It is often said that a year in a human’s life is equal to 7 years in a cat’s life. However, there is no scientific proof of that. Yet, it is widely accepted that the 25 years of existence of a human is the same as the 2 years of existence of a feline. And each year following that is equivalent to 4 years in the cat’s world. Hence cats age faster more than everybody knows.
Stages of a Cat’s Life
In the first 6 months in the like of a kitten is literally filled with new experiences. Two to three weeks right after birth, the kitten’s ears and eyes opens followed by mental and physical development. And over the course of a few weeks, the kitten develops its social skills from the exposures and interactions it had.
After about 2 to 3 months, the kitten will become more curious and more independent. It will leave its mother and start to explore the surrounding on its own. Also around these times, the adult teeth of the kitten will start to erupt. So this is the best time to give your cat something to chew on.
When the cat reaches 6 months old, in human years, the cat will undergo vaccinations and if the owner does not want to have more litters, the cat can be neutered or spayed.
As soon as the cat reach one year old of the human’s age, it will already be considered as an adult. Usually, an adult cat does not visit the veterinarian frequently. Any congenital disorders would have been noticed by the vet on its 6th month.
A 30-year old person will have equal years of 5 in a cat’s life and these are considered as the prime years of an adult cat. Naturally, at this stage of a cat’s life, joint issues are very common. Hence joint supplements are given to the cat to address this health concern.
A cat can be considered as an aging cat when it reaches 7 to 8 years of age. At this point in time, the nutrition of the cat is very important because the cat is already at the process of aging. An annual checkup and blood work should be done to check on the changes in the function of the cat’s organ.
A true senior cat is when it reaches 11 years old. Oftentimes, cat owners notice changes in their cat in terms of their joints and the proper functioning of the organs. It is recommended to modify the dietary needs of the cat at this point in their life to answer the nutritional needs of the feline.
A cat can live 15 to 20 years and it is comparable to 70 to 100 years of a person. Hence, cat reaching these ages are already considered as geriatric that is why they need to see their vets very often. Cats this age may need special foods and medications to answer to several health issues. More often than not, geriatric cats also slow down because of the decrease in their vision and hearing abilities. Cats that have reached this age are already accomplished cats. And usually, cats outlive the dogs.
Common Indicators of a Cat’s Age
If you have adopted an adult cat, you certainly would want to know the real age of the cat. Some of the things that the veterinarians check on the cat to determine their age are as follow:
- Cat’s Eye: Younger cats have clear and bright eyes without discharges and tears. So if the cat that you have received has cloudiness on its eye, then the cat is probably around 12 years old or older.
- Cat’s Teeth: Older cats have yellowish teeth because of staining. So if your cat has white permanent teeth, then he is probably about a year old. When the teeth are yellowing, it is assumed that the cat is about 1 to 2 years old. When you notice a tartar build-up on the cat’s teeth, then he is about 3 to 5 years old. Just so you know when the cat has missing teeth, then it means that you have a senior cat.
- Cat’s Coat: The coat of the cat is a very good indicator of its age. Fine and soft fur is found in kittens and other younger cats. On the other hand, cats with coarse and thick fur are considered as adult cats. Meanwhile, a geriatric cat may have gray patches on its coat.
- Cat’s Muscle Tone: Younger cats have well-defined muscle because they are very active compared to older cats. Senior cats, on the other hand, are bonier with some hanging skins and the shoulder blades are protruding.
Felines have a longer life span compared to other pets. However, it may change depending on how the cat is raised and maintained. Compare to stray cats, pet cats can live 18 to 20 years.
We hope that this gives you an insight into your cat, their age, and how you can take care of them better. 20+ years on a cat is what we all would like to strive for, but it's on part of the cat mom (or dad) to take care of them!