Even if each cat is unique and they have very diverse personalities, when it comes to their bodies they have many things in common. From this idea, the Feline Advisory Bureau identified the six life stages in the life of a cat and they all come with their specific health problems or things to take into consideration. We feel that this should be something every cat owner should think of as it will provide help in preventing some of the possible issues.
Kitten – from birth to 6 months
Problems present from birth such as a hernia or a cleft palate can come up from this age and as the cat is quite new to a lot of things you should decide on the basic issues such as diet, lifestyle, microchipping and the possibility of neutering the pet. This can be done starting from when the cat is four months old.
Junior – 7 months to 2 years
Infectious diseases and problems that can develop from the cat learning to hunt or fight with other cats are common in this stage. As cats hide their problems very well it might be difficult to find out if there is some trouble but even conditions like heart disease can start from this stage and the earlier they are detected the better it is for the cat.
Also make sure you keep their weight in check and that is especially important if the cat was neutered. The first vaccination booster should also begin in this stage and it should be done each year to improve the cat’s immunity.
Prime – 3 years to 6 years
In their prime cats are prone to get parasites as they tend to hunt a lot through the bushes or parks that are around and even if they are indoors all the time they can have different problems so regular checks are important. Among the most common conditions are obesity, dental problems, intestinal disease, heart disease, cystitis and various behavioral problems.
Mature – 7 years to 10 years
Now some of the problems of advanced age can come up with conditions like diabetes, increased blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease or even cancer being a possibility. Try to look for signs like a change in the amount of water the cat drinks, loss of weight, vomiting or diarrhea and also a decrease in the quality of the coat.
It is important to continue the regular vet visits and routine checks as well as to provide the cat with a balanced diet since obesity can be a real problem that can lead to more serious conditions.
Senior – 11 years to 14 years
The problems discussed in the previous stage are still a threat now and if your cat is suffering from any of them then try to find and provide the proper treatment. One new condition that can start now is arthritis but it has a cure too and some neurological problems occur in some cases which would be a similar disease as the dementia we can have during our old age.
Geriatric – over 15 years
At this stage cats are equivalent to people who are over seventy years old and with this age problems such as reduced vision, hearing, sense of smell and taste can incur. The heart and lungs can have a reduced activity and the bone quality decreases in quality leading to a reduced mobility. The vet visits should be more frequent at this stage as many of the problems from the previous stages can still appear along with some new ones but remember that most of them do have treatments so don’t leave your cat to suffer and consider it a sign of their old age.