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How Long Do Tabby Cats Live?

Posted: 05/27/2024 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Behavior , Cat , Top Tips

Do you share your life and home with a tabby cat? If so, you know how adorable and absolutely striking these felines are. But if you’re like a lot of tabby parents, you’re probably wondering, “How long do Tabby cats live? The wonderful news is, this breed can live for up to 20 years if they are well taken care of and kept indoors.

Let’s dive in and learn more about the amazing tabby cat.

How long do tabby cats live?

The Tabby Cat – A Thing of Beauty

Tabby cats are not a specific breed of cat. The term describes a coat type found in most cat breeds. Tabby simply classifies any type of domestic cat that has a very distinctive pattern on its coat. They also have an M-shaped mark on the forehead, kind of like a kitty superhero (I guess the “M” stands for Meow!). A tabby’s beautiful markings include stripes, flecks, dots, lines and intricate swirl patterns. It’s as if these cats have the entire universe’s constellations printed on their backs!

Tabby Personality Traits

Tabby cats are known for their friendly personalities. These cats are very affectionate with their humans and typically love curling up next to them in bed or on the sofa streaming TV. Tabby cats are also incredibly intelligent and alert. If you’ve got an orange tabby, you know that these guys can be a bit bossy and spunky. But they tend to do things that make us laugh so we forgive them for all of that catittude!

What Can Affect a Tabby Cat’s Lifespan?

As mentioned earlier, Tabby cats can live up to 20 years. But this is very much dependent on a variety of factors. Here are the biggest factors that can affect a tabby cats longevity:


Genetics play a big role in the tabby lifespan. There are certain breeds of tabby cats that simply have a longer lifespan. For instance, breeds such as the Burmese, Siamese, Savannah and British Shorthair tend to suffer less health issues and often live longer than other tabby cats. The Burmese, as an example, can live for 18 to 25 years on average. Sadly, some breeds simply have shorter lifespans, such as the Selkirk Rex, that lives for only eight to 14 years.

How long do tabby cats live?

Indoor VS Outdoor

Another major contributor to a tabby cat’s health and well-being, as well as their overall lifespan, is whether they stay mostly indoors or outdoors. Statistically speaking, those cats who live primarily or completely indoors tend to live longer. That’s because they are safe and secure inside your home, away from cars, wild animals, neighborhood dogs and other things that can negatively impact their health. Cats that live mostly outdoors or are allowed some unsupervised time outside typically live shorter lives.

If you want to ensure your fur baby lives as long and healthy a life as possible, keep them indoors where they will be safe. Indoor cats love safe cat enclosures or screened-in porches. 

Proper Care and Nutrition

Tabby cats that do not get the proper care and nutrition can have the same lifespan, if not shorter, than those cats who live primarily outdoors. It is very important to make sure you are feeding your fur baby a diet that has been approved by your veterinarian – one that offers complete and balanced nutrition. 

Equally important is ensuring you never miss her vaccinations or regular checkup visits. This includes dental checkups. Sadly, dental disease is incredibly common in cats over the age of three. If left untreated, dental disease can cause other more serious diseases to develop, including heart, kidney and liver disease.

And finally, it’s important that your tabby get enough physical and mental stimulation. Be sure to actively play and interact with your cat each day. Also, if you don’t have them already, consider getting some cat trees or cat perches your baby can climb to keep her muscles firm.

And finally, be sure to keep all toxic household items safely out of her reach. 

A Pet Insurance Plan Can Help Your Tabby Live a Long Life

You almost can’t find a better companion than a sweet tabby cat. And if you want your companion to stick around for 15 or 20 years, then you’ll want to take the very best care of her.

A pet insurance plan will help you pay for the very best care for your fur baby. From helping to cover the cost of spaying and neutering to dental cleanings and vaccinations, as well as the high costs of treating injuries from accidents and sudden or chronic illnesses, pet insurance can be a lifesaver. Literally!

Take two minutes to get a free, customized quote from some of the top providers in the country.

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  1. “Tabby Cat: Breed Profile, Characteristics & Care.”
  2. “The 5 Tabby Cat Patterns.”



The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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