“12 cat breeds with the longest lifespans”. True or false?

I am not going to provide you with a list of the “12 cat breeds with the longest lifespans”. You came here for that list but it can’t exist despite what you see on the Internet. This post is a criticism of those websites. There are many websites jumping on this bandwagon. It is essentially clickbait. The owners of these sites simply want to get their site at the top of the Google search results. They know that people thinking about adopting a purebred cat want their cat to be as healthy as possible. A long lifespan indicates health thanks to ‘good genes’.

Cat breed lifespans?
Cat breed lifespans? Image: MikeB.

But I am afraid to say that the internet can sometimes (even perhaps fairly often) be misleading. Remember that the objective of website owners is to increase their “hit rate”. It is to increase the number of people coming to their site so that they can increase their revenue through advertising.

That’s often the primary objective. Normally, they achieve it by writing good articles but sometimes the ethical desire to write good articles is overridden by the unethical desire to attract readers at almost any cost even if it means misleading people.

I have read many books on the cat breeds and thousands of articles on the Internet about them. You never see the most knowledgeable authors on the cat breeds discussing lifespan. They would never say that one breed has a longer lifespan than another. It is the clickbait guys such as PetsRadar who go down this unethical path.

And they won’t tell you either that in general the lifespan of a purebred cats is shortened compared to that of random bred cats because many if not all purebred cats inherit diseases due to artificial selection causing inbreeding depression. It is the cat breed’s default health situation to inherit chronic diseases such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM – Maine Coon and other breeds) polycystic kidney disease (PKD – Persian) and so on. These are a couple of typical examples but there are many more. The list is long.

I am not saying that the purebred cats are all chronically unhealthy. Far from it. Some are a little healthier than others because they inherit less diseases. You can see a list of the cat breeds on this website with a summary of their health status as part of a brief outline of the breed. You might want to look at that.

Also, you might want to look at the breed descriptions on this website because on each page there is a section about the health of that breed. This includes inherited diseases.

My recommendation when selecting a cat breed is to research the breed thoroughly with health the top priority. If you have concerns because, don’t forget, “bad genes” (mutated genes) equates to more expensive cat caregiving, you might consider adopting a rescue cat from your local shelter instead.

If you are really concerned about lifespan, the best lifespans are found in non-purebred cats. And if you’ve set your heart on adopting a beautiful domestic cat (and the purebred cats can often be very beautiful) it might be useful to remind you that there are some truly beautiful rescue cats in shelters. Don’t bypass that route.

A water fountain that monitors you cat’s water intake (useful for health management)

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