What’s The Life Expectancy Of Your Pet?

After writing about the average life expectancy of your dog I got to thinking: “I wish I had a pet that lived longer then 10-15 years.” That spawned today’s article on the life expectancy of your pet.

I’ve heard many stories about pets that have lived a long time and others about a pet who lived a relatively short life.

Of course, you could go with the old Pet Rock which will last a lifetime…well, unless their eyes fall off then maybe they’re no longer considered a pet rock :)

Average Life Expectancy of Pets (in years)Pet Rock

rat (2-3)
mouse (3-5)
anole (4)
golden hamster (3)
goat (15+)
rabbit (5-15)
sheep (8-16)
frog (4-15)
Budgerigar (budgie) (10-15)
dog (12.8)
domestic cat (12-18)
pigeon (20+)
goldfish (5-10)
cockatoo (up to 70)

Okay…pop question for everyone…who knows what an anole is and why is it on this list? The anole is a type of lizard and I have no idea why it’s on this list (why not just list it as a lizard?). I grabbed this list from the wiseGEEK website.

I’m not too sure there are many people keeping goats and sheep as pets, but at least it’s a good reference in case you live on a farm.

I also found this interesting fact on the wiseGEEK website:

“For cats, the main differential in life expectancy is whether they’re indoor or outdoor cats. Outdoor cats generally live to be four or five years of age. They are more likely to catch viruses or to suffer some kind of trauma. Indoor cats, on the other hand, can be expected to live 12 to 18 years.”

That will make my mother happy (she has 3 indoor cats), but my sister won’t have the same sentiment (her cat lives outside during most of the day, but comes in at night).

A few other interesting facts about pets:

  • Sea Monkeys (Brine Shrimp) can live up to two years!
  • Ants in an ant farm can live up to 6 months!
  • Koi Fish live 50-70 years and have been known to live over 200 years!

My Favorite Pet Story!

KoiSo I have the following short story for those of you who are considering a new pet in particular Koi Fish. It involves a good friend of mine who just finished building his Koi pound. After balancing the chemicals in the water he went off to the store to purchase some Koi fish for his pond. He told me with excitement…”You know a Koi fish can live up to 200 years! That’s like three human life times!” He proceeded to add the fish to the pond and several hours later they began doing the side stroke…then the back stroke. At one point my friend attempted CPR on the fish with no success.

I told my buddy: “That pet store ripped you off!”
He asked: “Why?”
To which I said: “They sold you 200 year old Koi fish!”

Do you have any stories about your pets and how long they’ve lived? Did they live longer then the average life expectancy of pets listed in this post?

If you’re interested in the average life expectancy of different dog breed click on this link: average life expectancy of your dog.


  1. says

    Hmmm…you might need a heat lamp for those guys. When I was in college I put a small light near my ants and at night when it was cold they’d gather up near the warmth of the light.

  2. says

    I love this post…interesting info on pets’ life span and funny koi fish story…although they died, well…anyway, good job ^_^

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