Your cat probably has a life expectancy of twelve to 18 years. That’s a pretty long time, but it’s not nearly enough.
We want our cats to live as long as we do. We want them to be happy and healthy and thrive. There are a lot of things that can influence the length of your cat’s life, and you play a big part in how long your cat will actually live.
Of course, our cats can’t live forever, but we can certainly take steps to make our time with them last as long as possible. Many cats live well over two decades!
Here are a few things you can do to improve your cat’s quality of life and help them live for as long as they can.
1. Provide Quality Cat Food
If you can feed your cat natural foods, you should. It’s a great way to help your cat live longer.
Just like with humans, when we feed our cats processed foods like kibble and canned cat foods, we aren’t always providing the most nutritious meals we can. Even the best cat foods sometimes aren’t going to be as healthy as feeding your cat natural foods like chicken or fish from the grocery store or butcher.
There are lots of cat food recipes online to help you make your own cat food. Cat food is inexpensive, and easy to make. Try it!
2. Help Them Exercise
Exercise is good for pets and can help just about any cat live longer. The more exercise, the better.
Exercise can help fight off weight gain and obesity, conditions which can severely harm your cat’s health. Later in life, extra weight can make arthritis worse and put stress on bones and joints. So exercising now won’t just make your cat healthier, it will also improve their quality of life later.
Play with your cat often. Get your cat a playmate or whatever will help them stay active. The more active your cat is, the longer they may live.
3. Give Them Mental Enrichment
Many people work long hours and leave their cats at home alone. This can’t be helped sometimes, but mental stimulation is so important for our pets. It can reduce anxiety, prevent unwanted behaviors, and keep them mentally sharp well into old age.
When you’re at home, make it count. Spend time interacting with your cat. Throwing a few cat toys on the ground isn’t going to be a substitute for one-on-one playtime and stimulation.
Talk to your cat. Play with your cat. Introduce your cat to new things and experiences. Build a catio so they can safely experience the outdoors.
All of these things will help to stimulate your cat and help them live longer.
4. Visit Your Veterinarian
Find a good vet. Ask your friends and family for recommendations, and check online reviews to find one of the good ones.
Make sure your cat is vaccinated, but don’t over vaccinate your cat. If you suspect illness, be sure to get a diagnosis from your vet so you can treat the issue.
Don’t let medical issues fester and become worse. If going to the vet is very stressful for your cat, find a vet who does home visits. They aren’t hard to find, and it’s totally worth it.
5. Help Your Cat Live A Stress-Free Life
Stress wears down cats just like it wears down humans. Help your cat to live a relaxed life. If there are issues that create stress for your cat, avoid them. It’s just not worth it.
Stress and anxiety can do serious damage to health for both cats and humans. If your pet is anxious at home, they may also engage in unwanted, destructive behaviors.
If your cat suffers from anxiety of any kind, especially separation anxiety, find ways to treat their condition. Your vet can help.
You’ll find that when your cat is less stressed, you are less stressed, as well. I think we all feel more relaxed when our pets are also relaxed.
How do you help your cat live longer? Do you have any tips or tricks? Please share in the comments below!