Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Life And Times Of Your Cat

From kitten to senior citizen our cats live remarkable lives. Listed below are some normal behaviors and common health concerns for each of your cat’s life stage:

Birth to 1 year (Kitten)
Initially, while your kitten is just beginning to learn her way around, she may be playful, but will also most likely be very shy as she adjusts to her knew home. As she progresses through this life stage she will come out of her shell and become more playful, spunky, and adventurous. At approximately six months old, you should spay or neuter if you are not planning to breed your cat.

1 to 8 years (Prime)
Your young cat is in her prime. Remember your annual visits to the veterinarian as health issues such as obesity, dental disease, and heart disease may start to make their first appearance. Also be sure to have her checked for parasites regularly as she is a keen hunter at this stage.

8 to 12 years (Senior)
Your cat is now considered a senior and may begin to slow down, but her behavior shouldn't change much. Previous health issues may start to increase in severity and new ones may start to appear so it is important to continue your regular visits to your veterinarian. Cats in this stage of life have an increased risk of diabetes, kidney disease, high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism and cancer. Obesity can also be a major health issue for cats in this age range.

12+ years (Geriatric)
Your cat is entering old age. You may begin to notice some new health problems arise or an increase in severity of pre-existing ones. During this stage your cat will be at an even greater risk for all of the health issues listed in the previous stages. Your cat will also most likely move slower and may develop arthritis as her joints begin to stiffen. You may also notice a change in her temperament as she becomes more easily irritated at this stage.

Final Thoughts
Your cat is a great companion and loves you very much. That is why it is so important to recognize the milestones in your cat’s life so you can take the best possible care of her.

As with any health-related issue, whenever you have concerns about your cat, consult your veterinarian. He or she is familiar with your cat and her medical history and has the professional skill and knowledge to identify and treat whatever might be the problem.

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