We want our cats to live as long as possible, as it already seems like the time we get to spend together is far too short. But there are many things owners commonly do that might actually be shortening their cat’s lifespan. Want to make sure you’re avoiding them? Check out this list below!
#1 – Overfeeding
Overfeeding is a very big problem for pet owners all over the world. While your cat shouldn’t be too thin, being overweight can not only make existing health conditions worse, it can create new ones. Obesity will shorten your cat’s lifespan greatly, as it puts excess stress on all of the body’s bones, joints and organs. If you need help getting your cat to a healthy weight, consult with your veterinarian.
#2 – Second-Hand Smoke
While it seems like less and less people are cigarette smokers, it’s important to note that second-hand smoke affects our cats as much as it does other people. Not only can it increase their risk for cancer and upper respiratory infections, it can worsen their allergies and make them generally uncomfortable.
#3 – Poor Dental Health
Most cat owners don’t even think about brushing their cats teeth, but more and more veterinarians are recommending it as basic pet care. Poor dental health can not only cause rotting teeth and gums, it can lead to upper respiratory infections and even heart and kidney disease. Keeping your cat’s teeth clean might be difficult, but it’s certainly worth trying. If it’s too difficult for you to brush your cat’s teeth, scheduling a yearly dental cleaning by your veterinarian is highly recommended.
#4 – Letting Your Cat Roam Free Outdoors
The days of outdoor cats are slowly coming to an end and with good reason. There are more dangers outside for our cats than ever before. Dogs, cars, other cats, coyotes and other wildlife are a huge risk to take as they can all lead to an ugly and untimely death for our cats. That’s not to say cats should never go outside. Leash walks and outdoor enclosures are a great way to let your cat get some fresh air safely.
#5 – Ignoring Signs of Stress
Cats are very stoic animals, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t sensitive. Many owners are unable to recognize the signs of stress in cats. Learning what to look out for can make all the difference in keeping your cat happy and healthy. If you notice any strange behavior, even if it’s just excess grooming or more hiding, be sure to have your cat checked by a veterinarian to determine nothing is going wrong. If you know your cat gets stressed under certain situations, try to avoid them as much as possible. Just like in people, too much stress can shorten your cat’s lifespan considerably.