Cat Life Stages: What To Expect As Your Cat Enters Each Stage
How long do cats live?
This question burns on the minds of all cat parents as they love their kittens in the hope that their cat will be the next to claim the honor of the world’s oldest cat. Give it a try, our cats don’t live as long as Crème Puff the cat. Crème Puff is 38 years old and posthumously bears the title of the oldest cat in the world.
Many have gotten close, and with good care and lots of love, more cats are living long lives, some even seeing their 20s.
The average lifespan of cats is 12-15 years, although many cats can live up to 17 years easily.
However, there are several factors that can affect a cat’s life expectancy. For example, domestic cats typically live longer than cats outdoors because the insides protect cats from the dangers they may find outside. However, cats who live indoors are at risk of obesity and the disease that goes with it.
Cats are all about balance. But even if we let our kittens live in cat paradise, the unknown can sneak up on them. Like problems in humans, congenital problems, developed diseases, and even injuries can affect the cat’s lifespan.
Wondering if your cat’s lifespan will be long? Check out these 13 signs your cat is likely to have a long life.
Cat Years to Human Years: The Translation
Taking your cat’s age into account can help you understand your cat even better if you put her in perspective with our own aging process. How do cat years compare to human years?
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) provide the formula for translating cat years and answer the question all curious cat lovers ask …
How old is my cat in human years?
- Cats reach human age of 15 years in the first year.
- At the age of 2, cats have reached the human age of 24 years.
- Each year thereafter, your cat ages 4 “cat years” per human year. This means that a 6 year old cat can be compared to a 40 year old person.
And like our classifications for children, adolescents, adults, and seniors, cat ages fall into their own stages of life, and they are not that different from our own.
An update on Cat Life Stages from cat experts
For the first time since 2010, a group of feline experts gathered by AAFP and AAHA updated the stages of cats’ lives. The update divides the cat’s age into five categories, four of which are age-dependent.
- Kittens: birth to 1 year
- Young adult: 1 to 6 years
- Older adult: 7 to 10 years
- Senior: 10 years and older
- End of life: any age
A tip for all stages of your cat’s life, remember the importance of good veterinary care.
Heather Loenser, AAHA’s Chief Medical Officer, DVM, explains: “All cats at all stages of life require extensive physical exams at least once a year to ensure the best possible lifelong care. and we recommend examining older cats at least every six months. “
Courtesy of the American Association of Feline Practitioners
Cat Life Stages
Take a look at the updated stages of the cat’s life and what to expect from your cat over the years.
Age: Birth – One year old
Cat years to humans: birth to 15 years
By the end of a cat’s first year of life, you have the equivalent of a 15-year-old person on your hands. Do cats give teenagers sass? Bet they will, and the cheeky demeanor will stay with them for the rest of their lives?
Fuzzy little cuties, kitties have so much to learn about the world! Your mothers will teach them the basics, but once it is in your able hands it will be your job to educate them about their new homes and new family members. Soon after a kitten is adopted, this is the perfect time to get them used to the needs of cat grooming. At AAFP’s Cat Friendly Homes, kittens are recommended as “the right time for your cat to familiarize themselves with nail cuts, tooth brushing and fur brushing, their cat carrier and transportation to the vet’s office”.
Kittens need lots of play, and those curious paws don’t discriminate. Anything can be a cat toy when you have that much energy! And because of how busy their bodies remain coupled with the needs of growth, kittens have different nutritional needs than their adult counterparts. Make sure to stick to kitten food until your furry baby is one year old.
Age: 1 – 6 years old
Cat years to humans: 15 to 40 years
At this stage of the young adult cat, cats age dramatically from start to finish when comparing feline years to human years. Those five years lead cats from adolescence to middle age and you will see your kitten grow up a lot during that time.
Congratulations, your kitten has now turned into a cat! And as an adult, albeit a boy, your cat now has adult concerns, e.g. B. Concerns about your waistline and what it means for your health. Fortunately, your cat needs to manage your diet so she can focus on being a lean, mean jumping machine. And as a young adult, your cat will fall a lot. Cats at this stage of life still want a healthy amount of exercise. So give Kitty plenty of toy options tailored to her prey preference.
Another adult concern for cats is their oral health. Discuss with your veterinarian the best ways to take care of cat teeth, as well as any behavioral problems or quirks your young thing may have developed.
Age: 7-10 years
Cat years to humans: 44 to 56 years
Middle Ages for humans and cats alike; This is when cats usually start to look older. No grays, but maybe some stray white hairs. You might even complain about some sore joints.
A mature adult loves a good, long nap, but still craves some play. Don’t expect the thoroughly feline circus of a young adult cat or kitten. Mature cats are refined in their sensitivity and enjoy the company of the food bowl, which can easily lead to weight gain in a cat that does not exercise as much as it used to.
Cats that match a middle-aged person at this age are settled in their own way, but can be motivated to learn new things with tasty treats. Help fight sedentary trails by teaching your cat some fun tricks. But think about the activities your cat will allow you to do. Their bodies age and they may feel it a little.
Keep your cat veterinary regularly as it matures. These annual checkups include tests and blood work that can help identify problems such as diabetes, kidney disease, and hyperthyroidism early on. Discuss good diet options to keep your cat in tip-top shape over the years.
“Maintaining a healthy body condition and muscle mass reduces the risk of many diseases,” said veterinarians Dr. Krista Williams and Dr. Robin Downing.
Age: 10 years and older
Cat years to humans: 60 years +
An older cat is unmistakable. These older cats have a look that says they’ve seen it all and it’s okay to take a nap from now on. Thank you very much! That “been there, done” attitude makes so much sense when you think about it. A 17 year old cat is equivalent to an 84 year old senior! It’s nice to have fun, but the quiet time is good too!
Welcome to the cathedral’s golden years. Elderly cats are the retirees of the feline world, and like the elderly people they resemble, geriatric cats enjoy a slower pace of life, even if they nap about 20 hours a day. Because older cats like to doze off and have frequent joint pain, comfort is paramount. Provide your older cat with plenty of beds and comfortable places to rest. Make sure your home is not only suitable for beds but also for food bowls.
Older cats can get sick quickly, and the AAFP recommends, “Older cats should see the vet at least every six months as a lot can happen in a year and your vet can spot things early before they are more advanced or costly to treat.”
The older cat diet differs from its younger counterparts as nutritional needs change, and therapeutic diets are often needed in conjunction with other treatments for all conditions. Discussing your senior cat’s diet should be one of the most important conversations you have with the veterinarian.
End of life phase
In reassessing the cat’s life stages, the assembled Task Force has identified End of Life as its own stage, since the events leading to death can occur at any age.
Our original question, how long do cats live, turns out to be more complicated than we thought. Your cat’s lifespan depends not only on them, but also on you. And since you love your cat, giving it the care it needs to thrive at every stage of life is no problem at all!
Check out this handy cat age chart to see how cat years are divided into different stages of life:
Courtesy AAFP’s Cat Friendly Homes