Animals

How to extend the life of a cat

The book Guiness of the records proclaimed on August 13 to Corduroy As the cat alive oldest in the world, shortly after its owners documented that the animal He had turned 26 years old. The record of cats in life corresponded until recently to the cat Tiffany Two, who died last spring at the age of 27 years, 2 months and 20 days.

Corduroy and Tiffany Two are really exceptional cases in a species that has an average life expectancy of 15 years.

But why domestic cats live only 15 years and dogs, also on average, reach only 12 years. The scientific answer is not easy, as evidenced by an article published this week in the journal Science.

David Grimm, author of this informative article published in the news section (different from the scientific articles of this prestigious magazine), remembers that the person to whom it is attributed to have reached the most advanced age in the whole world, Jeanne Calment, died at 122 years old. On the other hand, the longest known cat reached 38 years old despite feeding almost exclusively on bacon, broccoli and milk cream.

The absolute canine record is attributed to Bluey, an Australian dog dedicated to caring for sheep, who died at 29 years of age, more than double the average for this species.

Centuries of studies without conclusions

“For centuries, scientists have tried to understand how far human beings can live and how life can be lengthened in our species. Now they are beginning to ask the same questions of our pets, ”says Grimm.

As in humans, responses on life expectancy for species such as cats and dogs remain difficult to achieve.

But some interesting hypotheses are emerging ideas that can help explain everything, from which small dogs live longer than large dogs to why cats tend to last longer than our canine friends.

Daniel Promislow, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Washington, in Seattle (United States), and co-leader of the Dog Aging Project, points out that current studies integrate behavior analysis, reproduction, ecology and evolution of the species, without forget that understanding how to improve the quality and duration of life of pets is also an advance in the study of human health.

Aristotle's unconfirmed theory

Among the historical anecdotes, the author recalls that Aristotle (350 years BC) that the longevity of animals could be related to moisture. Elephants live longer than mice because they contain more liquid and that is why they take longer to stay dry (lifeless), the Greek philosopher came to say.

Although it is not related to body water, one of the few theories that remains relatively valid is that larger animal species live longer than small species, recognizing that also in this case dogs and cats break the rule ( cats are usually smaller but live longer than dogs).

Another of the most popular theories - extendible time to all species - is that animals with higher metabolic rates live less years. Thus it would be understood that many giant tortoises of the Galapagos Islands exceed 100 years but, on the other hand, it could not be explained because some parrots that have 600 beats per minute live up to 40 years. From the point of view of oncology, experts consider that animals with a very accelerated metabolism produce more free radicals and therefore are more exposed to genetic mutations that cannot always be repaired and end up causing cancer.

The big ones have fewer enemies

The article of Science presents another unique explanation for the longevity of large species, which Steven Austad brings. This biologist specializing in gerontology at the University of Alabama (USA) recalls that in the natural environment, large animals have fewer threats and predators than small ones, and this circumstance affects specific individuals but may also have become an element evolutionary.

Nor in this case dogs help solve the puzzle because large dogs such as the Irish Wolfhound (70 kilos) have a life expectancy of 7 years, while puppies such as Papillon (4 kilos) can exceed 10 years. In this case, however, it must be remembered that almost all breeds of cats and dogs are the result of an evolution forced by the action of humans and, therefore, do not have to preserve the signs of natural evolution.

Domestic animals on the other hand are currently faced with a dichotomy that we also share most of the humans. During the last years the living conditions have improved (food, medical care, comfort) and therefore a longer life expectancy can be expected, but at the same time we face numerous emerging diseases caused by our habits and ways of life ( overweight, for example).

Personal and veterinary care can extend the lives of many copies of dogs and cats, as is also happening with the life expectancy of humans in much of the planet, but scientists still have a lot of work ahead in the discovery of the keys of longevity.

As in many of the scientific and journalistic articles that begin with questions, the answers are yet to be discovered.

Reference Article:

Why we outlive our pets David Grimm Science 4 December 2015: Vol. 350 no. 6265 pp. 1182-1185 DOI: 10.1126 / science.350.6265.1182

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There have been numerous scientific investigations on the behavior of cats and the effects that their presence causes in humans. Checking that their presence can especially benefit the smallest of the family and the elderly.

Stroking the animal's fur, feeling the vibrations created by the physical contact and the sounds emitted by the felines, or the simple act of playing with them, are the small things that serve to enhance people's well-being.

And it is that the care of a cat lowers the level of stress and has, in the long term, a calming effect that protects the health of the heart.

- Take away depression and improve mood.

- Purring is a unique feature of cats, which is associated with sound and vibration. Each time a cat is petted, it purrs, which means it feels safe and content. Although scientists have not yet discovered how they occur, recent studies have found that the frequency of feline purring is very similar to the Hertz used in certain therapies such as bone consolidation after a fracture. According to several studies, the sound and vibration produced by the purring has different effects on the person as a calming and reassuring power, but it has also been shown that:

- Make people affected by depression smile, especially in children.

- Stimulates the sociability of shy people.

- Stop violent impulses.

- Relax nervous people.

- Helps to restore the playful aspect of life.

- Strengthens the immune system of children

- Improves sleep.

Children who spend a lot of time in the company of a cat (or other animal) grow more protected not only from allergies to animal hair, but also to mites. Various studies have determined that it is important for the child to spend the first year of life in contact with a pet. This will not only make you more responsible, sociable and communicative, but will strengthen your immune system, becoming less prone to infections.

1. Take care of your diet

A good feeding will help our cat to have very high defenses reducing the possibility of suffering from some disease. Another advantage of taking care of its feeding is that our cat is that we avoid being overweight in the future.

Keep in mind that the cat's metabolism slows down as it gets older. Therefore it is advisable to adapt the diet according to their age.

2. Exercise

A little exercise a day does not hurt anyone, so it would be convenient to spend half an hour a day to play with our cat. This way we make sure that he stays fit and avoids the problem of becoming overweight.

There are lots of toys for our furry ready to have a great time. It's just a matter of finding a pair or three that you like. So we avoid getting bored if we always use the same.

3. One visit to the vet a year

People always say that of prevention is better than cure. However heavy they may be, they are more right than a saint, and it is convenient to take our cat to the veterinarian for a good review to rule out problems in the future. In addition, you can advise us to give a better care to our pussycat. 🙂

4. Do not leave home

Although cats are animals that know how to take care of themselves, it is not uncommon for a cat to return home with a wound or bruise after a fight or aggression. Nor is it crazy that there is a neighbor who does not like cats and decides to poison the cats in the neighborhood.

One of the solutions to this problem is to sterilize it, because in this way the size of its territory is reduced by not having the need to procreate and it will stay closer to home. In addition to sterilization, you can extend the life of your cat in several years. 🙂

Let's see, this does not mean that you should lock your cat to lime and sing at home, that we know each other. 😛

5. Do not take your eyes off

It is already known that cats are animals of customs, so any change in behavior can mean that something happens. That is why it is convenient to be very attentive to your feeder in case you do not eat, your drinker in case you do not drink or drink too much and sandbox in case there is blood in your urine or you have not used it for a long time. It is also advisable to monitor your behavior, it may be that if something hurts you do not behave as usual.

So do not think twice and extend the life of your cat by following these simple tips! 🙂

In addition we will add a link to a website that we found very interesting: Cristina veterinarians.