As the companion who cares for your cat every day, there’s much that you can do to keep your cat healthy and happy from a young kitten all the way through the senior years. Below is a breakdown of life stages cats advance through and how to best support them in each stage. The six life stages of a cat include:
Kittens (0 – 6 Months) – This period includes a very high play drive and is the best time for gradual positive introductions such as children and other pets, as well as care techniques like nail trims, tooth and coat brushing, carrier acclimation, and transportation.
Junior (6 months – 2 years) – Inter-cat aggression may develop at this stage of life along with sexual maturity. Be sure to use appropriate play.
Prime (3 – 6 years) – This age group is often overlooked and would benefit from regular veterinary care to prevent any disease or illnesses.
Mature (7 – 10 years) – Declining play activity increases susceptibility to weight gain.
Senior (11 – 14 years) – The human equivalent at this stage is about 70 human years.
Geriatric (15 years and over) – Senior and geriatric cats exhibiting behavioral changes (e.g., vocalization, changes in litter box usage) should be evaluated more frequently for an underlying medical problem.