Cats have a relatively short lifespan, and after losing a cat, many people swear that they will never have another one. Sooner or later, however, most of us decide to get another cat, and we want that new cat to live as long as possible. So it is natural for us to look for the longest living breed of cat. Of course, there is no guarantee that any cat will have a long life. Accident or unexpected illness can end the life of any animal. But some cat breeds do live longer than others. So which are the longest lived cat breeds? Here are the Top Ten breeds for long life, according to most experts...
The beautiful Burmese tops the list when it comes to long life. Indeed, the official holder of the record for the longest living cat is a 35 year old Burmese. Most of them don't live quite this long, but their average lifespan is said to be 18 to 20 years, and that is much longer than most cats. So if you like this people-friendly, emotional breed, the one you get will probably be with you for a very long time.
Siamese cats are often quoted as one of the longest living breeds, and they can live for 16 to 20 years or more. They are not for everyone, being extremely sociable and very vocal. Also, they hate being left alone, so are not suitable as an only cat unless you can spend a lot of time with them. But if they are a breed you can get along with, they are likely to be with you for a very long time
The national symbol of the Isle of Man is also often quoted as being a long lived breed, and they frequently live well beyond 15 years. They are quiet and affectionate cats, suitable for most households; they are also happy if left alone. However, if you decide to get one , do make sure you go to a reputable and knowledgeable breeder, as Manx cats can suffer from skeletal problems caused by the same gene which causes their much-reduced tails. But if you start off with a healthy Manx, it should be with you for many years.
A hybrid cat breed resulting from the mating of an African Serval with a Siamese, these cats are still quite rare and look very wild. But they are said to live for anything from 17 to 20 years, and suffer from few health problems. They are also beautiful, athletic, and intelligent. So if you can find one, this could well be the cat for you.
The Bombay often lives for between 15 and 20 years. They can even live longer than this; a friend of mine had one which recently died at the grand old age of 21. These jet black cats are very like the Burmese in personality, so are friendly, sociable, and have bags of personality. But they are quite unusual and it could be difficult to find one.
This beautiful silver-grey cat is quite a new breed, and again, you may have difficulty finding one. But if you do, it should live a long time, for they are said to have a lifespan of anything from 15 to 18 years. The Nebelung is said to be rather introverted, and is inclined to attach itself to one or two people rather than being a cat which loves everyone. So if you want a one-person, beautiful cat for a long time, this could be the breed for you.
Another rather rare cat, the Egyptian Mau lives for between 15 and 20 years, and is a hearty, healthy cat with no known health problems of any kind. They are affectionate cats, which have also been shown to be excellent hunters. So if you let your cat out, and want it to keep down the mice, this could be your chosen breed.
Despite looking a bit like a fluffy toy, the Ragdoll is a tough and healthy breed, and has been known to live for anything from 15 to 25 years. They are friendly, laidback, and unflappable, and also cope very well as indoor-only cats; indeed, many people recommend not letting them out at all. So if this is your type of cat, you may well have it with you for many years.
Despite its lack of hair and to some people rather odd looks, the Sphynx can live for a long time, often 15 to 20 years. However, they can suffer from cold in the winter and sun damaged skin in the summer due to the lack of fur, so are best kept as indoor cats. But with the right care, this could be a friend you have for a long time. Indeed, one famous Sphynx lived to be 34 years old!
The beautiful fluffy Persian can live for a long time – 15 to 20 years. I recently lost one at the age of sixteen and a half. Their long fur requires regular grooming, but other than that they are laidback, friendly cats, which are no trouble.
The breed is not everything when it comes to long life. Sometimes moggies live for a very long time; the unofficial contender for the longest living cat is a 39 year old tabby, although this has not been verified. Also, lifestyle makes a difference. Indoor-only cats live longer on average than free roaming ones, as they aren't subject to the dangers of traffic, disease, and other outdoor hazards. They also tend to have better diets, since their owners can monitor what they eat, and prey animals are not particularly good for cats. Looking after your cat and taking it to the vet for regular check-ups and vaccinations, and to make sure any illness is treated in its early stages, can also make a great difference to your cat's lifespan. So keep your cat indoors, or with access to an enclosed garden, look after it well, and hopefully your cat will be with you for many years.