Pets, similar to humans, now live much longer than in the past. They have benefited from advances in medicine and surgery procedures. We diagnose diseases at an earlier stage and we spend more time, money and effort on rehabilitation. A sick pet in 1950 had little to no chance of recovery; fast-forward to 2010 and the situation has improved immensely.
This has many consequences for humans and animals alike. We as their caretakers now have an added responsibility to our pets. We have to care for them into their old age, and do our best to give them as dignified an old age as possible.
The average cat could live between 8 and 21 years. This is a long-term relationship and should be approached as such. Older cats have different needs to that of younger cats. The oldest cat in the world was 37 years old in 2007.
So how does one care for such a golden oldie? The easiest way to ensure your cat lives into a comfortable old age is to prevent obesity. Resist giving them their beloved treats. Reserve treats for extra special occasions only. Feed your cat only once a day and give them plenty of water to drink. Place bowls in a few different places so that they won’t struggle to find a bit of clean water.
The second most important thing to take care of is their teeth. Cats with problematic teeth tend to eat less so it’s important to maintain good dental hygiene. Do this from a young age so that the cat won’t have problems during their old age. Take them to a vet for a yearly teeth examination and have any problematic teeth attended to as soon as possible.
The third most important thing to do is to take charge of their grooming. Many older cats neglect this one very important aspect and this can lead to unsightly sights: matted, smelly coats full of dirt. Groom your cat if you have to but make sure that you use a brush that reaches down and pulls up old hair.
Bow Wow Pet Health Insurance wrote this article about the best ways to ensure your older cat remains a happy cat.