How old is your cat and what does her age mean? A cat’s life can be divided into six unique periods. Here we go through the aging process of a cat, from kitten to super senior.
Unlike many other small mammals, a cat can live a fairly long life. Of course, living conditions also matter, but the average life expectancy of a cat is 13 to 14 years. Some cats even live much longer. After a certain age, the different stages of a cat’s life are no longer easy to distinguish. Once a cat has reached adulthood, around three years old, it can be difficult to determine their life stage. But don’t be fooled: no matter how young a cat looks or acts, they are going through the different stages of life internally. So when does a kitten grow up?
Kittens, 0-6 months
Equivalent to about 0-10 human years.
An important developmental phase in a cat’s life – a lot changes from one week to the next. Kittens are playful and mischievous regardless of breed. This doesn’t say much about how calm or rambunctious the cat will be in adulthood. This is where education should start. Also, the kitten should be accustomed to having body parts such as teeth, ears and claws examined at home. This will avoid future problems at the vet.
Cats can also be neutered from the age of six months.
Junior, 7 months – 2 years
Equivalent to about 12-24 human years.
Now the cat is a junior. She is playful, curious and strong. In this phase of life, cats become sexually mature. But they also mature physically and emotionally. Spaying of kittens is recommended from the eighth month of life. If the cat has not been spayed, a variety of unpleasant behaviors can now occur. Because junior cats love to explore their surroundings, possible health problems often arise in connection with infections and other problems caused by hunting and fighting. Cats also get their first booster vaccine at this age, which protects against some of the most common contagious diseases.
Adult, 3-6 years
Equivalent to about 28-40 human years.
The cat is now grown! This is usually a quieter time when the cat stays healthy. Keep an eye on the cat’s health by regularly checking their teeth, weight and general behavior. Dental problems affect a large proportion of adult cats and can result in both pain and tooth loss.
Mature, 7-10 years
Equivalent to about 44–56 human years.
As already mentioned, the cat’s age often does not correspond to its behavior, its appearance or how it moves. At a mature age, cats often still look young and are just as playful as before. But there is an increased risk of some problems common to older cats. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and obesity.
Keep a close eye on the cat for changes in behavior or health.
Senior, 11-14 years old
Equivalent to about 60–72 human years.
Congratulations! The cat and you have known each other for a long time. At this stage in life, many cats become calmer and appreciate their routines. Unfortunately, it also increases the risk of many diseases. For example, it can lead to dementia, skin problems, cancer, diabetes and osteoarthritis, among others. Most diseases can be treated, so please don’t ignore them just because the cat is old. Obesity may peak during this period (or a little earlier). Therefore, you should adjust the lining. Keep a close eye on your cat’s physical condition and weight by checking it regularly, otherwise changes may go unnoticed for a period of time. In general, pay attention to your cat’s health.
Super senior, 15 years+
Equivalent to about 76–116 human years.
In this section, cats need extra attention. Of course, diseases that are common in old age are even more likely in this period. Therefore, you should check your cat’s health regularly. Many of the problems and illnesses of a super senior cat can be successfully treated and the cat can continue to have a high quality of life.