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12 Longest Living Cat Breeds (With Pictures)

Lilac Ragdoll
Image Credit: Imaan Ahmad, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Gregory Iacono

Cats are intelligent, resourceful, and graceful. They typically live longer than dogs, and you need to be prepared to be a cat’s caregiver for longer than you would a canine family member.

How long a cat lives depends on several factors, including its breed, size, sex, hereditary issues, and several others. Although the average cat lifespan is about 13 to 18 years, some breeds live well into their 20s. We’ll take a look at 12 of these lucky, long-lived cats below!

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The 12 Longest Living Cat Breeds

1. Burmese Cat

blue burmese cats on black background
Image Credit: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock
Lifespan:16–20 years
Height:10–12 inches
Weight:6–10 pounds

Burmese cats are highly social and intelligent. They bond closely with their owners and get along with other pets, especially other cats. You might be surprised to know that the oldest living cat was a 35-year-old Burmese. Because they have Siamese bloodlines, Burmese cats live 18 to 25 years. Diabetes, elbow osteoarthritis, glaucoma, and cranial deformities are a few of the common issues Burmese cats are vulnerable to.

2. Siamese Cat

a seal point siamese cat in brown background
Image Credit: Altsva, Shutterstock
Lifespan:12–20 years
Height:8–10 inches
Weight:8–10 pounds

The Siamese cat is a distinct breed known for its beautiful features and social nature. They are vocal felines, using a variety of “voices” to convey their emotions and attitudes. This distinctive breed tends to live quite long, and many have been known to live longer than 20 years. However, they are prone to some health issues, including respiratory issues and periodontal disease. Eye issues like retinal atrophy and glaucoma also plague the Siamese cat.

3. Balinese (Javanese) Cat

balinese cat sitting on grass outdoor
Image Credit: A__B, Shutterstock
Lifespan:15+ years
Height:6–7 inches
Weight:8–12 pounds

Sleek and sophisticated, and another close relative of the Siamese, the Balinese cat has longer fur due to a gene mutation that occurred many years ago. They are very social cats that are affectionate, talkative, and energetic. They tend to be mischievous and are very extroverted. Some health issues affecting the Balinese cat include lysosomal storage disease, feline acromelanism, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Strabismus or crossed eyes, surprisingly, is also a common issue for the Balinese breed.

4. Russian Blue Cat

blue russian cat running in nature
Image Credit: ddisq, Shutterstock
Lifespan:15–20 years
Height:8–10 inches
Weight:8–15 pounds

One of the most beautiful cat breeds is the Russian Blue, which is a quiet and laid-back cat. They can be affectionate, but they typically aren’t as clingy as other breeds. Some of the health issues that can affect a Russian Blue’s lifespan include PRA and bladder stones. These conditions, however, are less of a problem for Russian Blues than obesity and its associated heart problems. Russian Blues can get lazy and have a very hearty appetite. I

5. Ragdoll Cat

fluffy ragdoll outdoors
Image Credit: Serita Vossen, Shutterstock
Lifespan:14–17 years
Height:9–11 inches
Weight:15–20 pounds

Ragdoll cats are some of the most affectionate in the feline world and go limp when being held, hence their interesting name. You can teach these lovely cats several basic tricks as they’re quite intelligent and big-time snugglers. Unfortunately, Ragdoll cats suffer from several health issues, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, bladder stones, and feline infectious peritonitis. For these reasons, some Ragdolls live shorter lives than others.

6. Persian Cat

orange long haired bi color doll face persian cat
Image Credit: Light Hound Pictures, Shutterstock
Lifespan:15–20 years
Height:10–15 inches
Weight:9–14 pounds

Persians are the standard for lap cats and are docile, affectionate, and relaxed. They also happen to be one of the oldest cat breeds in existence, with bloodlines that go back to the 1600s. These are cats that love to lounge and will often do so on a large piece of furniture. Although long-lived, the structure of the Persian cat’s face opens it up to several potential health issues, including respiratory illnesses, sensitivity to heat, misaligned teeth, and eye conditions, including entropion.

7. Savannah Cat

Savannah Cat walking on sand
Image Credit: Dmytro Buianskyi, Shutterstock
Lifespan:12–20 years
Height:12–14 inches
Weight:12–25 pounds

Playful and adventurous, Savannah cats are one of the few breeds that love the water and can be trained to go for a walk on a leash. However, they have strong prey instincts and are not ideal in households with smaller pets like hamsters and birds. Although the Savannah is known for being healthy and robust, they can suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a thickening of the heart muscle. Many Savanna cats also suffer from respiratory illnesses and stomatitis.

8. Manx Cat

bi-color manx cat
Image Credit: Seattle Cat Photo, Shutterstock
Lifespan:8–14 years
Height:7–11 pounds
Weight:8–12 pounds

Although they’re even-tempered and affectionate, the Manx cat loves hunting mice and bugs. They also love following their favorite human all over the house and are friendly lap cats that are very talkative. One health issue many Manx cats suffer is arthritis in their tailbone, as well as corneal dystrophy. You should also note that about 20% of Manx cats suffer from Manx Syndrome, a collection of health issues that include urinary tract infections, shorter spines, bowel issues, and others.

9. Oriental Shorthair Cat

oriental shorthair cat sitting on the grass
Image Credit: Elena Masiutkina, Shutterstock
Lifespan:12–15 years
Height:9–11 inches
Weight:6–20 pounds

Oriental Shorthair cats are vocal and vivacious and tend to bond with only one person but enjoy being around other people and pets. Therefore, many people adopt more than one at a time as they’re highly social animals and don’t do well alone. Some of the health issues that can affect an Oriental Shorthair are related to their Siamese bloodlines and include hereditary liver amyloidosis, dilated cardiomyopathy, and bladder stones. Mast cell cancer is also a common health issue in this breed.

10. American Shorthair Cat

American shorthair and Scottish fold cat sitting on wooden box
Image Credit: Cat Box, Shutterstock
Lifespan:15–20 years
Height:8–10 inches
Weight:10–15 pounds

As one of the most well-known rodent and vermin hunters in the cat world, the American Shorthair is a relatively small and moderately active cat that is also quite intelligent. They’re independent cats that like attention but aren’t fond of being picked up or held. Although they’re a healthy breed, some American Shorthair cats suffer from a hereditary heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Also, because they’re a somewhat laid-back breed, some suffer from obesity if overfed.

11. Bombay Cat

bombay cat sitting on log
Image Credit: Viktor Sergeevich, Shutterstock
Lifespan:12–16 years
Height:8–10 inches
Weight:8–12 pounds

Bombay cats love to lay in the sun and are one of the more talkative breeds. They also enjoy having the spotlight and do well with children who’ve been shown how to handle cats. You’ll need to keep a Bombay cat entertained when you own one, as they need a high level of mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. One of the most prominent health issues seen in the Bombay is an inherited craniofacial defect, which is why responsible breeders don’t breed cats who carry the gene that causes the issue.

12. Singapura Cat

Singapura cat
Image Credit: jojosmb, Shutterstock
Lifespan:10–16 years
Height:6–8 inches
Weight:4–8 pounds

The last cat on our list is the Singapura, which is the smallest domestic cat breed named after Singapore, Malaysia. Intelligent and playful, the Singapura is affectionately known as the “pesky people cat” by many and has a habit of living in Singapore’s storm drains. They are also called by their nickname “Pura.” While they’re a healthy breed, some Singapuras suffer from hyperthyroidism, renal failure, and diabetes. They also have anxiety issues and aren’t a good breed for a big, busy family with other pets.

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How to Ensure Your Cat Lives a Long, Healthy Life

Although the cats on this list tend to live longer, many factors affect a cat’s lifespan. If one or more aren’t met adequately, your cat won’t live as long as it could. For example, outdoor cats have a much higher incidence of being killed by cars than indoor cats. Some of the most critical factors that affect a cat’s life include the following.

A Proper Diet

The diet you feed your cat has a direct effect on its health. High-quality cat food, served in portions that match your cat’s size and requirements, is vital.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Living

An indoor cat will typically live longer than an outdoor cat due to accidents, animal attacks, and diseases caused by vermin and insects.


A vaccinated cat will almost always live longer than one that hasn’t been given its required shots. Several cat diseases can, sadly, kill a cat if it hasn’t been vaccinated.

vet giving kitten vaccine
Image Credit: Ilike, Shutterstock

Regular Veterinary Exams

Cats are very adept at hiding illness and other health issues. That makes regular veterinary visits a must so your vet can detect and treat problems before they become severe.

Adequate Physical and Mental Stimulation

Your cat, no matter its breed, needs to be physically active to stay healthy, and it also needs mental stimulation from toys, human engagement, scratching, climbing, and playing. A cat will become unhappy, lazy, and overweight without the proper mental and physical stimulation.

set of toys for cats
Image Credit: Olha Solodenko, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

With the proper care, food, love, and a little luck, all of the beautiful felines on our list will lead long, happy lives. It’s worth noting one last time that the average cat lives to be about 15 years old. That means many cats, including several that aren’t on this list, can also lead long lives. Many breeds (and mixed breeds) make it to 18, 19, 20, and more! Enjoy the time with your cat as much as possible because, even with nine lives, no cat lives forever.

Featured Image Credit: Imaan Ahmad, Shutterstock

About the Author

Gregory Iacono
Gregory Iacono
Gregory Iacono former chiropractor and self-taught writer. Greg has experience in a wide variety of subjects including video script. As a man of clinical experience, Greg has the ability to digest a complex subject and make it accessible to the reader. Greg enjoys traveling and spending time with his two daughters and son.

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