Like dogs, cats age faster than humans. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance says once your cat turns two, they’ve aged about as much as a 24-year-old human. After that, they age “four cat years for every calendar year.” So, a 15-year-old cat is middle aged and a 20-year-old cat is definitely a senior. They’ll require extra care as they get older, and it helps to set them up for success early.
If you’re hoping to extend your cat’s life beyond their estimated life expectancy, focus on a healthy diet and plenty of physical activity. Veterinarians overwhelmingly credit obesity in cats with the onset of serious diseases like kidney failure, diabetes and cancer. Feline diets high in protein and low in grains are ideal – not only because they appeal to feline instincts (cats are predators and carnivores) but because it helps keep them lean.
Exercise is also beneficial for cats. This doesn’t mean letting them out into the yard so they can run in circles (though running up and down the hallway or stairs could be a great way to burn excess energy!). Physical activity could be as simple as playing with a feather wand or chasing a toy mouse around the bedroom. It’s all about what your cat enjoys and which activities will keep them moving a little bit each day.