The average lifespan of cats that live indoors is between 10 – 15 years. So what health tips can we learn from the oldest cats in the world? As cat owners, we want our cats to live as long as possible. We care deeply about them and hope we can grow old together. In this article, we will explore the strategies that can help to make your cats live longer.
How To Increase The Lifespan of Cats?
Regular, moderate exercise helps to keep muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons strong. It’s also beneficial to raise a little heart rate every day. As your cat gets older they gain extra weight which makes arthritis worse and obesity which can lead to diabetes. Exercise can help make your cat lose weight and help your cat live longer.
So what can you do to help your cat get some exercise?
You can get your cat a playmate. Cats like to hunt around the house. This is a great way to burn a lot of energy and is mentally stimulating for your cats. You can also play with your cat with a cat toy. We can get the inspiration for the Lego Train from studying the oldest cat that ever lived, Cream Puff, who lived to an incredible age of 38 years old. His owner Jake had an electric model train running around the house for Cream Puff to chase and hunt.
The owner also raised another cat named Grandpa Rex Allen who lived to 34 years old. Jake mentioned that mental and physical stimulation was key to his cat’s long life. The takeaway is that the more active your cat is, the longer it may live.
2) Proper Nutrition
To live a long and healthy life your cat needs proper nutrition. One of the oldest cats to ever live, Nutmeg died at the age of 32. The owners credited his longevity to his high protein diet that included tuna and chicken and to making sure he did not eat too much. Cats are carnivores, their natural diet consists of fresh meat that is high in protein and minerals, and an adequate amount of fat. It is low in carbohydrates.
With that being said, feeding your cat kibble may not be the best idea because 35-50% is made of carbs and it is low in moisture content. The excess carbohydrates contribute to obesity in most cats and this leads to diabetes. While low water content in kibble damages the kidneys over time and leads to chronic kidney disease.
So what can you feed your cat?
You can try a raw meat diet or canned wet food that has meat as its primary ingredient.
Love is more powerful than you think in having a positive impact on our cats. Looking at the list of the oldest cats in the world, the owners are some of the most devoted and caring cat owners. For example, a Siamese cat named Scooter lived to the age of 30 and traveled with his owner Gail to 45 American States out of 50. They truly bonded over their adventures together.
Like most pets, cats respond well to safe and meaningful relationships with humans, which is a key ingredient in keeping them happy and healthy. Like people, cats can get lonely. Make sure your cat knows how special they are to you!
4) Mental Stimulation
Mental stimulation is important for cats because it helps them stay active and sharp as they age. For example, Cream Puff’s owner Jake permanently set up nature documentaries in the house for the cats to enjoy. You can also recreate that experience by giving your cat access to a window. For example, you can build a garden outside the window so your cats have something to look at.
Other ways you can mentally stimulate your cat include giving your cats puzzles to solve, taking them for walks outside, biking or jogging with your cats, or building a catio for your cats
5) Keep Your Cats Warm
Cats like to seek out warm places to rest. In the winter the nutritional needs of senior cats may increase in the effort to keep warm. So why not make it easier for your old cat? You can buy an electric bed that heats up your cat. The bed can be energy efficient and warm your cat’s standard temperature.
6) Keep Your Cats Indoor
Keeping your cat indoors is one of the easiest ways to help your cat lead a long and happy life.
Your cat is less likely to be hit by a car, attacked by a wild animal, encounter toxins, or get infected by a disease. This doesn’t mean you can’t take your cats outdoors. You just need to supervise them. The world outside our home is dangerous and as cat parents, it is our job to protect them.
7) Regular Visits to Vet
Regular visits to the vet can help spot life-threatening health conditions before they become a problem. You have a better chance of treating it before it is too late. Routine lab tests and regular wellness exams can help veterinarians identify serious health conditions early, and potentially save your cat’s life. Take your cats to the vet twice a year for wellness exams and blood work done once a year. Blood work can be used to determine the general health of the liver, kidneys, and other organs. This can help spot common cat diseases early and help improve the chances of your cat living longer.
8) Keep Monitoring Your Cats
Regular check-ups are important for your cat’s health. However, there are times that your cat may exhibit certain symptoms, and you aren’t sure whether they require a trip to the veterinarian. One tip is to look at changes in the litter box. Increased amounts of urine may mean that your cat is developing kidney or liver problems. While a lack of urination can be a life-threatening emergency that needs to be checked out Changes in appetite can also indicate an underlying health problem. Look out for repeated vomiting. Be proactive about your cat’s health and this will help your cat live longer.
9) Have a Smart Veterinarian
Having a smart and caring veterinarian is just as important in making your cat live a long and healthy life. Before making a decision about your vet, consider online reviews, experience, educational background, and if they share the same love and care for your cat.
Having a good veterinarian will guarantee your cat gets the best medical care. Going to the vet often doesn’t matter if the vet is not good. So make sure you do your research.