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My cat Jesse recently turned 17 and, while he has slowed down in the past few years, he’s still a relatively healthy kitty and I’d say he’s doing pretty good for an older gentleman. Cats are considered “senior” between the ages of around 11 and 14, and “geriatric” by age 15. If you’re like me, you’ve noticed that your senior cat might be sleeping more and moving around a little less and that’s pretty normal. However, it’s really important that you pay special attention to your older cat and make sure his needs are met. And of course, a cat’s physical, mental, and emotional needs change over time. But if you keep a few simple things in mind, your kitty can enjoy a long and healthy life!
Recently, a friend of mine asked me about getting a new cat and how difficult it would be to integrate it into her family that has an existing kitty. A lot of people expect cat introductions to be “difficult” – after all, cats tend to be solitary creatures, possessive of their territory and resources, right? Not always! Think about it – feral cats often live in colonies, in a combined effort to exploit food resources, protect their members, and even communally raise kittens. So shouldn’t our domestic kitties be able to get along together, living in peace within a family? Yes! They can, and they do.
We know a lot more about our furry friends now than we did even a decade ago, and cats are living longer than ever with advances in health care, diet, and behavioral research. But with all of this information, what are the most important things you can do that can keep your cat healthy, happy, and destined for a long life? Here are my top five tips for increasing cat longevity.