Shortest (and Longest) Living Cat Breeds

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Dogs may be our best friend, but cats are vying for the title as well. Cats are the second most common pet in the U.S., despite their somewhat unsociable behavior and cool demeanor. They undoubtedly hold a special place in many people’s lives.

For cats, like any living thing on this earth, existence is merely temporary — despite the myth of their nine lives. While one breed can live as long as 20 years — three years more than the longest living dog breed, the Schipperke — other breeds’ lives can end around 8 years.

To determine the cat breeds with the longest and shortest lives, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the average life expectancy for the 42 cat breeds recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association. The CFA only recognizes cat breeds with purebred ancestry. We retrieved the average life expectancy for each breed from CatTime, a site that specializes in cat research.

Click here to see the shortest and longest living cat breeds.

Just like humans, it’s hard to predict how long a cat will live, which is why we provided a range of years a breed can typically live, according to the findings at cattime.com, an authority on the pets.

Interestingly enough, cats actually mature at an accelerated pace. According to a report from cable channel Animal Planet, cats mature quickly during their younger years. For example, a 2-year-old cat has undergone the level of maturation equivalent to a 24-year-old human. Each year after, the rate at which they age slows down, but not by much. A 12-year-old cat has lived to the equivalent of 65 human years — if only cats could receive a senior discount.

To identify the cat breeds with the shortest and longest life expectancies, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from CatTime. The organization’s website provides data on breeds listed on the Cat Fanciers’ Association, the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats. The data includes breed characteristics, weight, and life expectancy. The CFA currently recognizes 42 cat breeds. Information related to each breed’s personality and physical attributes came from the CFA’s official website. For the few breeds CatTime did not provide weight information for, we used other breed authorities.