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How Long Do Persian Cats Live? (Average & Max Lifespan)

Persian cat looking out the window

If well-taken care of, Persian cats can typically live between 12 to 18 years. The average seems to be about 13.5 years. However, there are a lot of factors that go into play here. A cat’s environment, diet, and lifestyle can play a role. An obese cat is typically not going to live as long as a feline that is healthy and fit. Where you adopted a cat also matters, as breeders often breed higher-quality cats that live longer.

This breed is also more prone to certain health problems. If any of these end up developing, it can directly affect your cat’s lifespan.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the factors that affect your cat’s lifespan, many of which you can control to help your cat live longer. We’ll also take a look at things like health problems, which can directly affect your cat’s lifespan.

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Factors That Affect a Persian’s Lifespan

There is a reason that this cat’s lifespan is a range, not a set year. There are many factors that can go into a Persian’s lifespan. Some of these are controllable, which allows you to elongate their lifespan. Knowing these factors and adjusting for them can be the difference between your cat living 18 years or barely 12.

Breeder Quality and Experience

Persian cat 6 years old
Image Credit: Eric Isselee, Shutterstock

Since this is a purebred cat, you’re likely adopting them from a breeder. In general, breeders with more experience typically breed higher-quality kittens that are less likely to develop genetic health problems and therefore live longer.

Many breeders are very careful about what cats they breed. Only the healthiest cats are chosen in order to produce the healthiest kittens. Many perform health testing on their cats to ensure that they aren’t carriers of certain genetic conditions that the kittens could end up developing.

On the other hand, backyard breeders and cat mills may quickly produce kittens for profit without doing the proper health testing. This can result in unhealthy cats with a shorter lifespan.

Related Read: How Much Does It Cost to Own a Persian Cat? (2021 Price Guide)

Diet

A cat’s diet plays a large role in their overall well-being. Just like people, cats are what they eat. Choosing a high-quality diet with plenty of moisture is often the best option for cats, as it prevents urinary tract problems that are common in many felines.

Nutrition is particularly important for kittens, as they are still developing. If they develop any nutritional deficiencies, they may not develop correctly, which will lead to problems later on. Furthermore, obesity can cause serious problems for all felines, significantly shortening their lifespan and causing health problems.

persian cat eating
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Exercise

Active cats often live longer. The Persian isn’t a very active cat, to begin with, so they don’t need tons of exercise. However, they should not lay in the same place all day. Otherwise, they can develop significant problems later on. Inactive cats are more likely to become obese and are also more likely to develop other health problems.

Encourage your cat to move with lots of interesting toys and daily playtime. Just like dogs, cats need to be exercised too. They just need to be exercised differently.

Shell Cameo Persian Domestic Cat
Image Credit: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock

Appropriate Vet Care

If your cat does develop any problems, it is important that they are treated by a vet quickly. Catching a problem early often lowers the price of treatment and improves the chances that your cat won’t develop any long-term problems. A UTI can become very serious if not treated quickly, for instance.

Cats are very good at hiding their health problems. In the wild, they would be attacked if they acted sick. Therefore, cats are more likely to act completely fine. Most owners typically don’t notice something is wrong until the disease has already progressed significantly. Therefore, it is even more important to get your cat to a vet right away. By the time they show symptoms, they have likely been sick for a while.

persian cat vet check up
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Health Problems that Affect a Persian’s Lifespan

The Persian is prone to a few health problems that may directly affect their lifespan. The effect of many of these conditions can be lessened with the right treatment, so it is important to follow your vet’s directions. It isn’t always possible to prevent these health problems altogether, but many can be eliminated with quality breeding programs. Where you adopt your cat matters.

Persian cats are generally less healthy than other cats. One study found that 66% of Persians have some sort of health problem. Therefore, it is important to prevent the problems that you can and properly manage those you cannot.

Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome

Many Persians are affected by BOAS due to their flattened faces. This directly affects their ability to breathe properly. Cats with this condition are more likely to be severely affected by anything that causes breathing difficulty, which can make them more prone to die from seemingly minor conditions. They are often likely to experience complications with anesthesia as well, as it often slows their breathing. This can make it difficult for them to get the surgeries that need to treat other health conditions.

These cats will be more prone to heatstroke and exercise exhaustion. You should not leave these cats outside for extended periods of time when it is hot. Air conditioning is required for them to remain healthy.

Dental Disease

Due to their small face, these cats often have crowded teeth, which can cause dental problems. While cats often don’t die from dental problems directly, they can make them more prone to infections. Abscesses and infections and occur if the teeth are not treated. Cats with periodontal disease are much more likely to develop other conditions.

Luckily, this is pretty easy to avoid with proper teeth brushing. Brush your cat’s teeth regularly, starting at a young age. These cats are typically very laidback, so it is easy for them to adapt to the teeth brushing routine.

Urinary Tract Problems

Persians seem to have a predisposition to just about any disease that affects the urinary tract system. Some of these problems are inherited, but others are the result of infections. The only way to prevent inherited diseases is through careful breeding. Two affected cats should not be bred together. Therefore, cats from quality breeders are less likely to develop these problems.

However, ensuring your cat drinks enough can also be important. Cats are notoriously bad at drinking enough, as they would receive most of their moisture needs from their prey in the wild. For this reason, it is often better for them to consume wet food, as this has a high moisture content. This will prevent bladder stones and UTIs, as your cat’s urine will be less concentrated.

cute ginger doll face persian cat
Image Credit: CKYN stock photo, Shutterstock

Renal Disease

The most common cause of death in Persian cats is renal disease. There isn’t always much you can do to prevent this problem. However, increasing your cat’s moisture intake by giving them wet food is one option. Obese cats are also more prone to renal disease, so you should keep your pet at a healthy weight.

It seems that male cats are more likely to become obese than females. If your cat is male, you should be particularly careful regarding its weight.

About 23% of Persians die from this disease, so your cat has a 1 in 4 chance of developing it.

Does Spaying or Neutering Help a Persian Live Longer?

While there is some evidence that spaying or neutering your cat helps them live longer, this doesn’t seem to be the case for Persians. The same study we mentioned earlier found no difference between Persian’s lifespans based on their breeding status. This is the largest study of its kind, looking at 3,235 Persians.

Specifically, intact Persians lived an average of 13.9 years, while sterilized Persians lived an average of 13.4 years. This difference isn’t significant enough to point towards any lifespan differences between intact pets and spayed or neutered pets.

Do Outdoor Cats Live Longer?

red-tabby-cat-walks-outdoor
Image Credit; Roman Milavin, Shutterstock

In general, outdoor cats tend to live longer than indoor cats. This may be especially true for Persians that are in warmer climates since many of them are prone to problems with heat. Typically, outdoor cats are more likely to get sick from the germs and diseases outside, as well as more likely to get injured. Inside your home is typically a safe place for cats, while outside tends to have more dangers.

Related Read: Are Persian Cats Hypoallergenic?

Final Thoughts

The average age for a Persian is about 13.5 years. The biggest factor in how long your cat lives seems to be the health conditions they develop. Luckily, many health conditions can be prevented. Even if your cat develops an illness, correct management and treatment can greatly increase their chance of survival.

In the end, Persians are less healthy than other cats, so they don’t typically live as long as other cats. However, a 12- to 18-year lifespan is still substantial. Be sure you can take care of your cat for upwards of 15 years before committing to adopting one.

Related Read: How to Tell If Your Cat Is Persian (8 Different Methods)


Featured Image Credit: NTP_RASTA, Shutterstock

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