The average lifespan of pet cats has risen in recent years. In the early 1980s it was about seven years,:33 rising to 9.4 years in 1995:33 and 12-15 years in 2014. However, cats have been reported as surviving into their 30s, with the oldest known cat, Creme Puff, dying at a verified age of 38.
Spaying or neutering increases life expectancy: one study found neutered male cats live twice as long as intact males, while spayed female cats live 62% longer than intact females.:35 Non-neutered cats in the U.S. are four times as likely to be hit by a car as a neutered cat, and are three times more likely to require treatment for an animal bite. Having a cat neutered confers health benefits, because castrated males cannot develop testicular cancer, spayed females cannot develop uterine or ovarian cancer, and both have a reduced risk of mammary cancer.
Despite widespread concern about the welfare of free-roaming cats, the lifespans of neutered feral cats in managed colonies compare favourably with those of pet cats.:45:1358 Neutered cats in managed colonies can also live long lives.