This is a common question, especially among people that have not enjoyed owning a cat before, and there are many variables involved that will determine how long your tortoiseshell cat will live.
The average length of a cat’s life is around 15 years, but there are a number of factors in play that determine whether she lives to a ripe old age or not. Some breeds of cat live for longer than others, so because tortoiseshell cats are not a specific breed then this can have an impact. Genetics can also have an influence if your cat inherits any genes that can make her prematurely ill or shorten her life.
If you let your cat outside, then she will face dangers and hazards that indoor cats won’t face, such as road traffic, poisonous plants, other wildlife (such as dogs), and mean people that just don’t like cats. Tortoiseshell cats are very inquisitive so they do love to be outside exploring the garden and the neighbourhood – she just would not be a happy cat if we kept her locked up indoors all the time! However, if you live in a very busy, urban environment or next to a main road then you probably should keep her indoors.
If you look after your tortie and keep her in good health there is no reason that she should not enjoy a long and happy life. Some cats do live to be beyond 20 years, although this is quite rare – but if you are just bringing a tortoiseshell kitten into your home then you have many years of fun to come with her!
How old is your tortoiseshell cat? Let us know if she has lived to a ripe old age and if you have any tips for us!