Tabby Cat
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How long do tabby cats live? Lifespan, living, & health issues

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Cats are the perfect addition to any home. They are incredibly affectionate pets and their enthusiasts are present all around the globe. If you are also planning to bring a tabby pet to your home, it would be the best idea to research its lifespan so that you can spend the most part of your life with your pet. 

Tabby cats do not mention a breed but they refer to the pattern or design of the cats. Different cat breeds do not resemble tabby cats but they carry the tabby gene. The stripes, swirls, and spots of the cats enhance their beauty.  On their forehead, they possess a characteristic M that is inherited from their wild ancestors. 

In this article, you are going to know not about the lifespan of tabby cats but it will also be a complete guide to keep your cats healthy throughout their life span. 

The average life span of tabby cats is 12 to 18 years. It is comparatively shorter for outdoor tabby cats because they do not live in hygiene conditions as indoor tabby cats live in. Diet, exercise, and nutrition are some of the factors that severely affects the life of cats. So giving your tabby cat a balanced diet and enough exercise can prolong its life span.  

Keep reading the article to know more about it.

General Life Span Of Cats

The general domestic cats mostly live up to 14 or 16 years. This is presumptuous because they habitually stay indoors.  

They have longer life spans as compared to the cats who wander and go out frequently. It is because of the risks that they face outdoors. There are chances of hitting by a vehicle, being attacked by different animals, or can catch a deadly viral disease. Leukemia can also be caused by outdoor living cats.  

According to a report by the Guinness Book of World Records, Crème Puff was the longest living cat and it lived up to 38 years.

It was born in 1967 and died in 2005. It died 3 days after it turned 38 years old.

Life Span Of Tabby Cats

As stated above, tabby is not the name of a breed. It is referred to the pattern of the cats due to the tabby gene. There are different cats that do not resemble tabby cats but yet they possess this gene.  

There are different patterns of tabby cats. The most specific characteristic of the tabby cats is an “M” on their forehead. 

This specific characteristic is possessed by the wild ancestors of the cats.  

So, the question is how long can these cats live?  

The markings and patterns of the tabby cats do not directly affect the lifespan of cats. Some cats have more prolonged life than others.  

According to studies about cats, female cats tend to live longer than male cats.  As humans need proper diet, care, and exercise, cats also need a nutritional diet and proper exercise to live a healthy life. This is also the factor that causes a shortening of the lifespan of outdoor cats.  

Fat or obese cats also have a risk of a shorter life span because they can get heart diseases, diabetes, leukemia, and arthritis. Indoor living cats can get these diseases easily due to overeating. So balanced diet should not be compromised for indoor cats especially. 

If you frequently take out your tabby cat for exercise or light walk. You are doing wrong to them because they can get viral diseases from other stray animals or can get hit by vehicles. So, it is necessary to keep them indoors to prolong their lifespan.  

Factors Affecting Tabby Cat’s Lifespan

Different factors are considered that affect the lifespan of your cat. Some of the most important factors are mentioned in the article. These factors seriously increase the lifespan and survival chances of the cats.  

Outdoor And Indoor Time

Cats who live indoors have 45% more survival chances than outdoor living cats. If your cat mostly lives inside and sometimes is allowed to go out without supervision will have shorter lifespans.  

Recall, going outside without supervision can cause your cat hit by cars and fight with stray animals.  

Try to keep them indoors by providing them with some playful activities that would not hurt them and will guarantee comfortable and prolonged life.

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Dieting and Appropriate Exercise

Most tabby cats live for 18 years or even more with proper diet and exercise. Diet and exercise are the most important factors that may affect the longevity of a cat’s life.  

 If your cat does not get proper exercise, it may be at risk of different health diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disorders that can lead to death at young or early age. 

Consult your veterinarian to get a balanced diet plan and proper exercise tips.  

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You can also use playing toys and exercising tools for cats. Playing fetch games with your tabby companion for 20 minutes a day will be enough for exercise. For tabby kittens take a break after ten minutes and then start the next session after 30 minutes.

Provide regular vitamins & supplements to your cat can also help it maintain balanced lifestyle. Check Chewy for top brands that provide needed supply for your cat.

Food and Timely Treatment

For the long lifespan of your tabby partner, emotional treatment, physical treatment is vital aspects that should be considered.  

If you want to spend more years of your life with your tabby friend, you will need to serve your tabby with the fresh and healthy food that is recommended by veterinarians. Serve your cat with an adequate amount of food to avoid obesity that is the root cause of different diseases in cats. Serving a bowl of clean and fresh water is also necessary to keep your cat hydrated.  

Setting cat trees or perch in your house will keep your tabby cat mentally busy and active. Taking your tabby pet to the clinic for regular check-ups can increase the chances of a longer and healthier lifespan. 

Tabby cats are very smart and intelligent, it is necessary to provide them with engaging and playful activities or toys to keep them mentally busy.

Tabby cat’s Genetics and Breed

Savannah, Siamese, British short hair, and Burmese are tabby cats and possess a longer lifespan than other tabby cat breeds. For example, Manx tabbies, Selkirk Rex are cat breeds that can survive only for 8 to 10 years.  

The above-mentioned breeds are healthier and suffer from fewer health disorders.  

Different genes are being engineered through selective breeding to develop specific traits. Genes for coat color and pattern can show unexpected results through mutation. So genes and breeds also play an important role in the longer and healthier life span of tabby cats.

Want to know what breed is your Cat? Check out Basepaws to find out your cat’s origin.

Health Issues of Tabby cats

Some of the Tabby Cat health issues are as follows. 

Lethargic Behavior in Tabby cats

Lethargic behavior may not seem a health concern. But it needs to be considered. It may be an indication of something wrong with your cat.  

Your cat may seem lethargic if they are in some kind of pain or if they are not getting attention. Lethargic cats will stop drinking water or eating as they eat in a normal routine. Some of the cat breeds may lose their social interaction and fall prey to depression.  

If your cat is also showing a lack of interest in playing sessions and is found sleepy most of the time. You should take it to a veterinarian for a check-up. 

Take a look at general causes of Lethargic behavior in cats. 

  • Asthma 
  • Diabetes 
  • Surgical procedures 
  • Weight loss 
  • Poor coat quality
  • Anemia 
  • Side effects of medicines

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Lower Urinary Tract Problems in Cats 

Feline urinary tract problems are very common in cats. A large number of cats get this disease due to stones and crystals that are formed in the body.  

It equally occurs in male and female tabby cats. It can develop in adults and kittens as well regardless of age.  

Some common causes of feline urinary tract problems in cats are as follows: 

  • Stones and crystals 
  • Stress and Depression 
  • Back issues 
  • Birth defects

Upper Respiratory Infections

Your cat can get upper respiratory infections due to bacterial infections. The most prominent symptom of upper respiratory infection in cats is sneezing or irritation in the mouth or nose.  

Your cat may develop this disease if you hear nasal congestions or observe runny noses in them. The cat’s eyes may also appear red.  

Its symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, congestion, red eyes, mouth ulcers, and lack of appetite. 

If you observe these symptoms in your cat, take it to a doctor for a check-up and adopt these preventative measures. 

  • keep your cat indoor 
  • Reduce stress and depression in your house 
  • Isolate infected cats 
  • Avoid serving multiple cats in one bowl.


Your cat’s upset stomach maybe because of diarrhea. It can be developed due to the following reasons.  

  • Sudden diet changes 
  • Lack of nutritional diet 
  • Dehydration
  • Intolerance against certain items 
  • Cancer 
  • Bowel disease 
  • Worms 

The diarrhea symptoms may last for one or two days or it can also go for a longer time. Its treatment or diagnosis may not be easy because there are different conditions that can cause diarrhea. 

Dental problems

Cats can get different dental problems that can affect their life span. Your tabby cat is also very sensitive to dental problems. They can get cavities in their teeth, gum diseases, and bacterial infections. Following symptoms may indicate dental issues in your cat. 

  • Cracked or broken teeth 
  • Plaque  
  • Ulcers
  • loss of appetite or difficulty eating 
  • Bad breath 
  • Dark red gum lines 

Brushing your cat’s teeth will help to avoid these issues. 

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How to Prolong their life span? 

Sickness and infections can badly affect any tabby cat. They should be left with their mother till they are fourteen weeks old. Living with the mother will make them more socially interactive and emotionally stable.  

If you are going to adopt a tabby kitten or an adult, take it to the doctor for proper vaccination that starts as the kitten gets six weeks old.  

It will help your cat to fight against diseases. Tabby cats require more care and treatment to live safely and healthily.

Always take your cat to doctors for regular checkups and treatments. It will help in the diagnosis of any health issue and its timely treatment.  

A balanced diet is essential for animals and tabby cat is not different from them. There is a wide range of cat foods available in the market. Make sure that you choose the best one for your cat.  

Avoid overfeeding to avoid obesity and diseases that are caused due to obesity. Its hygiene and grooming should never be compromised. Daily combing and weekly baths will protect your cat from getting fleas and allergies.  

Scheduling a 20 minutes play session with your cat will also prolong the estimated life span of your cat. It will also help you to build strong and healthy relationships with your cat.  


Tabby may prove to be the best companion. They are different from other cats only in their beautiful markings. You can expect your friend to live more than the estimated life with proper diet and care. Keeping your cat indoors and getting it neutered will also prolong its life.  

Expectantly, this article is helpful to you and you have learned something different about the lifespan of your tabby friend. The tips to prolong its life will be very helpful to prolong its life span.  

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