How To Increase Your Cat’s Life Span

Beautiful senior long haired grey cat

Contrary to popular belief, cats don’t have nine lives. As much as you might wish they did, many feline friends depend on a pet owner’s love and care to live a long and healthy life.

While you cannot alter a cats genetics in Canada, you can make choices to improve their diet and lifestyle and help them live to an old age. Continue reading for helpful advice on how to increase your cat’s longevity.

Understand a cat’s aging process

A cat’s age and weight will determine their health and behaviour. As a health-conscious pet lover, it helps to gain a firm understanding of your cat’s aging process and weight requirements. It will allow you to adjust their diet and lifestyle when necessary and identify potential health issues as they arise.

For example, an adult cat (aged four to nine years) may be slightly less active and have a lower metabolic rate than their younger self. When this happens, you should pay closer attention to their diet to help maintain a lean body condition. You may need to adjust their calorie intake by altering their meals and portion sizes. If you’re curious, you can determine your cat’s age in human years at, and use the estimate to pay close attention to their life stage and associated needs.

Spay or neuter your cat

It is believed that cats who haven’t been spayed or neutered are more likely to roam outdoors in search of a mate, increasing their risk of fighting with animals, a vehicle accident, or other injuries. This may indicate that one simple way to increase your cat’s longevity and decrease their risk of unexpected injuries is to get them spayed or neutered to discourage their free-roaming instincts.

Avoid common cat toxins

Various foods and products are toxic to cats and may shorten their lifespan, which is why you must avoid them as much as possible. For example, you must ensure your feline isn’t exposed to mice or rat poison, slug pellets, or coal/tar-based items, as they are toxic to cats. Never bring lilies into your home, as even a dust of the flower’s pollen on your cat’s fur could trigger renal toxicity.

Also, you must be cautious of the foods you provide. The following items are not recommended for cats:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Chocolate
  • Milk
  • Dog food
  • Raw meat
  • Bones

Schedule routine vet checkups

Help your pet to remain in tip-top health by regularly scheduling a checkup with your local Canadian veterinary clinic. A qualified vet will thoroughly examine your cat to identify any health issues, such as a medical condition or injury.

The checkup frequency will depend on your cat’s age. For example, healthy adult cats should visit a vet once per year for a full exam. However, kittens may need to attend appointments every three to four weeks, and senior cats should receive a checkup every six months. Discuss the best frequency for your pet’s specific needs with a vet.

A vet may be able catch a cat’s minor or major health issues early, allowing for early management, which could add both time and comfort to their life. Bear in mind that cats are better at disguising pain than other animals, meaning it is easier to miss symptoms. Regular checkups could help a vet to identify a dental, hormonal, kidney, or other issue that isn’t showing obvious external signs.

Article reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Sperry, DVM.
The information provided and contained herein are the opinions of PTZ Insurance Services Ltd. which are based on external publication. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice. PTZ Insurance Services Ltd. assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss, claims or damages arising out of the within content.