The average life span of cats is 12-14 years, while many cats, when properly cared for, are known to live for 18 years. You may be surprised that the oldest alive cat today is “Flossie,” who turns 26 years in 2022, while the most senior cat ever recorded was “crème Puff,” who died at the age of 38 years in 2005.
Yes, cats can give you decades of companionship if you know how to take care of your cat and fulfill all its necessities. Naturally, every cat lover wants to keep their pet happy and healthy. However, looking at the above figures, you may wonder how you can help your cat live a happy and long life.
So, in this article, we have explained different factors that affect your cat’s longevity. Considering these aspects, you can significantly improve the quality of your cat’s life and help him live as long as possible.
Keep Your Cat Indoors
Data collected from different sources proves that cats that spend their lives indoors live longer than those that go outside often. The cats that go outside often have higher chances of being stolen, attacked by predators, and getting infections and parasites. Also, let’s not forget fighting with other cats or animals and getting injured.
Though a 15- 20 minute walk is necessary for your cat’s health, you should only allow them to go outside with others. You must buy a cat collar and leash or harness and take your cat for a walk.
In addition, during winter, cats love to sit at window perches to enjoy sunbath, so make sure that the window is properly closed to ensure the safety of your feline friend.
Select Cat Safe Plants
Since your feline friend is supposed to spend most of his time indoors, the interior of your house must be cat friendly. One of the most crucial aspects in this regard is the house plants.
Though cats are carnivores, they may nibble on plants occasionally. So ensure that you don’t have any plant in your house that is unsafe for your cat. To learn more about poisonous plants for cats, you can check our article on the most common toxic house plants for cats.
Provide Quality Cat Food
No one can deny the importance of high-quality and well-balanced diet availability. It’s a basic necessity for cats and every living organism, including humans. Though it may appear a bit costly initially in terms of lbs, per day cost is much less because cats may eat much less nutrient-dense food (about 1/3rd) than ordinary cat food.
As a result, it will produce fewer feces, thus saving your litter. Above all, your priority is your cat’s health, so it doesn’t matter, even if it’s expensive.
Keep Your Cat Hydrated
Sufficient hydration is crucial to keeping a cat healthy; the same goes for you. So you must provide fresh water in a clean water bowl 24/7.
Since cats are more attracted to moving water, buying a cat fountain is a good idea to attract the cat toward the water.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
In addition, to provide a quality diet, you must keep an eye on the weight of your fluffy friend. Weight your cat often (at least once a month) and maintain weight within the healthy range because obese cats are prone to many health issues.
Keeping your cat physically active is as necessary and crucial as in humans. So you must spare at least 15 to 20 minutes daily to play with your cat.
You can train your cat to play simple games or get the benefit of their chasing instinct and make them chase laser light, a feather, a mouse, a bird attached to a string, etc.
You can also take it out for a walk with a leash on. The idea is to provide physical exercise and help our felines burn extra calories. It will help our cats to avoid obesity and other health issue and enjoy a healthy and happy life.
Since cats spend most of their time inside the home and alone, it is crucial to make arrangements to keep our cats mentally stimulated. A solitary cat who doesn’t have anything to do can quickly develop symptoms of boredom and anxiety.
You should arrange many cat toys and rotate them often to keep your cat interested. Cat puzzles, cat trees, cat balls, scratching posts, and hiding food or treats at different places are excellent ways to keep your cat busy.
Regular grooming will keep your cat’s coat in good shape and allow you to observe your pet’s body closely. You can easily detect any abnormality, like lumps, wounds, bumps, sore spots, etc., before the condition worsens. The Sooner you notice the problem, the earlier your cat will return to a healthy and happy life.
Maintain Good Hygiene
Make sure to follow hygiene practices, including regular bathing, ear cleaning, and nail trimming. You should also wash the food and water bowl regularly, clean the litter box regularly, and replace the litter on time when required.
Oral & Dental Care
Oral and dental care is the most ignored aspect of cat guardianship. Suppose anything is wrong inside your kitty’s mouth. In that case, it leads to reduced intake that can further cause many complications like weakness, nutritional deficiency, etc.
So brush your cat’s teeth at least once a week to ensure good oral and dental health.
Know The Illness Signs
Cats intuitively hide their illness signs, and they do it perfectly. Generally, most cat guardians cannot detect their cat’s illness or need help until the condition worsens.
So if you want your cat to live long, you must enable yourself to learn the early signs of illness in cats. Some common symptoms your cat may exhibit when he is ill, diseased, or uncomfortable and needs your help are listed below.
- Change in physical appearance
- Changes in social behavior
- Not using the litter box.
- Increased or decreased food and water intake
- Change in sleeping routine
- Unexpected weight loss or gain
- Changes in vocalization
- Showing stress signs
- Abnormal discharge
- Bad breath
Regularly Visit Your Veterinarian
Plan a visit to your vet at least once in six months. The vet is the right person who can detect any underlying disease and may perform some blood tests for confirmation. In addition, the vet can guide you about the changes in feeding, grooming, and care requirements as your cat grows.
We hope these tips will help you to improve your cat’s health and quality of life. Obviously, a healthy cat will live a long and happy life. And who knows, your kitty may win the “oldest cat alive” or “oldest cat ever” award in the years to come.
Thank you for reading! P.S. if it’s not a secret, share your cats’ age in the comments.