Is 17 years old for a cat?

  • Date: September 29, 2021
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Most cats have a life expectancy of 10-15 years, so a 17-year-old cat is considered a senior. While cats can live up to 20 years, 17 is typically the age at which a cat’s health and behavior begins to decline. Cat owners should be aware of the signs and symptoms of age-related illnesses and be prepared to make lifestyle changes to provide the best possible care for their elderly felines.


Cats are beloved family members and many people consider them to be part of the family. As cats age, they start to show signs of aging, just like humans do. So, is 17 years old for a cat? This is a common question that many cat owners ask when their cats start to age.

Lifespan of Cats

The lifespan of cats can vary greatly depending on the breed and other factors such as lifestyle and overall health. But in general, cats live about 12 to 15 years old. Some cats can live much longer, with the oldest cat ever recorded reaching the age of 38.

Signs of Aging in Cats

When cats start to age, they can show signs of aging such as:

  • Decreased activity and energy
  • Changes in appearance, such as greying fur
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Changes in behavior
  • An increase in sleeping
  • Decreased appetite

These signs may be subtle at first, but can become more pronounced as the cat ages further.

Health Issues in Older Cats

Older cats can experience a variety of health issues as they age. Some of the most common health issues in older cats include:

  • Arthritis
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Dental disease
  • Heart disease

These health issues can cause discomfort and pain, and can even be life-threatening if left untreated.

What to Do for an Older Cat

If your cat is 17 years old or older, there are several things you can do to ensure that your cat remains happy and healthy:

  • Make sure to take your cat to the vet regularly for check-ups and screenings
  • Provide your cat with plenty of comfortable bedding, such as a heated bed or blanket
  • Make sure your cat has plenty of water and a good quality, age-appropriate diet
  • Provide your cat with plenty of playtime and interaction
  • Keep an eye out for any changes in behavior or health


Cats can live to be 17 years old and older, although this is not typical. As cats age, they can experience a variety of health issues and it is important to monitor their health and provide them with the best possible care. With the right care, cats can live long, healthy lives.

## Common Myths About Cat Age

1. Myth: A cat’s age is equivalent to seven human years.

Fact: This is not true. A cat’s age is equivalent to a human’s age at 15 to 18 years old, depending on its size and breed.

2. Myth: A cat’s lifespan is only 8-10 years.

Fact: While this may be true for outdoor cats, indoor cats typically live 12-17 years.

3. Myth: All cats reach their senior years at age 7.

Fact: This is not true. Smaller cats can reach their senior years earlier, while larger cats may not reach their senior years until age 10 or 11.

4. Myth: A 17-year-old cat is too old to live a healthy life.

Fact: While age-related health issues may occur in cats, 17-year-old cats can still live a healthy and happy life. It is important to keep up with regular vet visits to ensure your cat is receiving the care they need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 17 years old for a cat?

Yes, 17 years old is considered elderly for a cat. The average lifespan of a cat is 15-20 years, with cats living into their late teens or early twenties not being uncommon.



Cats can live up to 17 years of age, and it is important to provide them with the right care as they age in order to ensure they stay happy and healthy. This includes taking them to the vet regularly, providing them with comfortable bedding and age-appropriate diet, and giving them plenty of playtime and interaction. Monitoring their behavior and health can also help to identify any health issues they may be experiencing. With the right care, cats can live long and healthy lives.

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