Deciding to get a cat is a huge responsibility. Tiny, fluffy kittens grow up into larger cats, and they need to be correctly trained and socialized to adapt and fit into family life. This includes introducing them to other animals and helping them learn how to behave, getting them used to and comfortable with children, teaching them to use a litter box, and helping them to understand and recognize their given names.
In addition, cats can be expensive— microchipping, neutering or spaying and vets bills can all add up, and this can run into a hefty sum over the lifetime of your cat, but just how long is that?
There are thought to be six main stages of your cat’s life, and many feline friends have been known to live for more than twenty years! Here is a basic breakdown of the lifecycle of your kitty.
Kitten (up to six months old)
Kittens are famous for being cute, inquisitive, and destructive. This time is the ideal chance to introduce them to other pets, household noises, children and babies, and maintenance such as being brushed and groomed, checked for fleas, and treated for worms. They need lots of handling during this stage to make sure they grow up to be friendly and sociable. During this stage, they will also undergo their biggest and most rapid growth spurt. It is also important to neuter or spay your pet to prevent your feline friend from going into heat and having an unwanted litter.
Junior (six months to two years)
During this period, your cat will reach their full adult size and sexual maturity. Their training needs to continue during this phase to teach them how to play nicely. Use lots of toys to keep them interested, and discourage rough play, biting, and scratching.
Prime (three to six years)
This is the stage when your cat will be young, healthy, and at its physical peak. It is an excellent time to keep them up to date on vaccinations and undergo regular health checks to prevent them from developing any illnesses or diseases.
Mature (seven to ten years)
This is the human equivalent of hitting your forties to mid-fifties, and your cat will start to slow down and take it easy. They are more prone to gaining weight, so make sure you keep a close eye on their diet and make adjustments as needed.
Senior (eleven to fourteen years)
Reaching this age is the equivalent of hitting 70 as a human, and you need to make sure your cat’s environment is enriching and stimulating to keep them sharp. They need lots of mental stimulation such as food puzzles to keep them busy and alert.
Geriatric (fifteen years and older)
Geriatric cats need close attention, as they are more prone to developing health issues and complications. If you notice changes, such as increased litter box trips, becoming more vocal, or other warning signs, visit a vet for a full checkup. With any luck, your cats will be fine, and are more likely to snooze the days away, and tend to live life in the slow lane.