20 Cat Breeds With the Shortest Lifespans

The average life expectancy of a feline is about 13 to 17 years, but some breeds though are known to live shorter lives.

Factors such as regular veterinary care and a nutritious diet contribute to their welfare, but often genes determines a cat's lifespan.

Prospective cat owners should be aware that these breeds have a lower life expectancy than most cats.


A Burmilla cat lying down
Burmilla cats, like this one, generally have a sweeter, more open expression than the similar-looking Burmese. Getty Images

The Burmilla came about by accident. In 1981, a Chinchilla Persian male and a Lilac Burmese bred, and produced four kittens that were so attractive breeders stuck with the mix.

Life expectancy for this breed is 7 to 12 years.

American Wirehair

An American Wirehair cat
American Wirehair cats' coat has been compared to the wire coats of dog breeds, such as terriers. iStock

True to their name, American Wirehair cats have coarse, crimped hair that appears wiry and wavy.

Great for owners with allergies, these hypoallergenic cats have a life span of about 7 to 12 years.

Devon Rex

Devon rex cat U.K. 2017
A Devon rex seen at the Supreme Cat Show on October 28, 2017 in Birmingham, England in the U.K. Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

A unique looking cat, the Devon Rex is characterised by a lithe body, with disproportionately large ears and rounded head.

A healthy Devon Rex will weigh around 7 to 12 pounds and live for 9 to 13 years.


Manx cat
Manx cats are praised for their dog-like affection. Aletakae/iStock

Manx cats are tailless, or "rumpy" which is believed to come from a naturally occurring mutation of the spine.

With a loyal, dog-like affection, these cats usually exist for about 9 to 13 years.


These Are the 11 Smartest Cat Breeds
Singapura cat lying on the floor. iStock / Getty Images Plus

The smallest domestic cat breed, an average Singapura adult female weighs as little as four pounds.

Singapuras are generally of good health have a life expectancy of around 9 to 15 years.


ocicat UK cat show 2018
The Ocicat can grow extremely found to their humans, to a similar degree to dogs. Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage

Spotted like a wild cat but with the temperament of a domestic animal, the breed is named after the exotic Ocelot mammal.

Oticats are generally expected to live for about 10 to 15 years.

California Spangled

Sometimes known as "House-Leopard", the California Spangled cat was intentionally bred to resemble a wild cat.

The breed tends to have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.

Japanese Bobtail

Japanese bobtail cat NYC
A Japanese bobtail jumps through a hoop at a cat show. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Characterised by a fluffy bobtail that resembles a rabbit more than a cat, the Japanese Bobtail has a playful personality.

Native to Japan and Southeast Asia but now found worldwide, this breed has an lifespan of approximately 9 to 15 years.

Oriental Shorthair

Oriental shorthair caft
An oriental shorthair cat. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The Oriental Shorthair looks very similar to a Siamese but their coats come in an array of 300 colours and patterns.

The breed lives for around 12 to 15 years, but can be prone to health conditions such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Glaucoma and Amyloidosis.

German Rex

German Rex
Getty Images

With a similar temperament to a Cornish, or Devon Rex, this breed is affectionate, playful, and intelligent.

A healthy German Rex has a typical life span of 10 to 15 years.

Russian Blue

Russian Blue cat
A Russian Blue cat stares at its owner. moonHo Joe/Getty Images

Russian Blues appear larger than they actually are because of their dense, plush coats, which is the stand-out feature of this breed.

These cats have a life expectancy of 10 to 20 years.


Persian cat
Persian cats have long, fluffy coats. Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Also known as the Persian Longhair, these cats have fluffy, flowing hair with a short face and snub nose.

The breed can be prone to health problems, which contributes to a lower life expectancy of 10 to 17 years.

Exotic Shorthair

Exotic Shorthair cat
An orange Exotic Shorthair perched on a cafe's cat tree. JeepFoto/Getty Images

Exotic Shorthairs have the look of a Persian but are easier to care for due to their short, low-maintenance fur.

Exotics are a relatively new breed with a life expectancy of 8 to 15 years.


sphynx cat
A sphynx cat is known for its hairlessness. Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

The Sphynx cat is known for its lack of fur, which is due to a naturally occurring genetic mutation.

First bred in Canada, these cats have a lifespan of 8 to 14 years.


The rarest breed of domestic cat in the world, the Sokoke hails from the coastal zone of Kenya.

With a lean build and "ticked" tabby cat appearance, the Sokoke can live for 12 to 15 years.

Maine Coon

Maine Coon
Maine Coons are the largest domestic cat breed, putting their hefty size on a par with several small dog breeds Getty Images

The largest of all the cat breeds, the Maine Coon has a strong, muscular body and robust legs, which makes it a natural hunter.

Most Maine Coon's live for around 10 to 15 years long.


LaPerm cat
Close-up of a LaPerm cat from the side. Oxico/Getty Images

The American breed gets its name from its curly fur, with a LaPerm's tightest curls around its throat and base of the ears.

LaPerm's are affectionate and gentle and usually live for about 10 to 15 years.


A Cymric cat

A Cymric is sometimes considered a semi-long-haired variety of the Manx breed, rather than its own breed.

These cats originated in Canada despite their Welsh sounding name. Cymrics usually live for around 9 to13 yrs.


Abyssinian cat
Abyssinian adult cat sitting on the chest of drawers in an apartment. This breed can commonly live up to 15 years Vladimir Zlotnik/Getty Images

"Abys,", as the breed is commonly nicknamed, is one of the oldest breeds of cat, originating from Ethiopia. With a "ticked" coat giving it the look of a wild cat, it commonly lives for 9 to 15 years.

Khao Manee

Portrait of a white cat Khao Manee
A white Khao Manee cat. iStock

A breed originating from Thailand, Khao Manee or "white gem" in Thai, is also known as the Diamond Eye cat.

The life expectancy of this ancient breed is around 10 to 12 years.