12 Cat Breeds With the Longest Lifespans & How to Extend Their Years

There's a cat breed that lives to be 25 years old?! We found the longest-living cat breeds, and they might surprise you.

Published June 15, 2023
Natural breed korat blue-grey short-haired kitty face on a cat tree

Rumor has it that cats have nine lives, but how long is that in human years? The average house cat lifespan is between 10 and 15 years, but some breeds can reach the impressive age of 25 years old. If you're looking for a feline friend that will be with you for at least a couple of decades, you should definitely consider one of these 12 longest-lived breeds.

Top 12 Longest-Lived Cat Breeds

The cat breed that lives the longest is none other than the Burmese. These cats reach an average of 18 to 25 years, which is a lot longer than most other breeds. The oldest recorded Burmese cat, named Kataleena Lady, lived to the ripe old age of 27 years old.

Curious about which other breeds live long and prosper? The following chart details the 12 cat breeds with the longest lifespans, along with their average life expectancies. Did your cat make the list?

Cat Breed Lifespan
Burmese 18 to 25 years
Balinese 15 to 22 years

15 to 20 years

American Shorthair 15 to 20 years
Russian Blue

15 to 20 years

European Shorthair 14 to 20 years
Japanese Bobtail 15 to 18 years
Turkish Angora 12 to 18 years
Bombay 12 to 18 years
Ragdoll 13 to 17 years
Turkish Van 12 to 17 years
Tonkinese 12 to 16 years

Do Mixed Breed or Pure-Bred Cats Live Longer?

In general, mixed-breed cats are healthier and hardier than pure breeds because of their genetic diversity, so they tend to live longer. There's less risk of in-breeding and reinforcement of inherited breed-related diseases, like Burmese head defect (BHD) in Burmese cats or Devon Rex myopathy in the Devon Rex breed.

Still, every cat is an individual. Whether they're a mixed breed or purebred, there's always a chance a cat could live to be 7 or 27. You have to keep in mind that genetics is only part of the equation, as well.

Fast Fact

Do black cats live longer? Science says, "Yes." Data suggests that the gene responsible for black fur color in cats and jaguars is also linked with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) resistance.

Factors That Impact a Cat's Lifespan

A cat's breed isn't the only thing that dictates their lifespan. Several factors contribute to how long cats live, including their diet and environment. Don't worry, your love and care will make a difference!

1. Environment

This might come as a surprise, but one of the biggest things that can shorten your cat's life is their environment, namely, whether you keep them inside or let them go outside. The lifespan of an outdoor cat is only 2 to 5 years, which is way shorter than that of an indoor cat (10 to 15 years on average). This is because they're in danger of being hit by cars, attacked by wild animals, or becoming infected with life-threatening diseases outdoors.

2. Reproductive Status

Spaying and neutering doesn't just keep your cat from reproducing. These procedures can also help them live a lot longer.

Mammary and testicular cancers, plus complications like pyometra, can shorten an intact cat's life. Even though these conditions might sound far-fetched, they are a lot more common than pet owners realize.

In fact, studies show that spayed cats live an average of 3.6 years longer than intact female cats, and neutered males live 4.3 years longer than those who aren't neutered.

3. Diet

It's no secret that nutrition is a super important part of a cat's health. Cats who don't eat a balanced diet are at risk of diabetes, urinary stones, and vision problems.

Make sure to feed your cat a high-quality diet that is designed specifically for cats, and if you decide you'd like to cook their food at home, talk to your veterinarian about supplemental vitamins to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.

Cat food bowl pet animal

4. Weight and Exercise

Movement is essential for humans, and it's equally important for cats. Yes, even indoor cats.

Overweight cats are more likely to develop diseases like hypertension and diabetes that can affect their lifespan. Likewise, being underweight isn't healthy for a cat, either.

Keep your cat at a healthy weight and make sure they engage in play time every day to help maintain their muscle strength and a healthy heart. It's all about movement and activity, so take some time to make sure your cat gets the engagement and enrichment they need.

It's Impossible to Predict Cat Lifespan

Of course, genes play a role in how long a cat will live. Even if your cat is a member of the longest-lived cat breeds, there's always a chance they could develop a life-threatening disease or succumb to an infection. But whether your cat lives a few years or to the ripe age of 25, you can provide them with the best care possible, along with a lot of TLC.

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12 Cat Breeds With the Longest Lifespans & How to Extend Their Years