inform you that they don’t like the attention they’re getting right now.

Do Tabby Cats Have A Distinct Odor While They’re Dying?

Tabby cats enjoy grooming themselves, therefore as they become older, they lose the stamina to do it, and their fur becomes unkempt and filthy. As their organs begin to shut down, they will also develop a recognizable stench due to toxins accumulating.

Serina Russow
Serina Russow
Hey there, I'm Serina, your friendly feline fanatic! As the proud founder of "Smart cat lovers," I'm on a mission to share my passion for all things cat-related. With years of experience in cat behavior and health, I'm here to provide expert advice on nurturing happy, healthy kitties. When I'm not tapping away on my keyboard, you'll find me curled up with my four adorable furballs: Whiskers, Luna, Billy, and Charlie.

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