Snoogies is 22 years old and still in very good shape. He still runs and plays and has wrestling matches with his younger brother. He can run to the top of his six foot cat tree in one shot and likes to sit up there like a fat vulture and survey his domain. He is still shiny and soft and cute.
He is too fat, so he eats a senior cat food for weight control. It also helps prevent hairballs. I put a tiny amount of cheaper food mixed in with it. For some reason they like it better that way. That is their dry food that I leave out in a bowl for him and his brother to eat whenever they want. I keep another bowl of unmixed weight control beside it.
They have a water fountain with a filter in it near their dry food. Pet water fountains are not cheap, but they are much cheaper than vet bills. One vet bill will usually buy you several water fountains with extra filters. I believe that urinary or digestive and elimination problems cause most cats to die too soon, so a filter is a small price to pay to keep my beloved cat with me a few more years. I pre-filter their water before I put it in the fountain so they don't get a lot of chlorine in their systems before it goes through the fountain a few times.
It is hard to get cats to drink enough water. They will drink much more water if it gets aerated through a fountain than if it sits in a bowl. In the past some of my cats had urinary blockages. They can die from this very quickly. I took one of them to the emergency vet in the middle of the night. The vet told me if I had waited another hour she would have been too far gone to save. That was way too close for me. I now do my best to make sure my cats never get like that again.
A cat that I had in my teens died after I took him to the vet several times. She could not find anything wrong with him. The vet asked for permission to do an autopsy on him. She said it would help save other cats if she knew what caused his death. She told me afterwards that it was a urinary blockage that killed him. They were just beginning to find out about Feline Urinary Syndrome then.
Since then, I have learned a lot more about prevention of urinary and bowel problems with cats. I plan to share this with other cat lovers. Much of what I have to say can apply to dogs as well. I am undecided whether to add my dog knowledge here to this blog or not. I do not know as much about dogs as about cats, but I still know a lot of good stuff about dogs. I also have quite a bit of knowledge about some other kinds of animals like goats and chickens. I think I will just write what comes out now, though.