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How Long Do British Shorthair Cats Live? (Average Lifespan Data & Facts)

Written by: Patricia Dickson

Last Updated on June 6, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

British shorthair cat playing golf ball

How Long Do British Shorthair Cats Live? (Average Lifespan Data & Facts)

The British Shorthair cat is well known for its sweet personality, large appearance, and lengthy lifespan of 9–20 years. If you take care of your British Shorthair cat and give it plenty of attention, there’s no reason why this normally healthy cat can’t live to its full life expectancy and possibly beyond.

If you’ve often wondered what the average lifespan of your British Shorthair cat might be, how to keep him healthy and happy for many years to come, and what the stages of your cat’s life might be, we’ve got you covered. We’ll discuss the average lifespan of your feline and more, so join us.

divider-catclaw1 What’s the Average Lifespan of British Shorthair Cats?

The average lifespan of a well-cared-for, healthy British Shorthair cat is between 9 and 20 years, with the average median being between 12 and 14 years, depending on the cat’s health.

British Shorthair cat
Image Credit: Rebekka D, Pixabay

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The 8 Reasons Why Some British Shorthair Cats Live Longer Than Others

There are a few reasons that one British Shorthair cat might live longer than the other.

1. Nutrition

Nutrition plays a massive role in how long your British Shorthair cat will live. If you want your cat to live well into their teens, you’ll want to ensure it has a well-balanced, high-protein diet. It’s best to serve high-quality kibble or wet food and feed it on a schedule.

Free feeding isn’t good for a British Shorthair cat because they are prone to obesity, as it is already a large cat, to begin with. A cat that isn’t fed the proper amount of food or is fed low-quality kibble will not live a healthy life. Following the feeding requirements on the food label, using a measuring cup for portion control, and talking to your veterinarian will ensure your British Shorthair gets enough nutritious food.


2. Environment and Conditions

Of course, as with any cat, the environment and conditions in which the British Shorthair is raised will have a lot to do with how long it lives. If a cat lives outside, it’s apt to live a shorter life than a cat kept inside. Outdoor cats risk getting hit by cars, overheating or freezing from the weather, being stolen, and being attacked by predators.

british shorthair standing on grass
Image Credit: MelaniMarfeld, Pixabay

3. Enclosure Size/Living Quarters/Housing

The size of the living quarters of a cat matters as well. If your British Shorthair lives in horrible conditions, the cat will not live as long as one in a healthy environment. Although British Shorthairs can live in small homes and apartments, if the conditions are too cramped, the cat can develop anxiety that can negatively impact its health. British Shorthairs are overly energetic, but they require enough room to run around and play and a quiet area where they can relax and sleep.


4. Size

British Shorthairs are prone to obesity, and it’s vital to limit how many high-calorie treats the cat consumes. They can weigh up to 18 pounds (on average) as adults, and if your cat tips the scales in the low to mid-20s, it’s time to talk to your vet about a weight management plan.


5. Sex

The sex of the British Shorthair doesn’t play as much into the lifespan if you have your cat spayed or neutered. A few diseases, such as mastitis and eclampsia, can come from your cat getting pregnant, and male cats tend to wander if they aren’t fixed. Having your cat fixed early can prevent diseases and accidents from prematurely ending your cat’s life.

White British Shorthair
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

6. Genes

Genetics plays a huge role in the life expectancy of a cat. British Shorthair cats can have hereditary issues such as kidney disease, arthritis, and even dental issues that affect their quality of life and how long they live. It’s best to watch your feline closely and visit your veterinarian at least twice a year. If you see any signs of health issues, get the cat to the vet for diagnosis and treatment immediately.


7. Breeding History

The breeding of your cat can play a huge part as well. Breeders that get their cats DNA tested, provide vaccinations and treatments, keep detailed records of their cats’ history, and maintain sanitary dwellings are more successful with breeding healthy litters. Avoiding inhumane breeders and kitten mills will raise your chances of enjoying your cat for several years.


8. Healthcare

Healthcare is also a factor that causes some British Shorthair cats to live longer than others. If a cat doesn’t get the healthcare it needs, such as regular checkups with the local vet, it is more likely to suffer from a condition that could have been prevented. Kittens require several visits to the vet before adulthood, but when your cat is an adult, you only have to go to the vet every 6 months unless an accident or illness requires an additional trip.

British Shorthair
Image Credit: PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek, Shutterstock

Cat ball divider 1The 3 Life Stages of a British Shorthair Cat

A British Shorthair cat has three life stages.

1. Kitten

Your feline pal is considered a kitten from birth until age three since British Shorthairs take longer to mature. This is one of the most important times in your British Shorthair’s life. Make sure that you feed the kitten a steady diet filled with protein once it is weaned from its mother so that it can grow into a healthy, happy adult. However, at 1 year of age, the kitten will start slowing down, and you’ll need to replace kitten food with an adult formula.


2. Adult

From 1 year to 7 years old, your cat will mature and be the most active and healthiest it will ever be. If you take care of your cat the way you should, feed it properly, and take it to the vet for regular checkups, the cat should have no problems reaching senior age.

Golden-british-shorthair-kitten-in-orange-background
Image Credit: OksanaSusoeva, Shutterstock

3. Senior

Once your furry friend reaches 7 years of age and older, it’s considered a mature cat. Those vet visits are more important than ever, and your cat will begin to slow down and not play as much.

You can switch your pet to a senior diet and buy food that suits its age and slower lifestyle. If your cat is taken care of properly, there’s no reason it shouldn’t live to a ripe old age.

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How to Tell Your British Shorthair Cats’ Age

It’s hard to tell how old your British Shorthair cat might be if you weren’t there when they were born. You can take your cat to your vet, and they’ll be able to determine approximately how old the cat is. You can also look at a cat’s teeth to see if any are broken, missing, or decayed and check its eyes for cloudiness. Since the British Shorthair takes longer to physically mature than other felines and it is difficult to determine its age, it’s best to get your vet’s opinion.

person scratching a senior cats head
Image Credit: MauriceDT, Unsplash

divider-catclaw1 Conclusion

British Shorthair cats are known for living long lives. You can expect your cat to live up to 20 years. This is, of course, determined by the factors we discussed above, but if you take care of your cat properly, treat it with love, and keep it inside, there’s no reason your cat can’t live to the 20-year mark and maybe beyond; who knows? The best way to ensure your British Shorthair lives a good, long life is to feed it the right way, provide love and attention, keep it inside, and take it to the vet for regular checkups.


Featured Image Credit: Chill Chillz, Shutterstock

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