How long do Persian Cats Live? Ways to Improve lifespan

The lifespan of a Persian cat depends on a variety of different factors such as health issues, sex, diet, hereditary illnesses and the quality of their lifestyle.

Persian cats can live an average life of 12-17 years. Most unhealthy Persians never make it to 10 years as they are taken away by there health issues and bad diet. However few Persians actually do make it to 20 years, those who are healthy, fit and well taken care of.

The lifespan of Persian cats are affected the most by the fact that they are purebreds. This means that it is easier for hereditary illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and other ailments to be passed on to the next generation.

Due to these health factors the life of the Persian cat is altered significantly and is prone to premature death. However if these illnesses are diagnosed early it can be treated and premature death will be avoided.

Other factors that affect the lifespan of Persians are:

  • Diet – Diet plays a huge role in the well being of your cat. Persians require a diet that is rich in proteins and omega 3 and 6 while having moderate carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. The right kind of food can actually add years to their life. The food that you choose must be free from fillers, starch and artificial ingredients. These ingredients cause harm to the cats body with continuous use over a period of time.
  • Lifestyle – A Persian cats lifestyle can greatly impact their lifespan as it affects their mental, physical and active health. Persian cats must be cared for in an environment that is safe, clean and away from pests. They cannot live in areas or homes that is dusty as they have breathing problems. Persians also require mental stimulation such as toys and playtime with their owner to keep them on track and to ignite their natural predatory instincts. The use of toys can also help them keep fit and active.
  • Vaccinations and checkups – The cats must be vaccinated and with the regular flu vaccine and the normal year vaccines. This cat is not very well equipped to defend itself from sicknesses and flues and must be treated with a preventative. The cat also requires vet checkups once a year as 64.9 % of Persian cats have at least one disorder. The sooner the diagnosis of any disorders, the sooner treatment can be administer the better chances of survival.
  • Indoor or Outdoor – An Outdoor Persian cat will have a reduced lifespan than an indoor persian. Outdoors have alot of threats and dangers that the cat is exposed to.

However this isn’t a reason to not get a Persian as they are one of the most affectionate and loving cat breeds.

Most common causes of death in Persian cats

Recent study shows that more than half of the Persian cat population suffers from at least 1 health disorder. These disorders range from mild to severe and in worst case scenario death.

Persians are known to be at the top of the list for health related issues as they are purebreds and its very easy for health conditions to pass from one generation to the other.

According to the study the most common grouped causes of premature death in Persian cats were:


1. Kidney/renal disease at 23,4%

2. Neoplasia ( abnormal masses in the tissue ) at 8,5%

3. Mass associated diseases like cancer at 8%

Health problems associated with Persian cats

Persians have a variety of health issues and diseases that affect them most, of it being genetic. These common issues are due to their their appearance, coat and genotype. Issues that are associated with Persians include:

  • Haircoat disorders
  • Periodontal (disease most common in males)
  • Overgrown nails (most common in females)
  • Ocular discharge due to their face being flat
  • Eye problems such as glaucoma and congenital ankyloblepharon ( inherited abnormality ) even blindness.
  • Parasites (worms in the gut)

Severe diseases and life threatening conditions include

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver)
  • Heart disease – the inability to breath properly sooner causes a heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. This is when the left chamber of the cats heart is more developed. This condition mostly affects male persians.
  • FLUTD – inability to control the bladder muscles and will urinate anywhere.
  • Brachycephalic syndrome or respiratory distress syndrome affects the persian cats. Causing their nostrils to be too small, with a narrowed trachea. Thus many will suffer with sleep apnea, snore and have chronic respiratory infections.
  • Polycystic kidney disease caused by a defective gene. This causes cysts inside the kidney and liver which sooner results in organ failure.
  • Mast cell tumors- bad type of skin cancer that must be checked up immediately so proper treatment can be administered.
  • Chronic inflammation in the ear or sinus.

While you may be overwhelmed by the amount of abnormalities that can affect a Persian cat, you need to know that early diagnosis and treatment can greatly increase the chances of survival. For this reason its recommended that these cats get a checkup every 6 to 12 months with a qualified vet so that a full examination can be done.

Challenges that Persian Cats Owners face.

Persian cats are very high maintenance as they require constant time and attention due to their health constraints. Some of the challenges that fur parents face with persian cats are

1. Health Care is expensive. While the general routine vet cost is probably around $50 this is not so with persian cats as they have specific health issues and concerns that must be addressed. Therefore the vet will have to do more tests and a full body examination to make sure they cat is healthy. This is because persian cats are at higher risk for certain diseases and abnormalities.

2. Quality food. Because persian cats health is so fragile they require good quality premium food which can be costly.

3. Grooming. Persians require daily grooming not just once a month. This can be time consuming for owners as some people live busy lives.

4. Eyes and nose must be cleaned daily to prevent breathing problems and infections.

5. Cannot be left alone. They can only live indoors and wont do well outdoors. They require constant protection.

Ways to improve a Persian cats lifespan

  • Regular vaccinations and prevention’s to fight off the common flues and infections.
  • Proper grooming such as bathing,brushing,trimming and facial cleansing.
  • Medical checkups every 6-12 months as most of the disorders that cause death in these cats can be cured if diagnosed earlier and treated.
  • Feed them high quality nutritious foods that are free from artificial ingredients.
  • Be observant and be your cats daily doctor. Carry them and run your hand through their bodies checking for any growths and masses.
  • Avoid overfeeding as this could lead to obesity and would put the cat at risk for diabetes which can cause death.
  • Keep your Persian cat indoors. These cats are not well-equipped to defend themselves in the wild they very reserved and timid. Also keep them away from other pets that are wild and aggressive.
  • The Highest cause of death is kidney disease, therefore check for symptoms such as increased urination, excessive thirst, decreased appetite, low energy levels and nausea. If the cat presents with these symptoms more than a few days consult with your vet immediately.
  • Practice proper dental hygiene by brushing to avoid any dental and oral diseases that may occur. Example gingivitis, chronic tartar and plaque.
  • Spay or neuter the cat. According to a report by the banfield pet hospital, cats who are spayed or neutered may live longer.
  • Promote play by providing interesting toys that have movements so that the cat may engage and awaken their predatory instincts. This will impact the cats mental health in a positive way and will also keep the cat active.
  • Provide a safe, clean and healthy environment for the cat to live. Persian cats smaller noises and some are prone to sinus infections and respiratory problems, therefore the environment must be free from dust and and inhalants that can cause difficulty when breathing.

Ways to breed an healthy persian ?

Persian cats are purebred and health conditions and irregularities can pass on from one generation to the other. Therefore if you want a persian cat that is healthy and able to live a longer life, get a good professional breeder.

Reputable breeders who breed persians normally do genetic testing on the queen and the male before they breed. This is to prevent severe health conditions and bad Gene’s from passing on to the kitten. This is preventative breeding as it rules out hereditary diseases.

Healthy persians which are used to breed normally result in healthy persian kittens with little health issues and a greater chance of survival.

If bred correctly and attention paid to health, and not breeding for small nostrils, the Persian face does NOT cause any respiratory problems as some Breeders normally pay much more attention to the appearance and therefore the health is affected.

Related Questions

1. Are persian cats easy to take care of ? Persian cats are not easy to take care of as they require a lot of maintenance. Such as daily cleaning of the eyes and nose as well as brushing 2 to 3 times a week.

2. What age are persian cats full grown ? Persian cats are considered mature at the age of 2. This is much later than other regular domestic cats.

3. Are Persian cats energetic ? Persians are very timid, gentle and subtle felines. They tend to not be very energetic and playful. They love to cuddle and are very affectionate.

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