Raising a Long-Lived Cat

By Dr. Becker and comments by Diane Weinmannwoman-cat-1077355

Many kitties today are, thankfully, living into their late teens and early 20s. Just as with dogs, a cat’s longevity is often quite clearly linked to lifestyle and environment.

Tips for keeping your cat in tip-top shape include:

  • Feed a balanced, antioxidant-rich, and species-appropriate diet that includes omega-3 essential fats, such as krill oil. Moisture is your cat’s best friend, so encourage adequate hydration by offering a variety of water bowls around the house or a drinking fountain, in addition to minimizing dry food. If your cat is addicted to poor quality food, add a whole body supplement such as Standard Process Feline Whole Body Support. When I took my classes to become certified in canine nutrition, I learned about Standard Process products. I can’t say enough good things about the company and the work they do. Please consider what they offer for your pet.


  • Keep your pet’s body and mind active with regular exercise and mental stimulation (for example, puzzles and treat-release toys). Think of creative ways to enrich your cat’s indoor environment and if your kitty never touches the earth’s surface directly (most housecats don’t), consider a grounding pad to help reduce the buildup of EMFs.


  • Refuse or strictly limit vaccinations, veterinary drugs, and chemical pest preventives.


  • Provide your kitty with a SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) supplement, and offer periodic detoxification with the herbs milk thistle and dandelion, as well as supergreen foods in the form of fresh “cat grass” or sunflower sprouts to nibble on. Chlorophyll, chlorella, or spirulina can also be offered in supplement form to enhance your cat’s detoxification processes.


  • Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) have been shown to be safe for cats and can improve brain energy metabolism and decrease the amyloid protein buildup that results in brain lesions in older pets. Coconut oil is a rich source of MCTs and may also reduce hairball issues. I recommend 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight twice daily for basic MCT support, if your cat will voluntarily eat it.


  • Set aside time each day to interact with your kitty. Make sure meals are provided on a consistent schedule, along with playtime and petting/lap time. If your cat tolerates being brushed or combed, work that into the daily schedule as well. Cuddle with them, take them out for a walk (even in a special stroller is fun for them), show them new and interesting things like leaves, non-toxic flowers, boxes, tissue paper and bags to enrich their lives. Usually the most mundane things you already have in your household will intrigue your cat—you can consider it a game between the two of you to see what you can find in your house that would be safe for the cat to interact with without spending extra money. It would be a win-win situation!

The good news is that despite their relatively short lifespans, cats live in the moment and know how to make the most of every day. It’s our job as loving guardians to make sure they are given that opportunity.

cat lounging