Cat longevity update–and my whereabouts

catreadingbook Cat longevity update--and my whereabouts cat longevity

UPDATE December 2011: The eBook is ready! Get it FREE here while it’s available.

Thank you so much to all of you who helped with the cat longevity survey! I am excited to have collected 30 case studies of cats who lived to age 20 or more.

My larger plan is to answer this question:

What are the smartest choices to invest my time and money into for my cat first, if I want her to live as long and as happily as possible?

My goal is to take all the health-promoting info I’ve been sifting through for some time, combine it with what we can learn from the 20+ year-old cat case studies, and create a roundup of the practical first actions we can take that are likely to have the most payoff.

This way people can make new choices incrementally, which is what works for most of us—you know, those of us with limited time or money?

Learn from my past mistakes. You don’t want to try several random “this might be good” things at once, and you don’t want to postpone healthy changes indefinitely because it sounds too overwhelming.

So it’ll be quieter around this blog for a month or so, while I finish the report on the cat longevity survey and create a (free) ebook on “how to get more happy years with your cat.”  (That’s the working title, anyway.)

Meanwhile, a few gems from the survey…

In answer to the question “Why do YOU think your cat lived so long?” there were so many great answers, but here are some highlights:

Most thought-provoking answer:

“…He developed a very close relationship with our child who was born when he was 14. It’s almost like [he] had a mission to teach our son how to respect and cuddle animals – this kitty had a purpose in his later life…”

Most heart-warming answer:

“He is not a pet he is family”

Funniest answer:

by “being a pain in the ass:-)”

Thanks again, and I’ll talk to you in a few weeks!

Love to hear your thoughtful thoughts! Leave a reply...


  1. Hi Liz,

    My apologies, I should have been clearer in my earlier comment. The ZiwiPeak dried formula is actually cooked and then air-dried.

    1. Hmm. Their website says: “Our gentle air-drying process, using raw meat, delivers a high quality ‘dry’ food product, whilst maintaining the nutritional integrity of the natural raw materials.”

    2. Hi Jackie,
      So it took me a while, but I have new information on this raw/Ziwipeak question from ZiwiPeak Founder/President, Peter J Mitchell. Here’s what he said:

      “ZiwiPeak Air-dried Cat Cuisine starts as raw meats & organs.
      During the air-drying the average temperature is 45 Celsius. The highest temperature is 62 celsius for 10 minutes.”
      45 ºC = 113 ºF
      62 ºC = 143.6 ºF

      I believe they are using a technique applied by raw foodies as described here – – where the food is cooked slightly higher for short time at the beginning of the dehydration. This dehydration process is believed to retain the majority of the enzymes and therefore retain the nutrient quality of raw foods, by keeping the internal temp of the food under 118 F.

      1. Hi Liz,
        Thank you for the information and thank you so much for your diligence! Merry Christmas and please continue your great work!!

  2. Hi Liz!

    Thank you again for this wonderful blog! I just wanted to let you know that my folks kitty, Mina, just passed away this year after her 20th birthday. If you’re still looking for case studies, I’m sure they’d be happy to chat with you. Just let me know… and I really look forward to reading about your findings!

    Best of luck,

  3. Dear Liz,

    I happened upon your blog recently and think it’s wonderful. Thank you for your time and dedication in helping to enlighten all cat lovers!! Your “Best Cat Foods” article is also extremely informative. It is based on that which led me to look further into raw food and I’ve recently switched my two cats to Primal raw. They were previously on ZiwiPeak canned venison and I had to stop when I found pieces of bones in several cans of the food and caused one of my cats to vomit twice. I wrote to the VP of North American operations Kimberly Mitchell (even sending her a picture of the bone pieces) but she was unable to explain how the bones got into the food. I also asked her whether the pouch/dried food was raw. She replied “It’s air-dried so can’t be raw.” The wording used on the packaging is extremely misleading and I’ve read on other pet websites where the writers also believed it was a raw food when in reality it is not.

    Again, I want to say thank you for all you do!


    1. Jackie, nice to meet you and thanks for your kind words. I hope your cats are thriving on the Primal. Most cats do! Our cat Joel can’t really digest the ground bones though (as you may have heard me say before.) He’s special.

      Regarding the rawness of the air-dried Ziwipeak, I think it’s just a matter of how we define raw. I define raw as “not cooked,” and so dehydrated and air-dried foods that are uncooked are raw to me—this is how the human “raw food movement” defines it. You see a lot of packaged, dried (uncooked) foods on raw foods shelves.

      But, if we define raw as not only uncooked, but also full of the original moisture, then yeah, it’s a different perspective. I think that’s what the Ziwi representative meant–she meant it’s not the raw, moist frozen meat. Ziwipeak does seem confused about their messaging.

      What a horrible thing about the bone in the canned Ziwipeak food. I didn’t like the ingredients of the *canned* Ziwipeak, so I don’t recommend it, but there is no excuse for pieces of bone that make a cat throw up! I’m glad you told me about that. Thank you!