Skip to main content

How long do Persian cats typically live? That’s up to their human

Quite simply, Persian cats are stunning. Their elegantly long coat, pinchable chubby cheeks, and gorgeous big eyes are truly captivating. If you’re the type who believes it’s what’s on the inside that counts, these pretty kitties deliver in that regard, too. Persian cats tend to be affectionate and quiet. They often curl up in their parents’ laps. People are typically happy to indulge them in long snuggle sessions — that silky-soft fur is hard to resist.

In short, Persian cats are often considered the perfect companions. Sadly, they can’t be our Netflix marathon buddies forever. The hard truth is humans tend to outlive their pets, and Persian cats are prone to some health issues. It’s important to remember the Persian cat lifespan is an average, meaning it varies between kitties. However, it can give you an evidence-based idea of how long you can expect your kitty to be with you.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

What’s the average Persian cat’s lifespan?

Persian cats live to be about 13.5 years old on average. This lifespan may seem short. After all, some kitties can live to be 20 years old. However, Persian cats are susceptible to some health issues.

A 2019 study by researchers at Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and the University of Edinburgh found some of the most diagnosed conditions in Persian cats included:

  • Haircoat disorders
  • Dental disease
  • Overgrown nails
  • Eye discharge
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease

Researchers found that kidney disease was the most common cause of death, followed by cancer. Nearly 65% of Persian cats had at least one disorder.

Other experts say common health issues include:

  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Lameness
  • Upper respiratory infections and other respiratory issues (their stump noses may impede breathing)
  • GI issues
  • Appetite loss
  • Pancreatitis

a gray persian cat by a window

Ways to keep your Persian cat healthy

You love your cat and want to have as much time as possible with them. It’s important to know there’s only so much you can do. Just like humans inherit increased risks for certain diseases such as heart troubles or diabetes, cats do too. However, there are plenty of steps you can take to help your Persian cat live the longest, healthiest, and happiest life possible. Here’s what experts recommend:

  • Keep your Persian cat indoors. In general, indoor cats live 10 to 15 years. On the other hand, outdoor cats have a lifespan of two to five years. Outdoor cats are more likely to pick up a disease or parasite, get attacked by another animal, or get hit by a car. It’s much safer for your kitty inside.
  • Nix eye gunk. Persian cats’ pretty eyes can get “weepy.” The discharge can build up and cause an infection. Wiping eyes twice per day with a vet-approved eye solution or warm water can mitigate this risk.
  • Clean ears. Persian cats’ ears are smaller than other breeds, so you may not notice if something is amiss (especially if you’re too busy gazing at their cheeks). However, Persian cats can get ear infections. Their ears can also accumulate dirt and oil. Inspect ears frequently and use a cotton ball and pet-friendly ear cleaner to banish build-up.
  • Brush teeth. Dental disease can be painful and even cause cats to stop eating. Veterinarians recommend brushing your feline’s teeth at least three times per week.
  • Watch their weight. Obesity can increase the risk for chronic disease. Persian cats typically weigh between seven and 12 lbs. A healthy diet, plenty of water, and play sessions can help keep your cat on track.
  • Give monthly preventatives. Even if your cat stays indoors, there’s always a chance you could bring parasites inside. Monthly preventative medications can reduce your cat’s risk of infection or disease.
  • See your vet. Regular check-ups can lead to early detection of issues, including cancer, and may make them easier to treat. They will also ensure your pet is up-to-date on vaccines against preventable diseases.

Proper care will help your Persian live a longer life

The average lifespan of a Persian cat is about 13.5 years. The breed is prone to health problems, including kidney disease and cancer. Though Persian cat caregivers can’t prevent everything, as genetics play a role, they can take some steps to help their pets stay healthy and happy. Feeding your cat a healthy diet and leaving out plenty of fresh water are simple steps. Don’t let your Persian cat outdoors — indoor cats generally live longer, and your home is safer than a busy street or area with predatory animals. Regular eye and ear cleanings can prevent irritation and build-up. Play sessions can keep your cat fit and engaged, and frequent brushings will keep their coat healthy (and feel like a luxe treatment). Don’t forget to give your cat preventative medications. Regular vet check-ups will help catch any issues early, giving your cat the best chance to get better.

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
BethAnn Mayer
Beth Ann's work has appeared on healthline.com and parents.com. In her spare time, you can find her running (either marathons…
Why do cats meow excessively? 6 possible causes – and solutions that can help you both
Find out why your cat is meowing so much (and what to do about it)
Striped orange cat meowing

Cats meow (and don't meow!) for a number of reasons. It all starts when they’re kittens — they meow to their mothers when they’re cold, hungry, or scared. As they get older, little felines learn different ways to vocalize and interact with other cats, usually by yowling or hissing. But meowing is an adult cat’s way to communicate with people. It's nice to have a little chat with your tiny tiger, though constant meowing can be really unpleasant. If you regularly ask yourself, "Why do cats meow so much?" you're in the right place.

Why do cats meow to their humans?
Good news first: Many of the meows you hear indicate a positive feeling. This means, your cat gets happy and just has to express herself in her native tongue. However, sometimes, vocalizations can reveal the total opposite and require you to take care of her. Occasionally, excessive talking from a feline says that she's not OK and needs some human intervention. As with learning a new language, you should pay careful attention to the timing, intonation, and context of the articulation. Basically, trust your pet. If she's really in pain, you'll know from the noises she makes and should take her to the vet as soon as possible.

Read more
Why do cats hiss? There are actually several reasons for this behavior
Reasons why your kitty makes the infamous cat noise
A close-up of a gray cat hissing

When we think of cat noises, "meows" and "purrs" typically come to mind first. However, despite their reputation as anti-social animals, cats make other sounds. Notably, a cat might hiss — sort of like a snake. A cat's hiss might stop you in your tracks, just as one from a snake might if you encountered the reptile in the wild. Why do cats hiss? Generally, that stop-in-your-tracks reaction from you is precisely what a feline wants — your attention and perhaps you (or another person or animal) to cease whatever they were doing.

A cat hissing can be a bit scary for a person or another animal, and the sound is sometimes a precursor to a physical action like scratching or pouncing. A cat's hiss is often a cat's way of protecting themselves. However, you'll likely want to avoid making a cat hiss. Knowing the reason a cat hisses is an essential first step.

Read more
Why do cats wag their tails? The interesting facts behind it
You may be surprised why that tail wags
A black and white cat's lower body as they lie on hardwood floor

Let's be honest -- cat body language can be hard to decipher. Especially if you're not the most experienced with felines, it's easy to mix up a sign of affection with a sign of annoyance. Cats are extremely subtle, but if you're willing to learn what to look out for, you can begin to understand all of their little hints.
From the tips of their ears to the pads of their paws, there's a lot to pay attention to. One great starting point, though, is a cat's tail. While they use their tail differently than a dog might, there's still a lot of communication that owners can pick up on. But what does it mean when a cat wags their tail?

Do cats wag their tails like dogs do?
If you grew up with dogs, you'll know that they wag their tails when feeling happy, excited, interested, and even stressed. Different kinds of tail wags mean different things, but many folks often simplify it by saying that tail wags are a sign of happiness. That's true in many cases, but it's important to note that feline tails don't quite work the same way. In fact, some people take it in the opposite direction by assuming that cat tail "wags" mean they're angry.

Read more