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10 longest living cat breeds

longest living cat breeds
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You’ll want to get to know the longest living cat breeds if you’re looking for a long-term companion. Domestic cats can live up to 20 years, but your average house cat only lives for around 12-14 years. This is, of course, dependent on a number of factors including their diet, the healthcare they receive, and their environment. Indoor and neutered cats tend to live longer, for example. But if you feed them good-quality food, make sure they get enough exercise and receive their vaccinations, as well as regular health checks, your kitty is sure to be around to keep you company for longer. 

1. Burmese

Originally bred in the US as a cross between a Siamese and a small brown cat from Burma, the Burmese is not only elegant, but a friendly, sociable, and playful breed. Just like the Siamese, they can be very vocal, and will demand your attention, but in return they’ll be an affectionate family cat. While the average lifespan for the Burmese is 13-16 years, the official record holder for longest living cat is a 35-year-old Burmese. They are generally healthy, but have been known to sometimes suffer from diabetes, muscle weakness, and head defects.

2. Ragdoll

longest living cat breeds

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Named after the relaxed way they lie back in your arms, the Ragdoll is a calm, quiet, and easy-going cat. They’ll happily follow you around to be near to you or jump on to your lap for a cuddle, but they won’t be too demanding, and they are good with kids. These gentle cats tend to live between 11-13 years, but often live longer. Health problems to look out for include heart conditions and kidney disease. 

3. Balinese

Balinese cat

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The Balinese is also similar to the Siamese, but is a long-haired breed. They’re slender and graceful, but also very active and chatty. This breed likes to jump and be high up, so bear this in mind when decorating your home. The outgoing cat will crave your attention, but this also makes them friendly and affectionate. Their average lifespan is 9-13 years, but they often live up to 22 years. They are generally a healthy breed, but may be prone to eye problems, asthma, and issues with liver function. 

4. Persian

longest living cat breeds

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Calm and sweet-tempered, the fluffy Persian is looking for a quiet, dignified life, so as long as you and your children are gentle and not making lots of noise, they’ll enjoy being petted on your lap. Their long, thick fur will need daily grooming. The average lifespan for a Persian is about 12-15 years. They can develop eye, heart, and breathing conditions, as well as issues with their teeth, but if you keep an eye out for these, they can live for up to 20 years.

5. Sphynx

Sphynx cat

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Instantly recognizable thanks to its lack of hair, the Sphynx is an active, mischievous, and playful cat. This breed is very sociable and talkative. They will follow you around looking for attention, and will entertain you with their big personalities, but these cats need a lot of care. They not only need to be bathed carefully to remove excess oil from their bodies, but you’ll need to make sure you protect their sensitive skin from heat and cold. They can suffer from skin conditions, as well as heart disease and neurological issues. But if you look after them well, Sphinx live for around 15 years on average. 

6. Bombay

Bombay cat sitting at top of cat tree

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This panther-like black cat is intelligent, active, and loves to play, so you’ll want to provide them with lots of interactive toys to keep them busy. Nicknamed ‘velcro’ cats because they like to stick to their owners, they make affectionate family pets, and enjoy cuddles too. Their lifespan is generally 12-16 years. This is a healthy breed, but health concerns to look out for may include respiratory problems, heart disease, and excessive tearing of the eyes. 

7. Russian blue

longest living cat breeds

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With its soft grey coat and piercing eyes, you’ll fall in love with this shy and quiet cat. This breed may be slow to warm to strangers, but they’re loyal and lovable cats towards their owners. The Russian blue has an average lifespan of 10-15 years if cared for properly. They have a big appetite, so you will need to keep an eye on them, as they can be prone to obesity. Other health issues may include bladder stones and eye problems. 

8. Oriental shorthair

Oriental Shorthair cat

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The Oriental Shorthair is another breed that was crossed with a Siamese. Similar to their relatives, they are highly intelligent, curious, and agile cats. They’re very sociable, chatty cats that love to play and are easy to train. This breed usually lives for over 15 years, so you’ll have lots of time to enjoy your loveable Oriental. Just be sure to watch out for potential health issues including eye, heart, and liver conditions.

9. Siamese

Siamese cat laying in grass

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Originating in Thailand, the Siamese is well known for its sleek body and distinctive markings, as well as its playful temperament. They are very intelligent and easy to train, highly active and super vocal. This is one cat breed that definitely seeks lots of attention. Known to live for around 11-15 years, the Siamese is a healthy breed. They can, however, suffer from respiratory conditions, dental issues, and some types of cancer.  

10. Savannah Cat

Savannah Cat

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Think this cat looks more wild than domestic? That’s because it was bred from an African Serval cat, and it still has its sense of adventure. This breed has lots of energy, and will need someone with the time to give it physical and mental stimulation. They are definitely not lap cats, and just want to play! These long-living cats can live between 12-20 years, and are generally healthy, but can be prone to a form of heart disease. 

Short but sweet

You may strike lucky and adopt a cat that lives 20 or more years by your side, but remember, there are also plenty of older breeds in need of homes for that last leg of life, as well as breeds, such as the Abyssinian, Burmilla, and American Wirehair, that don’t live as long, but still need someone to share their lives with. 

Zara is Editor on bookazines and covers a range of topics from cookery to travel and animals. Her latest first edition, What Your Dog Wants You To Know, is the ultimate guide to understanding your dog’s body language. 
Former editor of World of Animals magazine, she has over 8 years of experience in publishing inspiring children and adults about the wonders of the animal kingdom as well as teaching them about their pets. She also has over 5 years experience working with vets, wildlife experts and animal behaviourists in her comms roles for various animal charities. 
A keen animal lover, Zara can often be found researching her next wildlife destination to travel to. Having just moved into a bigger house she is currently looking at which dog and cats breed would suit her new family so she can fill her house with pets.