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Cats and Longevity - Tips to Live Longer and Healthier

Keeping your cat healthy is key to ensuring a long life. By following a few guidelines you can increase your cat's life expectancy.

My cat, Cutie Pie, was found within minutes of his birth and the first two months of his life were touchy, but he made it through. Last month he turned eighteen years old and continues to thrive. His doctor says his health is better than most cats half his age. He attributes Cutie Pie's great health to his life style.

A key factor in longevity is indoor living. Not only does this protect them from poisonous plants and parasites, but it prevents them from being exposed to other animals which might carry diseases. Indoor living also eliminates the hazards of traffic or natural enemies of felines.

Annual medical exams and vaccinations are crucial in maintaining your cat's long term health. Even when your fluffy feline remains indoors they are still exposed to the outside environment every time you or someone else enters and exits your home.

Daily vitamins assist in the prevention of illness in addition to making sure your kitty is getting the required nutrients. Ask your vet what your cat's particular needs might be. Kittens have different needs than adult or older cats and require different strengths. Pet supply stores carry a variety of flavors to suit even the pickiest taste buds.

Food and water dishes should be washed daily. A clean fresh supply of water will lesson the chances of urinary tract infections. Water dishes should be kept in low traffic areas to prevent dust and dirt contaminants. Your cat should have access to fresh water around the clock. Automatic dispensers are OK as precautions, but should never be relied upon. Food dishes should not be overfilled, containing only enough food for the day. As your cat gets older, try mixing dry food with some moist food to provide better intestinal health. Older cats require more water and fiber intake to maintain good health.

Litter pans should be scooped twice daily or more if needed. Litter pans should be emptied, washed thoroughly and filled with fresh clean litter once a week. Not only will this keep your cat healthier, but it will keep the humans of your household healthier and the air clear of litter pan odors. [Always wash hands thoroughly after contact with litter pans.]

Keep your cat active by dipping their favorite toy in catnip. Use only 100% organic. I have tried non-organic cat nips, but it resulted in various side effects. Exercise is important in longevity. Catnip is a great means of providing extra energy to get your cat moving, but again I must caution -- do not depend on it as a sole motivator for exercise. Providing towers and shelves, along with plenty of toys will provide the incentive most cats need. Placing their favorite toys on the top shelves will keep them climbing. A word of caution on toys: Bells, feathers, and squeak toys might seem fun, but they pose a serious choking threat. If you are going to use these toys with your cat, use only while you are in attendance. Never give your cat access to these toys unattended.

Finally, interaction with lots of love goes a long way. Brushing their coat weekly cuts down on shedding and provides loving interaction. Talking to your cat regularly goes a long way too. The more you talk, the more they learn and understand your directives. This leads to better behavior also. Cats are independent creatures, but they thrive on affection and attention.

©2008 All Rights Retained and Reserved

This article written and provided by: O'Della Wilson AKA Alhavakia, published author and freelance writer.I am of firm belief that words are one of the most powerful offerings we possess. Inspire others to aspire to greater things and anything becomes possible.

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