20 Cat Breeds With the Shortest Lifespans

The average life expectancy for a cat is 13 to 17 years, however some breeds are known to have shorter lives.

Factors like regular veterinary care and a nutritious diet contribute to its wellbeing, but genes often determine a cat’s lifespan.

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

Burmilla

Burmilla cats like this one generally have sweeter, more open expressions than the similar-looking Burmese.
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The Burmilla came about by chance. In 1981 a chinchilla bred Persian male and a lilac Burmese, producing four kittens who were such attractive breeders that stuck with the mix.

The life expectancy of this breed is 7 to 12 years.

American wire hair


The fur of American Wirehair cats has been compared to the wire fur of dog breeds such as terriers.
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True to their name, American Wirehair cats have coarse, curled hair that appears wiry and wavy.

These hypoallergenic cats are great for owners with allergies and have a lifespan of around 7 to 12 years.

Devon Rex

Devon Rex cat UK 2017
A Devon Rex seen at the Supreme Cat Show on October 28th 2017 in Birmingham, England in the UK
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A unique looking cat, the Devon Rex is characterized by a lithe body with disproportionately large ears and a rounded head.

A healthy Devon Rex weighs around 7 to 12 pounds and lives to be 9 to 13 years old.

Manx

Manx cat
Manx cats are recognized for their canine-like affection.
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Manx cats are tailless, or “rumpy,” which is believed to result from a naturally occurring mutation in the spine.

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

Singapore

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Singapura cat lying on the ground.
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As the smallest breed of domestic cats, the average Singapura adult female weighs only four pounds.

Singaporeas are generally in good health and have a life expectancy of around 9 to 15 years.

Ocicat

ocicat UK cat show 2018
The Ocicat can be extremely capable of handling its humans, similar to dogs.
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Spotted like a wildcat but with the temperament of a pet, the breed is named after the exotic ocelot mammal.

Oticats are generally expected to have a life expectancy of around 10 to 15 years.

California Spangled

Sometimes known as the “domestic leopard,” the California Spangled cat was purposely bred to resemble a wildcat.

The breed has a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.

Japanese bobtail

Japanese Bobtail Cat NYC
A Japanese bobtail jumps through a hoop at a cat show.
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Characterized by a fluffy bobtail that looks more like a rabbit than a cat, the Japanese bobtail has a playful personality.

Native to Japan and Southeast Asia, but now common worldwide, this breed has a lifespan of around 9 to 15 years.

Oriental shorthair

Oriental shorthair caft
An oriental shorthair cat.
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The Oriental Shorthair looks very similar to a Siamese cat, but their coats come in a range of 300 colors and patterns.

The breed lives around 12 to 15 years, but can be prone to health conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy, glaucoma, and amyloidosis.

German Rex

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

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

Russian blue

Russian blue cat
A Russian blue cat stares at its owner.
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Russian Blues appear larger than they actually are due to their thick, plushy coat, which is the standout feature of this breed.

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

Persian

Persian cat
Persian cats have long, fluffy coats.
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Also known as Persian longhair, these cats have fluffy, flowing hair with a short face and a snub nose.

The breed can be prone to health problems, which contributes to a 10 to 17 year life expectancy shorter.

Exotic shorthair

Exotic shorthair cat
An orange exotic shorthair is perched on the scratching post of a café.
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Exotic Shorthairs look like a Persian, but are easier to care for due to their short, easy-care fur.

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

Sphynx

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

These cats were first bred in Canada and have a lifespan of 8 to 14 years.

Sokoke

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

With a slim build and the appearance of a ticked cat, the Sokoke can live to be 12 to 15 years old.

American forest cat

American forest cat
Maine Coons are the largest breed of domestic cats, and their stately size makes them comparable to several small breeds of dogs
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The largest of all cat breeds, the Maine Coon has a strong, muscular body and sturdy legs, making them a natural hunter.

Most Maine Coons live for around 10 to 15 years.

LaPerm

LaPerm cat
Close up of a LaPerm cat from the side.
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The American breed gets its name from its curly fur with the tightest locks of a LaPerm around the neck and the base of the ears.

LaPerms are loving and gentle, and typically live around 10 to 15 years.

Cymric

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

Despite their Welsh-sounding name, these cats hail from Canada. Cymrics typically live around 9 to 13 years.

Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat
Abyssinian adult cat sitting on the dresser in an apartment. This breed can usually live up to 15 years
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“Abys”, as the breed is commonly known, is one of the oldest cat breeds that originated in Ethiopia. With a “ticked” coat that gives it the appearance of a wild cat, it typically lives 9 to 15 years.

Khao Manee

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