How long do snow leopards live?

As usual, it depends on whether a snow leopard is living in captivity or in the wild. The average lifespan of females in captivity is 9.6 years according to the International Pedigree Book of Snow Leopards written by T O’Connor and H Freeman (1982). A female in the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado was at least eighteen years old when she gave birth to a litter. The Snow Leopard Trust say that snow leopards can live to 22 years in captivity and in the wild their lifespan is between ten and twelve years.

Snow leopards in China
Snow leopard Qinghai China. Picture by Shan Shui -Snow Leopard Trust.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

D Wharton and H Freeman (1988) stated in Proceedings of the Fifth International Snow Leopard Symposium under the title The Snow Leopard in North America: Captive breeding under the Species Survival Plan that captive snow leopards have lived to be twenty-one years old.

Snow leopards become sexually mature when they are about 2 to 3 years old and females give birth to their first litter when they are about four years old. These lifespans are not untypical of the wild cat species. I don’t have any more information on this. The Snow Leopard Trust provide very reliable information.


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