7 Pets with The Longest Lifespan

All pets come with a long-term commitment, but some are longer than others. Here’s a look at 7 of the longest-living pets!

Apr 19, 2024By Lauren Rey
pets with the longest lifespan

It’s no secret that pets are a long-term commitment, and we should be 100% committed before bringing them home. But some pet owners are caught off guard by just how long of a commitment some of them can be. Certain species of pets can live far past what most people expect, so it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. Here are 7 pets that will live long into their golden years and, in some cases, long into your golden years, too!

1. Ball Python

ball python
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Canva

Ball Pythons are one of the most popular pet snakes but if you’re looking to bring home one of these slithery friends — make sure you are ready for a long-term commitment. The average lifespan of a Ball Python is 20 years but a lucky few have even made it up to 50! In the wild, the Ball Python is only known to live around 10 years.

The Ball Python is native to Africa but became widely distributed in the exotic pet trade during the 1980s. Today, Ball Pythons can be found in homes across America and are a popular choice among snake enthusiasts.

2. Goldfish

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Canva

Most people don’t think of Goldfish as a long-term commitment but most people would be wrong! While these poor creatures are often given away as prizes at carnivals (a practice that is thankfully starting to come to an end) when properly taken care of, a Goldfish’s lifespan can surpass 30 years.

Native to freshwater lakes and ponds of Asia, Goldfish are one of the rare exceptions where their lifespan in captivity is often shorter than in the wild. This is mainly due to improper care and tank size. In captivity, the lifespan of a Goldfish is known to be 5 to 10 years. In the wild, they’ve been known to make it to 40. If you’re thinking of bringing a Goldfish home, it’s important to educate yourself on proper tank size and care to ensure they’ll live a long, healthy life.

3. Leopard Gecko

leopard gecko
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Canva

Known for their impressive spots, bright colors, and permanent “smile,” Leopard Geckos are one of the most popular pet lizards. But these colorful cuties come with some big responsibilities and can live up to 20 years. Occasionally, they’ll even live longer, with reports of some Leopard Geckos reaching their 30s.

Leopard Geckos are native to arid regions of Asia and the Middle East but have been popular pets since the 1970s. If you have your eye on a Leopard Gecko, make sure you are ready for a long-term commitment and able to provide the unique care they need!

4. Koi Fish

koi fish pond
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Canva

If you’re planning to put a Koi fish pond on your property, make sure you are truly committed because these fantastic fish can live a whopping 25 to 50 years! Some have even reported making it to 100+ years.

Koi fish originated in Asia and have been a popular choice for decorative outdoor ponds for many centuries. Maintaining a Koi pond is not for the novice owner, they need special care and can be an investment. In fact, Koi fish themselves can be quite pricey with some of the most ornate fish fetching prices of over 100 dollars a piece. If you have your heart set on a Koi pond, it will take careful planning and become a long-term commitment.

5. Umbrella Cockatoo

umbrella cockatoo
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Canva

Fancying a feathered friend? Think twice before bringing home an Umbrella Cockatoo — these birds can live up to a whopping 60 years! Known for their unique plumage, endearing personalities, and capability to learn a large vocabulary, Umbrella Cockatoos are a popular choice among pet birds — but they come with a lifetime commitment.

Umbrella Cockatoos, also sometimes referred to as White-Crested Cockatoos, are native to Indonesia but were distributed all over the world in the exotic pet trade during the 1980s. Sadly, many people were unprepared for such a long-term commitment and the special care these birds require. This led to many of them being abandoned or passed off to rescues. If you’re thinking of adopting an Umbrella Cockatoo, be sure you’re able to provide for it well into your golden years.

6. African Grey Parrot

african grey parrot
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Canva

One of the most popular pet parrots, the African Grey is highly intelligent, talkative, and playful, making them a favorite among bird enthusiasts. But, the African Grey is not for the unsure owner — these extraordinary birds can live up to 60 years.

As the name implies, these birds originated on the African continent but these birds have been kept as pets around the world since ancient times. African Greys have been depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics and ancient European art. Today, they are just as popular as ever among bird owners. But, if you’re thinking of adding an African Grey to your family, make sure you’re ready for a lifetime commitment. These birds will be with you into retirement and beyond!

7. Tortoise

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Canva

A long-lived species that needs no introduction, the tortoise is perhaps one of the only pets where most people are aware of their incredibly long lifespan. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop impulse purchases in pet stores when cute baby tortoises are on display. If you’re planning to add a tortoise to your pack, it’s important to know that these impressive creatures will grow quite large and live quite long — up to 150 years to be exact!

While tortoises do tend to be record breakers in the lifespan department, with some even making it past 150, most pet tortoises average far below that, depending on the species (of which there are many). But, even the shorter-lived species of pet tortoises can easily surpass 50 years, so be sure you know what you’re getting into before you bring one home.

Lauren Rey
By Lauren Rey

A lover of all animals, Lauren’s background is in the veterinary world, but she is now a content writer on travel, wildlife, and all things pets! She’s based in Florida, but when not writing, she’s usually plotting out a new road trip route with her partner-in-crime. Pickles is a mixed-breed rescue dog that loves hiking, road trips, and Starbucks just as much as her mom does!