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Living Longer with an Animal Family

Updated: Jan 22, 2022

Who doesn’t love dogs?

The Selwyn Foundation has an interesting article that cites Swedish data. If you are a senior and live alone, you will live longer if you have a dog. This is very important for people of good health over 80, who enter what is called a "mortality plateau", meaning that risk of death declines with the years. To a certain extent, we live as long as want to and expect to--but, if you are locked away in hospice, what do you have to do but die.

The Selwyn article doesn’t go into this. But it pretty much seems like commonsense, if only because dogs need to be walked. And walking the dog gets a senior out into the sunshine, gives him a little exercise, and, best of all, opportunity for social contacts -- with humans of all ages.

It’s a superbly written article, one of many useful articles on this site. Go and take a look.

Who doesn’t love dogs? !!!


There is really no such thing as a "Dog Person" or a "Cat Person". If there were, we would also have to have "Guppy Persons", "Hamster Persons", "Canary Persons", if not "Pig Persons", like George Clooney. OK, OK, the pig went to Hog Heaven and he now has a dog.

Of course, I am biased because the Selwyn article agrees with a lot of what I have written in my Ageing Young book and articles, which posit that human beings domesticated themselves as the most social and playful of social animals — so social that we can empathize even with other species. Human beings domesticated themselves about 50,000 years ago. Soon afterwards, wolves self- domesticated — as dogs. Later, during the Neolithic, cats domesticated themselves, too. Four legs or two — we are all family.

As it turns out, most pets offer health advantages — even fish! After all, what is more relaxing than an aquarium? Back in the days after college when I was jobless, homeless and penniless, abandoned by my family, I stayed at a friend's place, sleeping under the aquarium in a room with a pet fox.

Cats and dogs are at the top of the list. Fish are not very good conversationalists. And foxes are skittish. Dogs and cats both talk--generally, a lot more sensibly than, say, politicians.

Of course, dogs and cats are different kinds of animals, with both advantages and disadvantages for owners.

Who doesn’t love kittens?


Let's just ask that question again: who doesn't love kittens?" . Dogs can give you an answer.

In many cases, cats are the best choice for a senior. .

At the very least, they are an excellent substitute. I love dogs but I couldn’t responsibly keep one here in downtown Tokyo. Cats are just easier in my particular environment. AND: they toilet train themselves and live longer. In fact, you can get them to use YOUR toilet. (Only: they always forget to flush, just like your husband and the kids!)

Contrary to popular opinion, they can be walked on a leash. And they are trainable. Yes, they can do taught to do tricks. Clicker training helps. Watch this Jackson Galaxy video. Here’s another wonderful article.

This is from a blog published by Ferplast which is an Italian company that has an almost half century of involvement helping people and their pets all across the globe. Support them

. Why Cats Make You Live Longer


Cats alleviate tension and help us relax. It is a proven fact that cat owners are less likely to suffer from anxiety and stress. Stroking a cat after a long, turbulent day at work can calm the soul and return it to a state of tranquillity and calm: it is more effective than a sleeping pill! In fact, it is well known that sleep comes much easier when there is a cat curled up next to you.


The purr has proven therapeutic benefits. It slows the heart rate, reducing the risk of heart disease, speeds up the healing of broken bones and wounds, and reduces blood pressure fluctuations. When purring, cats emit low frequency microwaves that vary from 1.5 to 6 gigahertz. These are the same microwave frequencies used in arthritis therapy: keeping a cat on your lap can be of great benefit, especially for the elderly.


Cats are very playful. They adore chasing balls, leaves and any other moving objects. Keeping up with them can be tiring and can become a real workout! Playing with a cat is also an efficient way to treat migraines in children and adolescents.


Who said that cats are not affectionate? If you think cats are less affectionate than dogs, you couldn’t be more wrong. They are less exuberant in their affection, that is true however, they remember our displays of affection and reciprocate at another time. In addition, taking care of cats opens our hearts to more love, guaranteeing growth on a human level. That is not all. The presence of a cat in the house can be just as rewarding as having a partner, and everyone knows, love prolongs our life!

You can bond with a cat just like a dog, if not more so, as I wrote in my article about my best friend Chibi.

Do you need a purebred cat? Frankly, I have had both purebreds and mixed breeds. Mixed breed cats usually live longer and are healthier.

When you choose a cat (or dog) , you should do so by personality — not breed, which doesn’t make as much difference as you think.. It’s like choosing a boyfriend or girlfriend. Don’t bother with ‘race’ or ‘breed’. Dog OR cat -- do a "rescue". In return they will rescue YOU!


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1 Comment

Hey that cat on a toilet, i saw that one live to. It was hilarious the way he was balancing on all fours while trying to take a piss. Dam how i wish I had a cell phone back then and took a pic of that I'd be rich today!

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