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Why do some cats live longer than others? 14 breeds that live long

Why do some cats live longer than others?

As a pet parent you always want the best for your cat and you want them to live a long and healthy life.

But why do some cats live longer than others? Sometimes the longer lifespan of a cat is just coincidence or due to environment factors.

Cats tend to have shorter lifespans, sometimes due to factors that are not in the control of the owner, such as what the cat does when its outside the house. So even if you opt for a breed of cat that is known to live long, many other factors affect the health and life expectancy of the cat.

According to The Cat Fanciers’ Association’s (CFA) diet and environmental factors influence the life span and health of cats.

Reasons for short lifespan

  • Road accidents: Hundreds of cats are killed on the roads in the US every year and that is a risk factor to keep in mind when allowing your cat to go out of the house.
  • Fights: Your cat can get into a fight with other cats or have an encounter with other animals outside of the house and this can lead to problems.

How you can help

  • Proper veterinary care: To ensure that your cat enjoys long life and good health, it’s important to provide proper veterinary care including annual physical examinations.
  • Healthy weight: Help your cat to maintain a healthy weight by feeding high quality food and the right amount. For guidance on how much to feed your cat, see this article on our blog.
  • Play and exercise: Getting the cat involved in play and exercise is essential for good physical and mental health. A domestic cat can also develop health issues due to their sedentary lifestyle, especially if they don’t get sufficient exercise.
  • Limit outdoor trips: Preventing unsupervised trips outdoors can also ensure that your cat lives long and healthy. According to domestic cats that are allowed to go outdoors have shorter lifespans of average 2 to 5 years.

The average lifespan of a cat according to studies, is between 11 to 15 years.

As you may know cats tend to mature fast, especially when they are young. A 1-year-old cat is equivalent to a 15-year-old human and a 3- year-old is equivalent to a 28-year-old human based on its maturity level and development. A cat that is 12 years has lived for as long as a 64-year-old human being.

Pedigree versus mixed breed cat

Pedigree cats may develop health problems due to accidental inbreeding.

There are fewer pedigree cats compared to mixed breed cats. This means that when you are trying to breed a pedigree cat, the other pedigree cat that you are trying to pair with is usually one that is nearby and there is a high likelihood that they are related in some way.

Since the parents of a mixed breed cat are not required to have a specific ancestry, there tends to be more variety when it comes to breeding. As a result, the likelihood of inbreeding is a lot less and the kittens grow up to be healthier cats.

So, going for a mixed breed cat is your best bet if you are keen to have a healthy cat that gives you many years of companionship.

Domestic short haired and domestic longhaired cats are among the healthiest cats as they don’t have the inherent problems that are seen in pedigree cats due to inbreeding. The American Shorthair, which is a typical housecat is one of the longest living cat breeds.

Here is a list of cat breeds that live the longest:

As we all want our cats to live as long as possible it’s only natural for us to look for cat breeds that live the longest when we decide to get a cat.

Even if you pick a breed of cat that is known to live long, there is no guarantee as accidents or illness can cut short the life of any pet.

The reality is that some cat breeds have a longer lifespan than others. So, which are the longest living cat breeds that can give you many years of love and companionship.

1. Balinese

Why do some cats live longer than others?

Lifespan: 12 – 20 years

In simple terms, a Balinese cat is a longhaired Siamese. They trace their origin to Siamese cats with a mutant gene for long hair.

Balinese cats are intelligent, friendly, playful, curious and very beautiful. Though strong and muscular, the Balinese is known to be nimble on its feet. They come in a range of colours with a silky coat and sapphire-blue eyes.

They are very vocal, almost appearing as if talking to their owners. They are extremely loyal and have a very high need for attention.

2. Havana Brown

Photo by Dave Scelfo

Life Span: 12 -15 years

The Havana Brown is the creation of British breeders who crossed Siamese cats with black domestic shorthairs and Russian Blues in the 1950s.

The breed has a chocolate brown smooth coat and emerald eyes. It is a healthy breed.

Havana Browns are loving, peaceful and very intelligent cats.

They require interaction with humans to stay happy and healthy; they shouldn’t be left alone for long durations of time.

3. Japanese Bobtail

Life Span: 15 – 18 years

The Japanese Bobtail is a very lively, friendly and intelligent breed that tends to be fairly healthy.

The breed enjoys the company of humans and never tires of playing. They are capable of learning their names and responding when called. They are capable of jumping very high aided by their long and slender bodies and well-developed muscles.

4. Siamese cat

Life Span: 12 – 20 years

A cat native to Thailand, the Siamese is affectionate, intelligent, agile and enjoys talking. Playtime is also essential for your cat to be happy and healthy.

They are demanding and social, so don’t go for a Siamese if you are going to be away for long periods; they don’t like to be left alone. They are known to have genetic diseases.

5. Savannah

Life Span: 12 – 20 years

The Savannah is a hybrid cat breed, the result of crossing an African Serval and a domestic cat.

Savannahs are only recommended for pet owners who are experienced as they can be unpredictable sometimes.

They are large, agile and loving towards their owners and can sometimes be shy of strangers.

6. Ragdoll

Life span:15 years

Ragdolls are laidback and peaceful. They are affectionate and tend to follow their owners around.

Though a healthy breed, the Ragdoll is prone to diseases of the heart and bladder.

7. Bombay

Life Span: 12 – 16 years

The Bombay was bred to look like black Indian leopard. They are totally black in colour, down to even their paw pads.

Loving, relaxed, social and cuddly, the Bombay cat breed enjoys playing.

They tend to develop respiratory and heart issues.

They enjoy the company of people and bond with the whole family instead of just one person like some breeds of cat. They like attention, so don’t get one if you cannot devote enough time to interact with your cat.

8. Burmese

Lifespan: 17 – 20 years

A 35-year-old Burmese cat holds the record for living the longest, so this breed can keep you company for a long time.

It’s a very friendly breed, good looking, intelligent and very trusting.

The breed needs human company to be happy, so may not be suitable for a home where she may be left alone for a long time.

The Burmese is a relatively healthy breed.

9. Manx

Lifespan:15 years +

Intelligent, loyal and active, the Manx breed of cat can live over 15 years.

They are social, peaceful, loving and enjoys being with their human companions.

They are also happy to be on their own, in case you have to leave them on their own during the day.

Make sure to get your Manx from a well-known breeder as they can sometimes suffer from skeletal issues.

10. The Nebelung

Lifespan: 15 to 18 years

A longhaired relative of the shorthaired Russian Blue, the Nebelung is good looking, loving and intelligent.

They attend to get attached to one or two people in the house and tend to follow them around. They can be aloof towards strangers. They are a healthy breed that is known for its long life.

11.The Egyptian Mau

Lifespan: 15 to 20 years

A rare breed, th e Egyptian Mau is a healthy breed known for its long lifespan and striking appearance.

They are gentle, introverted and stranger shy.

They love their human companions and seek attention.

They are athletic and have boundless energy; you need to give them attention and engage them in play to keep them happy.

12. The Russian Blue Cat Breed

Lifespan: 15 to 20 years

Gentle, affectionate and intelligent the Russian Blue cat breed is a popular choice for people who are allergic to cat hair as they are low shedding and produce less of Fel d 1 protein, the primary allergen that cats secrete from their skin.

The breed is agile, playful, shy and undemanding with almost no risk for inherited disease.

Check out our article on the Russian Blue cat for more information.

13. Sphynx

Lifespan: 8 – 14 years

The Sphynx cat is active, loyal, affectionate and gentle.

They actively seek companionship of their human parents and don’t like to be left alone.

As a purebred, the Sphynx can develop genetic problems and its also susceptible to dental issues.

They are like dogs in loyalty and follow their owners around the house, seeking attention or a cuddle.

14. Persian

Lifespan: 12- 17 years

Peaceful, relaxed and easy going, the Persian cat requires high maintenance and is known to have some health issues.

However, it continues to be a very popular cat breed adored for its beauty and peaceful temperament.

The Persian loves to cuddle and is the perfect lap cat. They are also playful and curious.