The secret to a cat’s longevity is a well-balanced diet, routine veterinary care, and the comfort of a safe, loving home. However, we know that genetics can play a role as well. Your average cat has a lifespan of 12 to 17 years, but certain breeds have been known to far exceed that number.

If you are looking for a feline friend to age right along with you, we have got you covered. Here’s a list of the 15 cat breeds that have been known to offer some extra years of love and snuggles.

The 15 Longest-Living Cat Breeds

1. Siamese

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The Siamese is one of the most popular cat breeds in the world. The breed originates in Thailand and has been around for centuries and was popular among royalty. Siamese is a friendly, active, and intelligent breed that tends to be very healthy overall. While their average lifespan is 12 to 15 years, Siamese has been known to well exceed 20 years of age.

2. Balinese

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The Balinese is believed to have originated due to a genetic mutation within the Siamese breed, resulting in a longhaired cat. In fact, the only different trait between the Siamese and Balinese is the length of the coat. The breed’s average lifespan is around 12 to 15 years but as with the Siamese, they’ve been known to live well past 20 years old.

3. Persian


Persians are another one of the most popular cat breeds in the world. Best recognized for their flat, round face and adorable buggy eyes, Persians have captured the hearts of many. These docile cats are prone to some genetic health conditions that can cause quite a concern, but Persians are a long-lived breed with an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years or more. Ethical breeding practices among reputable breeders that perform regular genetic testing and health examinations help to reduce the genetic health conditions they face.

4. Manx

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Originating off the coast of England from the Isle of Man, the Manx breed with their distinct absence of a tail has been around for hundreds of years. These cats are social, friendly, and even-tempered making them wonderful family pets. The Manx is a very healthy and hardy breed that is not predisposed to any major health issues. They have an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years but have been known to live well beyond 15 years.

5. Burmese

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The Burmese that we all know and love today began as a cross between a Siamese cat and a small brown cat from Burma named Wong Mau. This dog-like cat breed is well known for being super social, playful, friendly, and family-oriented. This intelligent and engaging breed is generally healthy with an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years or more.

6. American Shorthair

American shorthair Nana with blotched (classic) tabby pattern (Image Credit: Tomo, Wikimedia Commons CC0 2.0 Generic)

Said to have been brought to America by the Pilgrims in the 1600s, the American shorthair is a very athletic and hard breed. These cats are known for being even-tempered and highly intelligent. They tend to be very gentle and loving and make great family pets. American Shorthairs have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years.

7. Russian Blue

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The Russian Blue is a very popular breed known for its solid, deep bluish-gray coat and piercing green eyes. This breed is considered one of the oldest naturally occurring cat breeds in the world. These quiet, docile cats are very loving and devoted to their people. This is a very healthy breed that is known for its longevity. While given an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, these cats are known for living beyond 15 years.

8. Ragdoll

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Another purebred given an even longer than average lifespan is the beautiful Ragdoll. These cats are given a 15-to-25-year lifespan, as many Ragdolls have been known to live past 20 years. They are a more recent breed that was developed in the 1960s in California. Ragdolls make great pets with their docile temperaments and loving nature.

9. Oriental Shorthair

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The Oriental Shorthair was created after several generations by crossing a Siamese and a Russian Blue. They very much resemble the Siamese but have a much more distinct facial shape. They are very outgoing, intelligent, and talkative cats that are quite long-lived, just like the Siamese and the Russian Blue. The Oriental Shorthair has an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years.

10. Sphynx


The Sphynx is quite easy to pick out of a crowd and is one of the most well-known cat breeds due to their absence of hair. Sphynx are very intelligent and outgoing cats that come with a lot of high-maintenance care requirements. In addition to needing extra care regarding their exposed skin and sensitivities, Sphynx does have some genetic predisposition to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and dental disease.

11. Egyptian Mau

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The Egyptian Mau is a very long-lived cat breed that is given an average of 18 to 20 years, which is much longer than most of the other long-lived purebred cat breeds. They are one of the oldest breeds of domesticated cats and are believed to be descended from the African Wild Cat. Egyptian Mau’s have been known to exceed 20 years of age with proper care.

12. Japanese Bobtail

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The Japanese Bobtail is a very hardy and healthy cat breed that is known for its stumpy bobbed tail. They are believed to have originated in China over 1,000 years ago but made their way to Japan as a gift to the emperor. The Japanese Bobtail is intelligent, loving, and interactive. The breed has an average lifespan of 15 to 18 years.

13. British Shorthair

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The British Shorthair is a quiet breed that won Best in Show at the first cat show held at Crystal Palace in London, England back in 1871. This breed is a bit more reserved than others but is highly intelligent and affectionate toward its owners. They are predisposed to obesity, which can cause a slew of other health concerns and shorten longevity. The breed can live anywhere from 14 to 20 years if fed a well-balanced diet and cared for properly.

14. Maine Coon

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Probably one of the most popular cats in the United States, the Maine Coon is one of the largest cat breeds that can weigh up to 20 pounds and reach 40 inches in length. These gorgeous, gentle giants are a hardy breed of cats that are naturally built to withstand harsh winters. Maine Coons have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years but have been known to live far beyond 1.5 decades.

15. Bombay

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The Bombay was specially bred to resemble a black panther. The result of the crossbreeding of two other long-lived breeds, the Bombay was repetitively bred by crossing the Burmese cat and the American Shorthair. This breed is social, intelligent, and easy-going. They have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years but can live beyond 15.

Let’s Not Forget the Mixed Breeds

Let’s not forget the mixed-breed kitties! Those looking to bring a new cat into their home could also consider a mixed breed of domesticated cat. Mixed breeds can live just as long as some of the longest living purebreds cats if they are in a safe, loving home and given the proper care.

There are many benefits to adopting from your local rescue or shelter. The number of homeless cats is devastating and adoption not only saves a life, but it also makes room for another animal to be rescued.

Final Thoughts

This list of longest-lived cats is full of wonderful breeds that not only live longer than average but make for great family pets. When looking into bringing a purebred cat into your home, you will want to ensure you are obtaining them from a reputable breeder. With proper veterinary care, a nutritious diet, and a safe, loving environment, you could have yourself a best friend for many years to come.

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