To ensure your cat lives a long and happy life, it’s important to understand all of your cat’s life stages. Cats, in particular, go through many phases that include changes in growth and behavior. From kitten to geriatric cat, it is important to note these developmental changes in order to provide the best health and nutritional needs for all of their life stages.
Kitten: The youngest stage of a cat’s life is the kitten phase which spans from 0-6 months old. At this stage, they are the most curious and playful. They can often be found pouncing at your feet or pawing at objects. At this stage, it’s a great time to slowly introduce kittens to children or other pets as well as introducing litter box habits. It is also the perfect age to solidify crate training, if desired, to allow them to feel comfortable when traveling in the car or transporting them to the vet. When you adopt a kitten, they are typically 8-12 weeks of age. At this age, your kitten is able to consume a fully balanced Primal Raw diet. Starting off your cat with a raw diet will help them become less finicky eaters. If you own younger kittens at 4 weeks of age, your kitten can start to introduce Primal Feline Formulas in conjunction with the milk they consume from nursing.
Junior: The ‘junior’ stage ranges from 6 months to 2 years. At this stage, behavior often shifts from playful exploration to aggressive boundary testing. This age is where your cat begins to reach sexual maturity. It is important to engage your cat in mental and physical enrichment and play. Invest in toys that stimulate and help their primal instincts of hunting and stalking. Although you will want to use your hands or feet as a ‘toy’ it is important not to encourage scratching and biting. As your cat grows, it will assume this is appropriate play behavior.
Prime: Your cat reaches their prime age during the span of 3-6 years. This is when your cat is both active and healthy. They can be found lounging in the sun on your window sill, and still have those random bursts of playful energy. It is important to keep them on a well-rounded, wholesome diet, and bring them in for routine checkups at the vet.
Mature: As your cat grows older, you will start to see behavioral changes. From 7-10 years of age, your cat begins to lose their drive to play and is less active. This is a normal shift in activity as your cat is comfortable in their environment and routine. As your cat slows down, it is crucial to monitor your pet’s eating habits. Always factor in your cat’s activity and weight when determining appropriate food portions. Check out Primal’s Feeding Calculator here for more information.
Senior: From age 11-14 years, your cat is the equivalent to 70 human years old. During this part of their life, it is important to take your cat to regular checkups at the vet to keep an eye out for age-related health issues. It is also important to continue to feed a well-balanced diet to best help support their immune, circulatory, and digestive health.
Geriatric: The oldest stage in a cat’s life is the geriatric stage. If your cat is 15 years or older, that is equivalent to living 76+ human years. It is important to make your cat as comfortable as possible during this time in their life. Be sure to give them lots of love and attention and ensure they have easy access to their food, water, and litter box.
Adopting a cat can enrich your life and create an unbreakable bond between you and your pet. Watching your cat grow from kitten to senior and beyond is an incredible journey, so give them love and the proper nutrition they need from feeding a species appropriate raw diet. Learn more about Primal’s complete and balanced formulas and how we can help elevate the health and happiness of your pet.