Tips On Helping Your Cat To Live Long And Prosper

Published Date: November 28th, 2007
Category: Cats

PetStreetMall - Quality Products at Low Prices!

by MATTHEW PAOLINI

When it comes to growing old gracefully, your favorite cat’s life span is affected by a variety of factors, including breed, environment and genetics. While a cat’s lifespan will vary depending on these contributing factors, a good rule of thumb is that a healthy house cat will live to at least fifteen years of age. That being said, it’s not all that unusual for a cat to live longer and some cats are known to have reached the ripe old age of thirty. Much like humans, cats live longest when they’re fed a good nutritious diet. As a cat ages, its nutritional needs change. Despite the recent scare about contaminated dog and cat food, most national cat food brands are now widely considered to be safe. They come in varieties specifically formulated for particular stages in a cat’s life and are generally well liked by cats. Whether you choose a national brand or opt to make your own cat food at home, it’s important not to overfeed your cat. Most cat food makers can supply you with literature, either on the Internet or in print form, that will give you the latest nutritional guidelines for raising a healthy animal.

Cats are like humans in another way, too. Both respond well to an active life with regular exercise. Allowing your pet to go outside everyday is a great way to keep your cat healthy and fit. A scratching post and a judicious selection of toys can also keep your cat active indoors. Set aside some time everyday to play with your cat. Not only will you and your cat become better friends, the exercise will also contribute to a long, healthy life for your cat and even improve your own quality of life!

Another way to help a cat live longer originally came as a surprise to me. Just before signing off, Bob Barker, the former host of the Price is Right, the popular TV game show, used to remind his audience to spay or neuter their cats. Although Barker’s motivation was probably to reduce the number of stray cats and dogs roaming the streets of L.A., it turns out that spaying or neutering your cat can actually boost its life expectancy. Although the statistics on this don’t lie, it’s not exactly clear why the idea works. Some think a fixed cat will stay closer to home, reducing its exposure to disease and other dangers.

Cats grow more susceptible to disease as they grow older, but there are many things you can do to help keep you cat healthy. Regular brushing will satisfy your cat’s instinct for regular grooming and also help to prevent common skin diseases. Remember, too, that a cat can’t care for its own teeth. Brushing your tabby’s teeth everyday will help ward off conditions like chronic cat breath, gum disease and more serious conditions like resorption lesions. You should also watch for changes in your cat’s eating or sleeping patterns or an abnormal incidence of hairballs, all of which can point to more serious health issues that may require treatment by a veterinarian.

Last but not least, a good relationship with a qualified veterinarian is a must should your cat ever requires professional care. Regular visits to the vet, even when there’s no emergency, can add many years to the life of your favorite feline. So, make the effort to find a vet in your area. Friends or relatives can sometimes provide a recommendation, but if you’re new to the neighborhood or don’t know another cat owner you can ask, check your online yellow pages for a list of qualified vets in your neighborhood. Matt Paolini is a cat lover and Managing Editor of CityBook, the Internet’s leading family-safe yellow pages directory. Locate a veterinarian in your neighborhood using CityBook’s online yellow pages.

Comments are closed.