According to studies, pets are living longer lives. In 2012, the average lifespan of a cat was 12 years, a 10% increase since 2002. But the ASPCA claims that many cats can make it to 20 years or older based on a healthy habits and extra care.
From vet care, nutrition, daily care, to forming a bond with your pretty kitty, it’s good to know how to handle your cat in the three different stages of their lives, kitten, maintenance, and senior years.
Regular check-ups over the years include the following: kittens should be seen three to four times during the first year, adult cats (up to around seven to eight years) should be seen annually for a yearly check-up, booster vaccines, and preventative check-ups for diseases, and seniors cats (10 years or older) should be seen twice a year for well-checks. Cats with chronic diseases prone to older cats should be seen on a regular basis.
Researchers have also found that the longevity of your cat’s life can be extended by spaying and neutering your pet. The procedure has given cats 62% longer lives than an un-neutered male and 39% longer than an un-spayed female.
Cats should be fed quality, age-specific food high in protein and moisture content so they get the necessary amount of water within their food, says Renegade Health. Even with moist food, make sure to have clean fresh water daily, as some cats may be picky and won’t drink stale water.
It’s also important to maintain a healthy weight by controlling food portions and engaging your cat in regular exercise every day.
“Fifty-four percent of cats in the U.S. are obese or overweight, which can lead to other health problems like kidney, liver, heart, and pancreatic disease,” according to research by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
Also, make sure to keep your cats indoors more often than not unless supervised, take care of their teeth to prevent bacteria build-up, and groom them on a regular basis to decrease hair around the house and in your cat’s stomach.
Lastly, just like humans, cats need that lifelong relationship with their owners. So make sure to give your kitty the love and care they need by keeping them happy, playing with them, giving them treats, reducing stress, and letting them know you’ll be there for them.
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