Believe it or not, in a not so distant past, cats only used to live up to 10 or 15 years. Nowadays, with all the care they recieve, the availabilty of quality food, the life expectancy boomed to twice what it used to be. Genetics must play an important role in the expansion of the life expectancy of a cat, but it’s the environment and more specifically the lifestyle of the cat that has a decisive impact on lifespan. This puts the steering wheels in the hands of the pet owners. The better the quality of life of the cat, the longer he’ll be a part of the family.
Hundreds of cat older than 20 years old have been extensively studied to understand what they share in common and to come up with the relevant factors increasing the lifespan of cats. Here’s what they found:
A. Big protein shakes..au Naturel!. Forget veganism for pet cats. They crave and need a high, meat-protein packed diet to live the longest. Cat food may be the simple solution for most pet owners, but it is in fact, just like fastfood for human, empty calories, rich in carbohydrates yet protein and water lacking. Feeding your furrball ultra processed cat food is as ill advised as they come and presents adverse effects instead of the nutritional ones. Fundamentally speaking, processed food is a metabolic stress inducing diet for a cat. The end result is often dental disease, obesity, insulin resistance leading to diabetes and kidney disease. Simply put, any cat, at any age, should have on his plate the least amount of processed food, and should include water-rich natural foods, and on top of that, animal meat should be the basic food for every cat throughout life. A good rule of thumb is that, if you can’t find time to prep the meals for your cat, raw types of animal meat should be the alternative. Butchers next door can supply you with chicken breasts, chicken legs, duck breasts, mackerel, sardines…Next time..Think about that
B. Weight is paramount…a healthy one, that is. In today’s society, pet cats are overfed and are hence, overweight or sometimes obese. Again, just like with humans, being overweight will undoubtly cause obesity-related diseases and will inevitably shorten the lifespan of pet cats. Even the quality of life is greatly affected by a pathological weight if sustained for long. Keep this in mind, healthy weights preserves life and quality of life of a cat. .
If you notice that your cat is getting chonkier and bulkier, it is time to consult a specialist, and put the furrball on the right diet.
C. Exercise. Eat. Sleep. Exercise. A healthy can should exercise, at a high intensity for at least 30 mins during the day or more. This includes activities such as playing with toys and chasing them. The cat will burn the right amount of stored fat, maintain a healthy heart, body weight and muscle mass. Posts, trees or any climbing structures can help your cat stay active.
You can and should take advantage of this to exercise as well. It creates a certain bond with the animals. Positive vibes will enrich both of your days and lives.
D. Stress is the silent killer, the shortner of lives and the plague of the civilized world. It is the exact same with your favourite pet. Make your cat feel like a cherished part of the family, increase his level of comfort and reduce his level of stress. In doing so, the erratic behaviour of a cat can be greatly corrected and the lifespan immensly increased.
Eliminate any potential sources of anxiety to the cat, take time to read his behaviour, monitor his movements, his playtime, assess his routine and correct it if necessary. A longer happier life will be your reward.
There you have it. It may sound like common sense to the ones who read the whole article, but it is as simple as that. Stay safe and keep him safe.