Which Pets Live the Longest? 17 Pets That Will Keep You Company for Years

Taken at Woburn Safari Park.
© John5199 / CC BY 2.0, Flickr

Written by Laura Dorr

Published: December 15, 2023

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The hardest part about owning a pet isn’t the maintenance or veterinary bills; it’s the day you have to say goodbye. While most pet owners will eventually face this sad day, there are several animals that may just outlive you (or at least stay with you for a long, long time). But which pets live the longest? Here are 17 pets that will keep you company for years.

17. Parakeet

A pair of common parakeets is kissing on a branch

Parakeets are social animals and do better in pairs.

©Uliya Krakos/Shutterstock.com

Over five million households in the United States have pet birds, and a parakeet is a popular option that will stay with you for years. Pet parakeets routinely live seven to 15 years. They are highly engaged birds that love attention and companionship and are known for their cheery chirping and singing. While most parakeets don’t make it past 15 years, the oldest one on record (a parakeet named Charlie) lived to be 39 years old.

16. Bearded Dragon

One young bearded dragon in a terrarium, leaning against a log and looking in the camera with disdain

Bearded dragons can change colors like chameleons.

©Shinedawn/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

One of the most popular pet lizards, bearded dragons stick around for years. Named for their resemblance to the mythical dragon, these lizards generally live eight to 12 years in captivity. The oldest bearded dragon recorded was Sebastian, who died in 2016 at the age of 18.

15. Diamond Dove

closeup portrait of a diamond dove, popular tropical bird specie from Australia

Diamond doves are gray with orange eye rings and “diamond” spots on their wings.

©Charlotte Bleijenberg/iStock via Getty Images

The diamond dove is a popular pet dove from Australia. Named for the white spots on its wings, the diamond dove can live for 10-12 years in captivity, though its lifespan is much shorter in the wild. Due to their small size and relaxed, quiet demeanor, they are popular with pet owners who want a low-maintenance bird.

14. Goldfish

Goldfish in aquarium with green plants

The goldfish you win at a fair could be a long-term investment.

©satit_srihin/iStock via Getty Images

The goldfish’s memory may be rumored to be short, but their lifespan is long. Goldfish can keep you company for years, living 10-15 years. If you’re really lucky, you may get a fish like Tish, the longest-living goldfish on record. Tish was won at a fair in 1956 and died in 1999 at the old age of 43 years.

13. Leopard Gecko

Best lizards - Leopard gecko

Leopard

geckos are native to dry, arid desert environments.

©iStock.com/LeitnerR

While leopard geckos typically live 10-20 years in captivity, rumors say that some have doubled that lifespan. Female geckos generally do not live as long as males in captivity. Spotted like their namesake, leopard geckos range in color from tan to bright yellow. They are a good-sized pet, measuring around 7-9 inches long.

12. Chinchilla

couple of cute gray chinchilla sitting on green colored background with leaves

In the wild, chinchillas live in large herds of up to 100 animals.

©Creatopic/Shutterstock.com

The chinchilla is known for its luxurious thick coat and giant ears. However, it should also be renowned for its long lifespan! While chinchillas live about 10 years in the wild, they can live up to 20 years in captivity. The oldest chinchilla, a male named Radar from California, lived to be an astounding 29 years and 229 days old.

11. Domestic Cat

A colored cat who has view as boss

Cats’ lifespans increase dramatically when they are kept indoors only.

©VSFP/iStock via Getty Images

While cats don’t actually have nine lives, they do have long lives! A Texas cat named Creme Puff lived until the impressive age of 38. However, most cat owners shouldn’t expect to get nearly four decades with their feline. On average, cats live for 12-18 years. Cats are not the longest-lived pets, but they are a popular one. In 2023, cats were the second-most common pet in the United States, with a reported 46.5 million cat-filled households. Cats came second only to dogs, which live in 65.1 million U.S. households.

10. Chihuahua

Chihuahua. Red-haired dog. Fluffy dog ​​with long hair. Puppy. Little Dog in nature. Chihuahua licks its lips. The dog stuck out its tongue. Cute animals.

Chihuahuas come in long-hair and short-hair varieties.

©Lisa Chip/Shutterstock.com

These little dogs fit in your purse, and they’ll also fit into your life for a long time. Chihuahuas are the longest-living dog breed on average, routinely living 12-20 years. The oldest chihuahua on record according to the Guinness Book of World Records was a 23-year-old dog named Spike. However, Spike isn’t the oldest dog ever: That record goes to Bluey, an Australian cattle dog who died at 29 years and five months.

9. Pig

Potbelly pig with babies

Potbelly pigs can weigh 80-180 pounds.

©Wendy M. Simmons/Shutterstock.com

Highly intelligent, pigs make great pets. These funny animals can live 15-20 years with proper attention and care. Pig lifespans are often estimated to be lower due to the young age at which they are slaughtered on commercial farms. However, a pig can keep you company as a pet for over a decade if treated as a family member instead of a meal!

8. Rosy Boa

Slowest Animals In North America

These snakes are native to the southwestern United States.

©Jason Mintzer/Shutterstock.com

The rosy boa is a nice compact snake with an average length of 17-36 inches. These size numbers also come close to matching their lifespans. Rosy boas in captivity can live for 15-30 years. Known for being a docile snake they deter predators by releasing a foul-smelling musk rather than biting. The oldest rosy boa on record is reported to be Madeline, a 45-year-old snake that lived in California.

7. Ball Python

Ball python coiled on rock

Ball pythons are also known as royal pythons.

©David Kenny/iStock via Getty Images

If you’re looking for another reptile friend to keep you company for years, consider the ball python. A smaller python measuring 2-5 feet in length, ball pythons live an average of 20-30 years in captivity. The longest-lived ball python lived to be over 47 years old at his home at the Philadelphia Zoo.

6. Horse

Sunset as Sunny the horse poses for her photo shoot on the Texas hill country prairie with blue flowers and golden shimmer off her coat

Horses sleep standing up.

©Roschetzky Photography/Shutterstock.com

If you’ve got a barn handy, perhaps a horse would be a good match if you’re looking for a long-lived pet. While some horses can live to be 40, they are 100 years old in human years at the age of 36. Most horse owners should expect to enjoy their equine friend for 25-30 years.

5. Koi Fish

Swimming Koi Fish

Jumbo koi can grow to be up to 3 feet long.

©FryFoto/iStock via Getty Images

The koi is a dramatic-looking fish that lives for a remarkably long time. In the correct conditions, koi routinely live 25-50 years. However, the oldest koi on record, a fish named Hanako, put that to shame and lived to be 226 years old.

4. Box Turtle

north american box turtle

Box turtles have dome-shaped shells with distinct patterns.

©RenEgAdeRooStEr/Shutterstock.com

The laid-back box turtle makes a good pet, if you’re interested in having them around for a while. You can expect them to stick around for a minimum of 25-35 years, with many living 40-80 years. It has been reported that some Eastern box turtles have reached the ripe old age of 100.

3. Umbrella Cockatoo

Cockatoo alba

The umbrella

cockatoo

is also known as the white cockatoo.

©5bf5911a_905/iStock via Getty Images

Native to Indonesia, umbrella cockatoos are named for the umbrella-shaped crest on their heads. In captivity, these birds can live 70-80 years, so you’ll probably want to leave space for them in your will. One cockatoo reached the impressive age of 89, though other cockatoo species have been recorded as old as 120 years.

2. Macaw

Flock of Blue and gold macaw birds together perching on log in the zoo, beautiful parrots

There are 19 different species of macaw.

©Super Prin/Shutterstock.com

While most parrots live for a long time, getting a macaw as a pet is a particularly long-term investment. These colorful birds can live over 70 years in captivity, with some reaching 100 years. The oldest macaw on record was a bird named Charlie, who lived to 114 years.

1. Aldabra Tortoise

Aldabra tortoises are one of the largest land tortoises in the world.

©John5199 / CC BY 2.0, Flickr - Original / License

Also known as Seychelles tortoises, the Aldabra is a type of giant tortoise. And boy, are they giant! These tortoises can measure 4 feet long and weigh up to 550 pounds.

While most Aldabra tortoises don’t live past 150 years old, the oldest on record is Jonathan, a 191-year-old tortoise that lives on the island of Saint Helena. He was given to the island’s governor in 1882 and was estimated to be at least 50 years old at the time, as he was already fully grown. Some experts believe he is likely older than the estimated 191 years. He lives at the official residence of the governor with three other tortoises.

Summary of 16 Pets That Live the Longest

AnimalAverage Lifespan
1.Aldabra Tortoise80-150 years
2.Macaw70-90 years
3.Umbrella Cockatoo70-80 years
4.Box Turtle40-80 years
5.Koi Fish25-50 years
6.Horse25-30 years
7.Ball Python20-30 years
8.Rosy Boa15-30 years
9.Pig15-20 years
10.Chihuahua12-20 years
11.Domestic Cat12-18 years
12.Chinchilla10-20 years
13.Leopard Gecko10-20 years
14.Goldfish10-15 years
15.Diamond Dove10-12 years
16.Bearded Dragon8-12 years
17.Parakeet7-15 years


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About the Author

Laura Dorr is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on wildlife. Laura has been writing about various topics for over 15 years and holds a Bachelor's Degree in English Composition from Cleveland State University. She is also a licensed wildlife rehabilitator specializing in mammal neonates. A resident of Ohio, Laura enjoys running, caring for wild animals, and spending time with her horde of cats.

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