Persian cats are a wonderful breed with fluffy, luxurious coats and round flat faces. They bring immense pleasure and joy to our lives with their endearing personalities.
At some point in every Persian cat owner’s mind, a certain question regarding a Persian cat’s life expectancy will cross your mind. It’s something we all dread to think about. I know before I bought my Persian cat, it was something I looked at as any budding cat owner considers before purchasing a specific cat breed.
Persian cat life expectancy is 12-17 years, with a median age of 14. However, some Persian cats surpass this, reaching twenty years. In this post, I hope to shed some light on this question and hopefully provide a research-backed answer. There are many variables to the solution, which we will look at in this post.
Persian Cat Lifespan Factors
A Persian cat’s lifespan depends on several factors mentioned above. We’ll look closely at what they are below.
Indoor or outdoor Persian cat
I’ll start with the most obvious factor: where your cat is kept. If your Persian cat is an outdoor cat, their life expectancy will significantly reduce. The average lifespan of an outdoor cat can be anywhere from 2-5 years old as they’re exposed to many dangers.
I know most Persian cat owners do tend to keep their cats inside as it’s easier to maintain their fur, and Persians, in general, are better suited to a mainly indoor lifestyle. That’s not to say a Persian can’t be a great outdoor cat as they can, but they will need their fur brushed even more than an indoor cat.
Breeding Heritage and Genetic Makeup
As with humans, genetics play a massive part in life expectancy. Persian cats suffer heredity health issues such as polycystic kidney disease (PKD), breathing issues, excessive tearing, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Some of these health issues can be bred out of the Persian cat. Often, reputable breeders prove that their kittens are clear of the above diseases and don’t run in the family bloodline.
Preventative breeding is one way to ensure you get a Persian cat with a higher chance of never developing any of the above diseases and issues. Still, there isn’t, unfortunately, any way to guarantee this as such. You could buy a Persian kitten from a pedigree show winner and proven clear bloodline and still develop the known diseases as Persians are prone to these issues. There can be traces in the lineage from many generations before that are difficult to trace.
Shelter cats and cats that have been rescued tend to suffer more from the above diseases as it’s very difficult to find any information regarding their DNA. It’s important to note that this isn’t the case in every instance.
Food and Diet
Your Persian cat’s diet plays a vital role in health and well-being. Feeding a well-balanced wet and dry diet will ensure your cat has all the minerals needed to keep them healthy and vitalized.
Buying the most expensive cat food perceived as the “best” won’t necessarily prolong your cat’s life but will contribute towards a healthier cat overall.
I wrote a post on the best Persian cat food be sure to check it out for more information.
Water intake is critical to every living being, and cats are no different. They require a constant supply of fresh, clean water. Some cats drink more water than others, but there is a distinct correlation between cat health and water intake.
The average Persian cat needs 1 ounce/28ml of water per pound of body weight.
Check out my article on cat water fountains– These are a great way to get your cat to drink more.
Most Persian cats tend to suffer from eye issues. My Persian cat Milo has runny eyes that require daily cleaning. However, this isn’t critical to a Persian cat’s life expectancy. All these factors do compound if they’re not taken care of.
I wrote an article on the procedure I follow with my Persian cat, Milo. How to clean your Persian cat’s eyes.
Grooming your Persian cat might not seem like it would have much of an effect on your Persian cat’s life expectancy, but you’d be surprised. Persians are a long-haired breed that requires lots of brushing to avoid hairballs. Over time, hairballs can become dangerous if lodged in your cat’s stomach.
Check out our Persian cat grooming guide here.
Keeping your Persian in tip-top condition will go a long way to ensuring a long and healthy life. Cleaning your cat’s teeth and eyes and grooming them are all excellent practices I recommend.
Yearly vaccinations are also essential to protect your cat from any potential diseases. That is especially true if your Persian cat ventures outdoors.
Spaying and neutering your cat is quite a subjective topic that often produces mixed opinions. One thing is certain: Cats spayed or neutered tend to live longer and are safe from testicular or ovarian cancer prevalent in cats that haven’t been spayed/neutered.
Persian Cat Life Expectancy
Looking at some of the research, it’s hard to put an exact lifespan on a Persian cat, but a consensus is 12-17 years, with a median of 14 years.
In the Swedish study of the Persian group (Persians, Chinchilla, Himalayan, and Exotic), 76% lived for ten years or more, and 52% lived for 12.5 years or more.
Similarly, the study in England found that Persians typically lived for 12-17 years, with an average of 14.1 years.
There are cases of Persians living to 20 years (this isn’t uncommon) and, of course, sad cases of Persians living substantially less and dying before their 10th birthday.
From the studies above, we can conclude that 12-17 years is a good rough guide, with 14-15 years looking like more of an accurate average.