The question is a bit ambiguous but I believe it can be rephrased as follows: “Which species of cat has the longest lifespan on average?”. I have to include the word “average” because there will always be individual cats who have very long lifespans but we can’t say that because one cat of a certain species lives a long time all cats of that species live the same length of time.
So where does that leave us in answering the question? Having read a lot about domestic and wild cats I think I am qualified to provide a decent answer.
The winning species is a toss up between the moggie domestic cat and the bobcat with the jaguar coming third.
Today with better medical treatment and better cat caretaking in general, random bred cats (moggies) not infrequently live to 20 years old. There are some extraordinary records such as the longest lived domestic cat at 38 years and three days (Creme Puff born 3rd Aug 1967). There are other notable domestic cats who’ve died after an exceptionally long life. Domestic cats rarely make it into the 20s but the moggie domestic cat is at the top on average.
Wild cat species
I have to include the wild cats in the mix. Of all the wild cats, in my estimation, the humble bobcat has the longest lifespan on average.
There are records of bobcats in the US living to 25 and even 32-years-of-age in captivity. In the wild there are records of bobcats surviving up 17-years-of-age at the time they were harvested (killed for the pelts). Amazing (for their age not the ghastly act of killing them for the skin). This is bobcats surviving in the wild in the US and being killed at 17.
There are records of the jaguar living to between 20 and 25 years of age in captivity. This is a very close second to the bobcat and it may even be better but we don’t have enough data to make a genuinely accurate comparison.
The wild cat numbers come from research works referred to by Mel and Fiona Sunquist in Wild Cats of the World. If you want the detailed references please ask in a comment.
The domestic cat information is all over the internet for anyone to see. I’d expect people who read this to live with domestic cats who’ve lived to 20. It is quite unusual but not so unusual to be truly exceptional.
Note: the domestic cat is a species of cat. All domestic cats, purebred and random bred are the same species: Felis silvestris catus (as a subspecies) or sometimes referred to as Felis catus (as a species). The bobcat’s scientific name is Lynx rufus. The jaguar’s name is Panthera onca.
Some more on the bobcat