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Your Cat's Life Cycle

by Dr. N.J.Hayes, DVM

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Why vaccinate | Cat vaccines

The following lifecycle stages are what the average cat goes through as they age.
Individual animals may differ from this schedule.
Check out Your Pet's age in Human Years!

Kittens (four to six months)

  • Kittens grow at about 1lb. per month; a few exceptions are breeds such as Maine Coon Cat
  • They learn to explore their environment
  • Still building an immune system
    • Need vaccines at eight, twelve, and sixteen weeks - please see our handout on vaccination.
  • Need to be screened for some diseases such as feline leukemia little kitten in grassand FIV
  • Rough kitten play is common, (keep nails trimmed and, avoid shadowboxing, keep litter boxes clean and available
  • Medical needs:
    • Vaccinations
    • Spay or neuter
    • Some choose to declaw
    • The feline leukemia Test, FIV test
    • Fecal check

Adolescent kittens,( ages six to twelve months)Kitten

  • Growth slows
  • Sexually mature and therefore can reproduce
  • Medical needs:
    • Need Annual examinations
    • Vaccinations as recommended
    • Fecal checks and flea control
    • In some special breeds (such as Persians) some additional screening for congenital defects may be recommended.

Adult cats (ages twelve months to seven years)

  • Develop adult behaviors such as reduced activity unless kept active
  • Can gain weight easily
  • Annual wellness exams and vaccinations are needed

Early senior years, (seven to twelve years)This cat has beautiful yellow eyes

  • usually still very active
  • Early screening begins for renal disease, thyroid disease and other changes
  • Senior blood work for these problems is usually recommended at ten years of age

Late senior years (greater than twelve years of age)

  • Cats are starting to slow down
  • Some will be drinking more, are showing signs of stiffness, and either gaining or losing weight
  • Annual lab work (semiannual in some cases), urinalysis, annual or semiannual health examinations, and in some cases x-ray as recommended by your doctor may be needed

For more information on senior care, Senior care handouts or to sign up for one of our senior care seminars or feline topics seminars please call 685-4707. We would be happy to answer all of your questions.

If you have any questions regarding your cat's aging, Please do not hesitate to contact us at 309-685-4707 We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have and want to ensure that your pet has the best of health.

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