Cats make wonderful pets, offering a lot of love and affection to their owners. Unfortunately, they don’t have the lifespan of humans, but there are things you can do to add years to your cat’s life. I’d like to share some tips with you, which I’ve learned from my own experience and from my veterinarian, so that your cat can live a long healthy life.
Here are a few things you can do to increase your cat’s lifespan:
Keep Your Cat Indoors
Keeping your cat indoors is the most important thing you can do to prevent an early death. Yes, you would love to see them climb trees and explore the great outdoors, but there are too many risks. Cats are not equipped to understand the dangers of cars, coyotes, and other predatory animals they could encounter. Outdoors they would be exposed to diseases and parasites, not to mention to cold, wet weather and other unpleasant elements.
Get Your Cat Spayed or Neutered
Spaying or Neutering your cat will likely extend its life 3 to 5 years. This will prevent unwanted kittens and the risks that go with pregnancy and giving birth.
Visit Your Vet for Health & Dental Checkups
To ensure your cat’s health you need to visit your vet at least twice a year, making sure that all vaccinations are kept up to date. This should also include a dental checkup, as bacteria from the teeth and gums can cause heart problems and other serious health issues. Always follow your vet’s recommendations, which will include maintaining a healthy weight and regular teeth brushing with cat toothpaste.
Encourage Your Cat to Drink Plenty of Water
Cats need plenty of water to avoid becoming dehydrated, which could lead to urinary tract infections and kidney disease. They will only drink clean fresh water and flowing water from a tap or fountain is especially enticing. We recommend a special cat fountain because the sound of flowing water not only relaxes them, it provides a constant source of clean, filtered water.
Feed Good Nutritious Cat Food
Good-quality cat food will cost a little more, but it’s not as expensive as you think. Cats get more nutritional value from much smaller portions than with the cheap stuff. Cats are carnivores, so they need meat and fish protein, not soy protein, which can make them sick. Older cats often benefit from homemade food of pureed cooked chicken with a little fat and brown rice.
Exercise Your Cat with Toys
If you make it a habit of frequently playing with your cat, he/she will get plenty of exercise. Cats love chasing those laser-pointer lights, or just a piece of string as well as those little jingle balls. They also love jumping around trying to catch the fish on the end of a cat “fishing rod,” which you will enjoy as well. Don’t let your cat become a couch-potato, he/she needs exercise.
Spoil Your Cat with Lots of Love and Affection
Being affectionate with your kitty helps both of you. Cats give us plenty of love, affection, and companionship and when we do the same, they are much happier and healthier as a result.
Cat-Proof Your Home
To ensure that there are no hidden dangers around your house, you should crawl around each room at cat level looking for power cords, toxic cleaning products and dangling tablecloths. Only use pet-safe methods of pest control, avoiding poisons and traps.
Get Your Cat Microchipped
Cats are always safest indoors, but if your kitty gets out your only chance of getting him/her back may be through a microchip or collar with your name and phone number engraved on it.
Provide an Enriching Environment
Cats are natural explorers and your cat will thrive if there are plenty of high shelves to climb and cubbies to crawl around in. They also need some scratching posts to keep them busy and a place to relax in front of a window, so he/she can watch birds, squirrels, and other interesting critters outside.
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