Do Mixed Breed Dogs and Cats Live Longer?

Many speculate that mixed-breed animals live longer, but do they actually? If so, why? Let’s find out together!

Feb 2, 2024By Monika Dimitrovska
do mixed breed dogs and cats live longer

Rumor has it that mixed-breed pets might live longer than purebred ones, and there’s some truth to it!

With a diverse gene pool from different backgrounds, mixed-breed dogs and cats can sometimes avoid certain health issues that purebred pets might experience.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a guarantee for anything because every animal is unique. The health of each individual depends on various things like diet, exercise, etc.

In this article, we’ll delve into this subject and share which mixed dogs and cats might live longer than others, so let’s jump right in!

Why Do Mixed Dogs Live Longer?

black and white mixed breed dog
Image credit: Roi Dimor from Unsplash

As we already stated, mixed-breed pets might live longer because of their diverse genetic composition. To be more specific, mixed breeds can live up to 14 years, while the average lifespan of purebreds is about ten years.

Purebreds may inherit certain genetic health problems because of a limited gene pool. For instance, common health issues in pitbulls include hip dysplasia, arthritis, etc.

On the other hand, mixed breeds have a broader genetic diversity from various backgrounds. So, they have a lower chance of experiencing specific health issues, which automatically extends their lifespan.

However, don’t forget that your dog’s health and lifespan still depend on environment, care, diet, and regular vet check-ups.

Still, they have a greater chance of living a longer and healthier life than some of the most popular dog breeds because of their genetic variety.

What Mixed Dog Breeds Lives the Longest?

mixed breed puppy sleeping
Image credit: freestocks from Unsplash

Different types of dogs have different lifespans. So, it’s hard to say which mixed dog breeds live the longest because every dog is unique. In other words, your dog’s overall health and longevity depend on many different factors.

However, some mixes have a history of living longer than others, like small to medium-sized dogs like the Shin-Poo (a Shih Tzu-Poodle mix), Jack Russel Terrier mixes (one of the most popular Terrier mixes), Chihuahua mixes, Dachshund mixes, and Doodle mixes.

These dogs typically hang around longer because they’ve got this blend of genes from smaller breeds. Smaller breeds often experience fewer health issues than larger ones, giving them a good shot at a longer life.

So, if you’re looking for a mixed-breed furry companion that will stay in your life longer, consider smaller to medium-sized breeds. And if you prefer something unique, explore uncommon dog breeds, such as the Irish red and white settler, Ibizan Hound, etc.

Just remember that how long a pet lives depends on how well they’re looked after and any special health challenges they might have going on.

Do Mixed Breed Cats Live Longer?

cat owner snuggling
Image credit: Fuzzy Rescue from Pixabay

Much like mixed-breed canines, mixed-breed cats typically live longer because of their genetic diversity from various lineages. As we already explained, this can help animals avoid certain health conditions and potentially increase their lifespan.

Purebred felines have a limited gene pool; hence, they may be predisposed to specific inherited health problems, unlike mixed-breed ones. We’re not talking about regular ear mites in cats but actual health conditions that can shorten their lifespan.

Again, having a broader gene pool isn’t always a guarantee for longevity, as each cat is different and can experience health issues because of their environment, care, diet, etc. Still, they’re less likely to get common health issues in purebred cats.

What Breed of Cat Lives the Longest?

cat sitting on a branch
Image credit: Pavel from Pixabay

Unfortunately, cats don’t have nine lives, and we can’t say for sure which cat breed lives the longest because longevity isn’t solely determined by breed. Still, some tend to show resilience and typically live longer than others.

As we already stated, mixed-breed felines have a reputation for longevity because of their genetic diversity, which can reduce the chance of inheriting specific health issues common in purebreds.

Regarding purebreds, some breeds often live longer, like the Russian Blue, Siamese, Balinese, and Burmese. So, if you’re searching for a cat that will stay with you for a long time, consider these breeds or mixes of them.

The best part? They’re amongst the most affectionate cat breeds out there. Moreover, they often exhibit robust health and don’t experience certain hereditary conditions seen in other breeds.

Nevertheless, while genetics play a role, a feline’s health and lifespan depend on their diet, veterinary care, environment, indoor cat exercises, etc.

Therefore, regardless of breed—purebred or mixed—taking good care of your feline will probably result in a longer, healthier life.

Care Tips for Mixed Breed Dogs and Cats

dog cat snuggling nature
Image credit: Krista Mangulsone from Unsplash

If you’re a new owner of a mixed-breed dog or cat, here’s a list of simple tips to make your furry adventure a joyride!

  • Feed them well: Just like us, they need a balanced diet. Talk to your vet about the right food and portions for your unique pet mix.
  • Regular exercise: Whether it’s a game of fetch or a cozy laser pointer session for cats, they need to burn off that energy.
  • Grooming matters: Brush their fur regularly, trim those nails, and don’t forget dental care. Nobody likes doggy breath or kitty cavities!
  • Doc visits: Schedule regular check-ups to catch any health issues early. Prevention is the best medicine.
  • ID tag: Make sure your pets have proper identification in case they decide to go on a solo adventure.
cat and dog playing
Image credit: Grant Durr from Unsplash
  • Snuggle time: Mixed-breeds are all about love. Spend quality time, cuddle, and let them know they’re part of the family.
  • Training: Basic commands like sit, stay, and come can make life easier for both of you. Positive reinforcement works wonders.
  • Make sure your home is pet-friendly: Remove hazards, secure toxic substances, and give them their own cozy space.
  • Toys galore: Dogs and cats love toys. Experiment to find their favorites and keep them mentally stimulated. If you own a dog, explore DIY pet craft projects to save money.
  • Proper introduction: If you already own a dog and want to introduce a cat into your household or vice versa, inform yourself on how to introduce dogs and cats properly.
  • Spread the love: Although not purebred, dogs and cats can benefit your health. So, teach others about the advantages of owning one, such as longevity, fewer health issues, and more, and they might consider adopting a mixed-breed cat or dog and saving a life!

Final Thoughts

dog cat mixed breed nature
Image credit: Andrew S from Unsplash

In a nutshell, mixed-breed cats and dogs benefit from diverse genes, which can help them stay healthier and possibly live longer compared to purebreds.

While they might avoid some breed-specific health problems, good care—like regular vet check-ups, a balanced diet, and love—matters most for their well-being.

Every pet, no matter their breed, is special and needs care tailored to them.

Taking care of mixed breeds means embracing their uniqueness and giving them the love they deserve for a happy, healthy life.

Monika Dimitrovska
By Monika Dimitrovska

Monika is a pet enthusiast and seasoned copywriter with a tech degree. She loves writing, but her heart belongs to her two mixed dogs, Buba and Bono, a mother-son duo. Bono’s siblings found loving homes, sparking Monika’s advocacy for neutering and deepening her curiosity about animal care.

But Monika’s pet family doesn’t end there. She also has two cockatiels and two rescue cats, proving her home is a haven for creatures big and small.