Cats are wonderful companions providing us with comfort and affection. If you’re a cat owner, it is only natural to imagine the lifespan of your feline friend. Just how long does and average cat live? Most people might not think of the lifespan of their kitten, but as they grow old, such questions are bound to arise. The average lifespan of most indoor cats is between 13-17 years old. However, there are cases where indoor cats have lived beyond their 20s. What can you do to make your feline friend be among the lucky ones to live beyond their 20s?
If there were a magic pill to lengthen the life of your cat, you would present to your cat in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill, but this does not mean you can’t take good care of your pet. There are several steps cat owners would take to add some more years to the lifespan of their cats.
Simple ways to make your cat live longer
1. Keep your cat indoors
Cats that spend most of their time outside tend to have a shorter lifespan than those spending most of their time indoors. Try as much as possible to keep your cat indoors. Cats that spend more time outside are at a higher risk of infection and trauma. There are several dangers out there like parasites, other animals, cars, people and lack of protection from elements that threaten the life of your cats.
2. Buy quality cat food
Provision of a high-quality balanced diet to your cat will ensure a healthy life and more years on earth. The diet given to your cat should be appropriate for its age and lifestyle. Nutritional needs of cats are different with kittens requiring a diet that supports growth. Always look for grain-free cat food avoiding commercial cat foods with soy that is difficult to digest. The real meat is the cat’s main source of critical amino acids. Always look for foods with real meat and not by-products of meat or meat meal.
3. Schedule an annual examination visit to a veterinary officer
An annual visit to a veterinary is highly recommended if you’re looking to maintain a high-quality life. A veterinarian will screen for any health issues that might be affecting your cat and offer treatment options. The docter will also address any behavioural changes, make dietary recommendations and help you create a healthy diet plan to suit your cat.
The veterinary officer will also help your cat stay up on the necessary vaccinations. Most cats die needlessly of diseases that can be prevented by vaccination.
4. Watch for weight gain and weight loss
Is your cat always hungry? Establish a program to feed your cat instead of having the cat bowl filled with food all the time. Just like human cats are prone to weight gain and this usually leads to weight gain related health issues that decrease their lifespan. Eliminating free feeding will help as cats are now sedentary and don’t roam or hunt as they used to do in the past.
On their other side, weight loss in your cat will be a sign of a serious health condition. Do you feel your cat’s backbone? You need to schedule an appointment with your veterinary officer to check for diseases like cancer, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, geriatric and the chronic kidney disease.
5. Polish the pearly whites
Taking good care of the cat’s dental is crucial in helping them live healthily and for long. Most cats deal with the problem of periodontal gum disease as they age. This causes pain, tooth loss and gum disease that affects the cat’s health. Dental plaques can be dangerous especially if they get into the cat’s bloodstream. Incorporate some form of preventive oral hygiene to your cat or allow some tooth brushing from the early age.
- Do start oral hygiene as young as possible with your cat or kitten, even if you give them a toothbrush dipped in tuna water.
- Never use human toothepaste to clean a cat or dog's teeth, if you plan to do it yourself.
- Have their teeth cleaned at least once a year to ensure a healthy life.
6. Pay attention to the cat’s puke
Any changes to the frequency and character of vomiting in your cat usually signal a health problem. Most cat vomit contains hair or food, but any changes like white foam or bile should be treated seriously. It is always recommended to schedule a visit see a vet.
There is always a lot you can do to ensure your cat is healthy and living for longer. Exercise your cat by finding fun activities they would love to be engaged in. Give them a proper diet and schedule visits to see a vet annually. Any signs or symptoms of disease in a cat should not be ignored but instead treated with caution. Make life interesting and lively for your cat, and it shall live for long.
My name is Evelyn, creator of PlaywithMeow!, I created Play with Meow to connect, share and inspire other cat lovers around the world, hoping we all utilize this community to make a better life for our cats.
Follow me on Twitter: @Evelynvaldezpl1