Shocking results. Lifespan statistics of 11 purebred and non-purebred cats (UK).

Illustrating an article about domestic cat lifespans
Illustrating an article about domestic cat lifespans
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

This ‘life table’ (see definition below) comes from a study which has allowed publication here under conditions which I have complied with. Lifespan statistics for purebred and crossbred cats (including cats without breed information) under primary veterinary care at practices participating in VetCompass in the UK in 2019. Note: You may have to view this on your phone with the phone held horizontally.

BreedLife expectancy (95% CI) at age 0Lifespan (years)Number of deaths
Burmese14.42 (12.91–15.93)0.74–21.2945
Birman14.39 (12.87–15.91)0.94–22.2538
Crossbred (see note)11.89 (11.75–12.03)0.00–26.697117
Siamese11.69 (10.56–12.82)0.66–21.4888
Persian10.93 (9.63–12.23)0.01–21.6880
Ragdoll10.31 (8.86–11.76)0.36–21.3469
Norwegian Forest Cat9.95 (7.55–12.35)1.71–19.0515
Maine Coon9.71 (8.42–11.00)0.03–21.6169
Russian cats9.65 (7.20–12.10)0.32–19.3919
British cats9.58 (8.73–10.43)0.01–22.32194
Bengal8.51 (7.12–9.90)0.14–21.2273
Sphynx6.68 (4.53–8.83)0.13–14.6718
Table showing the lifespan of some selected cat breeds and moggies (random-bred cats).

The ‘Russian cats’ refers to (1) Russian Blue and (2) Russian (unspecified)

British cats refers to British Blue, British Longhair

CI = confidence interval – this means: A confidence interval, in statistics, refers to the probability that a population parameter will fall between a set of values for a certain proportion of times. Analysts often use confidence intervals that contain either 95% or 99% of expected observations (source: Investopedia).

Conditions for publication here: this site is non-profit and non-commercial despite having ads. These ads help cover costs.

Citation: Teng KT, Brodbelt DC, Church DB, O’Neill DG. Life tables of annual life expectancy and risk factors for mortality in cats in the UK. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. 2024;26(5). doi:10.1177/1098612X241234556.

The study concerned cats in the UK.

Further discussion:

Click on the above links to read more about the two central features of these statistics: the longest lived cat breeds and the breed with the shortest (very short) expected lifespan.

Note/comment: I am very surprised at the short lifespan of random bred cats but perhaps this is because random bred cats (crossbreed or moggies) are treated less favourably by their owners. Perhaps it is because they are let outside unsupervised whereas purebreds very rarely are where there are dangers that shorten lives. I could not find the researchers’ reasons which is why I am speculating. If I am correct the table is misleading as this table should provide information about relative health. And in general purebred cats are less healthy than random bred cats because the latter are created through natural selection as near as possible for them while purebreds are artificially selected for breeding. This is about genetic diversity which entends longevity.

Don’t forget that the lifespan expectancy is effectively an average lifespan and as you can see in the table some Sphynx cats for example life to 14 years.

Some more on crossbreed versus purebred and lifespans from Bing Copilot

I asked this: When comparing lifespans of purebred and random bred cats the fact that the latter are allowed out unsupervised is a factor.

When considering the lifespans of cats, several factors come into play:

Purebred Cats: On average, purebred cats tend to have a shorter lifespan compared to mixed-breed cats. For instance, Siamese cats have an average lifespan of 15-20 years, while Persian cats live around 10-15 years.

Mixed-Breed Cats: Mixed-breed cats often live longer due to their genetic diversity, which reduces the risk of inherited health conditions. A survey in the United Kingdom found that mixed-breed cats lived an average of 14 years, while purebreds lived an average of 12.5 years.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Lifestyle:

  • Indoor Cats: Cats that live indoors tend to have longer lifespans compared to outdoor cats. Indoor cats are protected from outdoor dangers such as traffic, predators, and diseases.
  • Outdoor Cats: Outdoor cats face environmental risks, which can impact their lifespan. Their life expectancy may be less than 10 years due to these risks.

Other Factors:

  • Spaying/Neutering: Spayed and neutered cats tend to live longer than intact cats because it helps prevent certain health conditions and reduces the risk of reproductive cancers.
  • Regular Veterinary Care: Cats that receive regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive treatments tend to live healthier and longer lives.
  • Nutrition and Exercise: A balanced diet and regular exercise play crucial roles in a cat’s overall health and longevity.

Remember that individual cats’ lifespans can vary based on genetics, lifestyle, and care.

RELATED: Siamese: The World’s Most Unhealthy Cat! – this does not square up with the finding of the study.

What is a ‘life table’?

A life table, also called a mortality table or actuarial table, is essentially a big picture look at how long people (or another animal) in a certain group are likely to live. It’s a demographic tool used by researchers to analyze death rates and calculate life expectancy at various ages [1].

Here’s the breakdown:

  • It shows the probability of someone at a specific age dying before their next birthday.
  • This information is usually compiled for a large group of people, like an entire country, often starting with a hypothetical group of 100,000 births.
  • By crunching the numbers, demographers can figure out how many people are expected to survive to each age.
  • Life tables are separate for men and women since lifespans tend to be different.

This information is valuable for:

  • Understanding health trends: By looking at how lifespans change, researchers can see if a population’s health is improving or declining.
  • Setting social policies: Life tables help determine things like what age people can retire and how much money the government needs to allocate for social security.
  • Insurance companies: Insurance companies use life tables to set insurance rates, figuring out the risk of someone dying before their policy pays out.

Life tables are a complex but important tool that helps us understand how long people are likely to live. Source: Google Gemini. Thanks.

Leave a Comment

follow it link and logo