Healthiest Cat Breeds: A Guide to Low-Risk Feline Companions


Ru Chen

- Updated March 8, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • The healthiest cat breeds have a lower risk of genetic health conditions
  • Even the healthiest cat breeds can benefit from pet insurance
  • Low-risk breeds include the Ragamuffin, Bombay, American Shorthair, British Shorthair, Savannah, Russian Blue, and Siamese cat
Healthiest Cat Breeds: A Guide to Low-Risk Feline Companions

Many prospective cat owners want to choose a healthy cat breed with few breed-specific conditions and a long lifespan. After all, this raises the chances of your feline friend staying by your side longer. A robust cat breed will have fewer hereditary health issues, making it easier to have a worry-free time with your beloved companion.

Still, even the healthiest breed of cat can still get into accidents and catch diseases. Treatment and preventive care can be expensive. Pet insurance is a good tool to offset vet expenses for cat owners. In this guide, we will go over the healthiest cat breeds, tips for each breed, and how pet insurance can ensure timely veterinary care for any breed of cat.

Ragamuffin Cats: Characteristics and Health

Ragamuffins are gentle and affectionate cats with great intelligence. They make wonderful indoor companions due to their sweet temperament. Even though they are docile, they are still playful and friendly, leading them to acclimate to both quieter and louder homes without much issue.

Hereditary health issues are relatively rare in Ragamuffin cats. The average Ragamuffin lives from 14 to 16 years old.

Still, routine veterinary checkups and preventive care can keep a Ragamuffin cat even healthier. Make sure your Ragamuffin is well-fed and healthy, with a clean litter box. Watch out for your Ragamuffin’s weight. Some Ragamuffins can get overweight, especially because of their long hair that can conceal weight gain.

Bombay Cats: Characteristics and Health

Bombay cats have glossy black coats and playful personalities. They are excellent at forming deep bonds with their human family. It is important to keep them mentally stimulated by giving them interactive play sessions featuring toys and structures.

Generally, Bombay cats have good health with low susceptibility to genetic disorders. However, they may encounter heart problems and parasites like any other cat, as well as excessive tearing of the eyes and breathing difficulties due to a short muzzle.


American Shorthair Cats: Characteristics and Health

American Shorthair cats are sturdy and muscular cats, with robust health and longevity. They have an adaptable temperament that lets them easily thrive in various living environments. They can get along well with children, dogs, and even strangers.

An American Shorthair cat may live between 15 to 20 years, making them a breed with great longevity. While they have few breed-specific conditions or inherited health issues, American Shorthairs may be more prone to gum disease and respiratory problems due to their flat faces.

When it comes to caring for an American Shorthair cat, make sure you give them a balanced diet. Routine vet checkups can help you detect any issues early, allowing for a better prognosis. A wellness plan, provided by pet insurance companies, can give you reimbursements for routine pet expenses, including dental cleanings which can reduce the chances of American Shorthair gum disease.

British Shorthair Cats: Characteristics and Health

British Shorthair cats have adorable round faces, plush coats, and powerful builds. Their endearing round eyes, affectionate temperament, and laid-back demeanor have made them a favorite cat breed for many families.

Health-wise, British Shorthairs have a low risk of hereditary disorders. They have an average life span between 12 to 16 years. If they do have health issues, they are often common heart-related problems or hyperthyroidism. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can cause issues with the heart muscle of a British Shorthair cat, leading to irregular heartbeats and labored breathing. Kidney and gum problems can also manifest in British Shorthair cats.

Physical exams at the veterinarian are essential for detecting health issues with your British Shorthair before they are exacerbated. Veterinary care can prevent certain conditions, such as with dental cleaning preventing gum disease. Early treatment for pet health issues can result in a better prognosis, giving your cat a smoother recovery process.


Savannah Cats: Characteristics and Health

Savannah Cats are famous for their exotic appearance that resembles their wild serval ancestors. Their patterned coats are easy to clean because they love water and do not shed much.

Savannah cats have no known genetic disorders, making them have excellent health compared to many other breeds. Responsible breeders will screen for breed-specific, genetic conditions when breeding Savannah cats.

When it comes to common health risks in cats, Savannahs can still suffer from heart problems like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and other common health issues. Make sure you take your Savannah cat to the vet for regular checkups. Dental cleanings and annual wellness exams are a good way to ensure you detect any issues with your cat’s health before they worsen.

Since Savannahs have a “hybrid status” and are even banned in a few states, they can cost over $20,000, though later-generation Savannah cats will be more affordable. The expensive cost makes it a good idea to procure pet insurance for a Savannah cat. Comprehensive pet insurance can cover accidents and illnesses. A wellness plan can also be helpful, letting you receive quick reimbursements for routine preventative care for your Savannah.

Russian Blue Cats: Characteristics and Health

Russian Blue cats are known for their gorgeous blue-gray coats and vibrant eyes. Their reserved demeanor gives off an aura of sophistication. With new people, Russian Blues can be wary and quiet, but they often become chatty and vocal with those they trust.

In general, Russian Blues have robust health and good longevity. They have an average lifespan between 14 to 16 years.

Russian Blues can become overweight even if they look slender due to their naturally small frames. Consulting with a vet can help you ensure your Russian Blue is eating the right amount of healthy treats and lean meats.

An environment rich with stimulation and play is important for Russian Blue cats. A Russian Blue cat can easily get bored without any fun games and interaction.

It is also a good idea to do weekly checkups of your Russian Blue cat at home. A weekly grooming session can help detect any issues with grooming that your cat might be having.


Siamese Cats: Characteristics and Health

Known for their striking blue eyes and unique appearance, Siamese cats are mesmerizing companions with vocal personalities.

Overall, Siamese cats have good health, with few hereditary health issues and good longevity. Still, Siamese cats can be infected by fleas and parasites, so it is essential to have your Siamese tested regularly at the vet.

To keep a Siamese cat healthy and happy, it is also important to provide socialization and mental stimulation. A lonely Siamese cat without interaction or close bonds can have behavioral issues. Make sure you engage with a Siamese cat and give them ample toys and structures to play with. Interacting with you and cat puzzles can keep the minds and bodies of Siamese cats healthy, potentially reducing the risk of cat Alzheimer’s.

Finding Pet Insurance for Cats

Finding the right pet insurance is essential for any cat breed, even those known for robust health and few genetic conditions. Let’s go over what is pet insurance and how it can help cats, even ones with lower health risks.

What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance allows you to file claims for veterinary expenses. After the pet insurance assesses your claim to see if you’ve met the deductible and the claim is legitimate, reimbursements can be granted to mitigate the high costs of pet care.

Accident-only coverage

Many pet owners opt for accident-only pet insurance due to its lower premium. This type of insurance provides coverage for common accidents and injuries, such as:

  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Toxic ingestion
  • Cuts and bites
  • Torn ligaments

Accident coverage will provide financial assistance for relevant diagnostic tests, exam fees, treatments, and procedures.

Accident and illness coverage

Comprehensive pet insurance covers both standard accidents as well as illnesses. This includes:

  • Chronic illnesses
  • Hereditary issues
  • Allergies, cancer, infections, and more

While low-risk cat breeds are less likely to have hereditary conditions, they are still vulnerable to common feline health concerns.

Preventive care

A wellness plan, which is typically offered by pet insurers as an add-on to comprehensive coverage, lets you receive reimbursements for routine pet care.

Preventive care coverage or a wellness plan may include:

  • Dental cleanings
  • Vaccinations
  • Routine grooming
  • Microchipping
  • Parasite tests and prevention
  • Spay/neuter

Wellness plans can be great choices for low-risk cats since the covered expenses are for routine pet care recommended for any cat. The reimbursements you receive can help you save hundreds of dollars over the lifespan of your pet.

Factors to consider when comparing pet insurance policies for cats

It can be tricky to find the best pet insurance for your cat. Here are some important factors to consider:

Coverage options: There are three main types of coverage you can get for a cat. The two insurance types are accident-only and accident and illness (AKA comprehensive) insurance. Accident-only insurance is great for lower-risk cats, but comprehensive insurance will ensure greater reimbursements and value in case of a serious illness or development.

Premium cost: This is how much you need to pay for pet insurance each month. Premium costs depend on numerous factors, such as your cat's breed, location, chosen pet insurance provider, and coverage type. If you want to insure a healthy cat breed, the premium may be cheaper due to the lower health risks.

Deductible: The deductible is the monetary amount you need to pay in pet care expenses first before your pet insurance provider will provide coverage for the rest. Pet insurance deductibles range between $0 and $1000, with the average pet insurance deductible hovering around $250.

Co-pay: The co-pay rate is what portion of the vet expenses you need to pay after you reach your deductible.

Customer and expert reviews: A suitable pet insurance company should have a good track record and reputation with its policyholders. Make sure you read online reviews, including ones by cat owners, so you can get a better idea of how dependable a pet insurance company is.

Exclusions: Note that many pet insurance policies have exclusions and restrictions. Pre-existing conditions are generally not covered. Check if your cat’s breed and age are excluded from a policy. If you own a healthy cat breed with low health risks, it becomes easier to obtain pet insurance.

Why Is Pet Insurance Coverage Important

Cat owners can use pet insurance to cover the costs of both routine veterinary care and unexpected expenses. With pet insurance, it becomes easier to get regular vet checkups and pay for any urgent expenses, such as surgery or medications. Addressing health concerns when necessary ensures better overall health for cats and peace of mind for owners.

Financial protection is also a great benefit of pet insurance. Throughout a cat’s lifetime, pet insurance can save a cat owner hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

When shopping for pet insurance, check out this list of top pet insurance providers. Expert reviews can give you a better idea of which pet insurers offer the most affordable and dependable policies. They can also save you valuable time when looking for pet insurance coverage.



Choosing a healthy cat breed sets the foundation for a long and fulfilling companionship. The following cats are considered low-risk breeds with few genetic health conditions:

  • Ragamuffin
  • Bombay
  • American Shorthair
  • British Shorthair
  • Savannah
  • Russian Blue
  • Siamese cats

Purchasing comprehensive pet insurance along with preventive care helps you give your cat timely medical attention whenever needed. Offsetting routine vet expenses can help you save plenty of money in the long run, and pet emergencies become much easier to deal with if you have pet insurance.

Whether you select a low-risk breed or another type of cat, consider prioritizing pet insurance to better provide veterinary care for your feline friend.

About The Author

Ru Chen

Ru Chen

Content Writer

Ru Chen is a content writer with several years of experience in creating engaging and well-researched articles. She mostly writes about insurance, business, digital marketing, and law. In her free time, she can be found watching horror movies and playing board games with her partner in Brooklyn.

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