I am writing this article for cat lovers, but they don’t know much about them. And they don’t have a cat yet. I will present the stages of a cat’s life, so prepared when you adopt one.
The life expectancy of a cat has been on average for ten years. But it is good to know, that if you provide them with proper care, these little felines reach the age of 15-20 years.
I have had and have cats that have passed the age of 15 years.
The life of a cat divided between play, sleep and fur care (toilet).
Let’s see together the stages of a cat’s life.
After a gestation of 63-68 days, the cat gives birth to some kittens (between 1 and 10). They are variable weight (between 70 grams and 150 grams). Weight varies depending on several factors. These are sex, race, number of kittens, mother feeding during pregnancy.
The first concern of the kittens is to find the breasts.
In the first days after birth, the cat lies on one side. Thus, it provides access for the kittens for sucking. They do not receive milk but colostrum. It has a different composition and appearance, containing a significant amount of antibodies. They absorbed in a large percentage by the body of the kitten in the first 16 hours of life. After a few days, the kittens begin sucking milk rich in maternal antibodies.
At birth, the kitten is unable to regulate its body temperature. He is very fragile and dependent on his mother, who keeps her warm.
The kitten has a very developed olfactory sense at birth. It allows her to find her mother from a distance of 50 cm.
From birth, the kitten can differentiate the three fundamental tastes. They are sweet, salty and bitter.
Kittens are born blind and deaf. It acquires both senses at about the same time.
The hearing appears around the age of 5 days. But, it does not allow itself to orient itself to the sound until after 14 days. He will have the skills of an adult at one month of launch. Then he’ll recognize his mother’s voice.
The kitten’s eyes open after 1-2 weeks after birth. To be able to detect the depth of the field it needs another 3-4 days.
Before reaching the age of two weeks the kittens have a developed sense of balance. But, they have difficulty in coordinating movements.
The walk starts at the age of 17 days. After three weeks after birth, the kitten can scratch his ear with the back lip.
The body regions of the kitten do not develop at the same rate.
At birth, the kittens have a large head. Later the limbs lengthen, the kitten having the desired look.
Towards the end of the corporal development, all the parties harmonize. It reaches the characteristic form of the adult.
Growth can appreciated as the kittens gains weight. Two days in a row do not gain weight or lose weight. Insufficient nutrition or an illness, the cause must identified.
The normal growth of the kitten until maturity registers four phases.
- In the first 4 days after birth, the weight gain is variable, depending on the conditions of birth.
- During the exclusive breastfeeding period (the first 4 weeks) weight gain is regular and linear. The weight at 7-8 days should be double compared to the birth weight. At 4 weeks it must be 4 times the birth weight. The growth dynamics of breastfeeding tell a lot about breastfeeding quality and mother’s care for kittens
The food transition stage, called withdrawal
Withdrawal occupies the period between the 4th and 7th weeks of life. After 4-5 weeks, there is a decrease in the growth rate. It corresponds to the decrease in the amount of breast milk and associated with the transient consumption of food. After 7 weeks, the kittens consume solid foods, gaining weight.y.
The weight at eight weeks is usually twice the weight at four weeks and eight times the birth weight.
After eight weeks, during the pre-withdrawal period, the autonomy of the kittens manifested. They are now taking care of themselves. It oriented according to its own will. Soon they will get the definitive form of the adult.
After 10-12 months, the cat must maintain its constant weight.
At birth, the kitten has a digestive tract adapted to feeding with breast milk. High in protein, lipids, lactose, and sugar.
Due to an enzyme called lactose, the kitten can digest lactose. Throughout its digestive capacities, it develops gradual. It happens that some adult cats lose the ability to manage lactose. As a result, they cannot tolerate milk. If lactose undigested, diarrhea occurs. So be careful!
As the lactose in the milk decreases, the kitten acquires other enzymatic capacities. For example, amylase, an enzyme that allows the digestion of starch.
The ability to chew solid foods appears at the age of 4-5 weeks. At the same time, the ability to digest them appears.
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From this age, the kittens enter the withdrawal period.
This is usually the case, but all my cats spoiled their kittens, nursing them for up to 6 months. It was a joy to see the cat as he called his kittens to pamper him. And how they responded immediately, leaning over their mother and suckling.
Factors that Influence the Development of Kittens
If a breed represented by large specimens, the newborn kittens will grow faster.
Kittens are almost identical at birth. Sex is hard to determine. Over time, the males become much heavier than the females (between 6 and 12 weeks).
Males have a higher growth potential than females, but it manifests later. Their growth extends by a few weeks to that of females.
3. Family factors The kitten is born with a genetic material that originates half from the mother and half from his father. The same race, there is the possibility of individuals appearing larger than the norm. To present a different morphological form. They used with preference in selections.
4. Mother’s weight
This parameter differs from race and family factors. The older the mother and her health are, the faster the growth of the kittens is. The quality of the milk offered to the kittens is very good.
5. Individual genetic factors The
Combination of maternal and paternal inheritance determines the appearance of a unique specimen. At the base of its formation, there are some individual variations. For a better estimation of the growth of the kitten used the measurement standard of his parents.
6. Hormonal factors The
growth of kittens is not influenced by different hormonal disorders. They can sterilize early. This procedure does not produce any change in normal development.
In contrast, the use of hormones, used only for medical reasons and with great caution. Can disrupt the endocrine balance of the kitten and growth affected.
1. Hygiene of the environment and stress
During the lactation period, the kitten is fragile. The mother must be demanding with hygiene both, milk and the place where the kittens are staying. Mediocre hygiene induces both the awareness of the kittens. And the mother, about the diseases.
Kittens grow during sleep. In the first days of life, the baby sleeps almost all the time. It sucks when he awakened by the tender lust of his meme.
As he grows older, he begins to explore the surroundings and plays.
Sleep quality is decisive for its development. Certain hormones secreted that disrupt the growth hormone balance. Under the effect of stress .
The environment of kittens should protected from sudden changes in temperature. The presence of foreign persons and the disturbance of their habitat too.
2. The number of kittens in the nest.
If the cat gives birth to a larger number of kittens, they will have a smaller weight. If they are born with fewer poisons, they will be heavier.
There are more kittens, the difference in weight between them will observe. Only after withdrawal does the difference begin to subside.
3. Nutritional factors The diet received by the mother during pregnancy influences their weight and viability at birth.
In the period between birth and withdrawal, the feeding of the kittens limited to breast milk. Quality and quantity are determining factors for the health and development of the kittens.
Both mother and kittens should take into consideration.
During pregnancy, the cat accumulates fat reserves that used to form milk when breastfeeding.
Malnutrition of the kittens, during breastfeeding, can be due to several reasons. Insufficient feeding of their mother, production of little milk, inadequate breastfeeding. The mother does not allow the kitten sucking enough because they are too many, the environment is stressful. Kittens lose weight fast. Dehydration, hypoglycemia, lowering of body temperature, followed by death installed. This is because the liver is not mature, it depends on the external sources of sugar. The kidneys are immature and the kitten must fed often and with small amounts of milk.
The kitten is unable to regulate its body temperature.
Ingestion of a satisfactory amount of milk, maternal care during breastfeeding and sleep-licking. Mother’s warmth are indispensable factors for avoiding hypothermia.
All the factors that limit sucking expose the kitten to rapid dehydration and the danger of contacting various diseases.
The rational feeding of the cat during the lactation period
To gain a gram in weight, a kitten must ingest at least 2.7 grams of milk. During breastfeeding the cat gets to produce a quantity of milk adequate to twice its body weight.
During gestation, the cat accumulates fat reserves that used to form milk when it begins to breastfeed.
Feed needs of the cat increase during breastfeeding. It depends on the number of kittens but not relative.
The cat must have fresh water at all times.
The nutrition intended for a nursing cat must be complex. High in calories, contain fat, but also protein, ta urine, minerals, and much calcium and phosphorus. I recommend eating juniors for a nursing cat.
The feeding needs of the cat during lactation are enormous. It cannot ingest the amount of food needed to cover all its needs. She will start using the fat reserves she has accumulated during pregnancy. This phenomenon is normal and inevitable but should not become excessive.
In conclusion, the cat must fed breasts with her breastfeeding situation. Thus, the kittens will not suffer from the deprivation of affection. The normal development of the kittens will not compromise.
Artificial feeding of the kittens
The kittens orphaned, too many or if they cannot consume the mother’s milk, then milk should offered to replace the mother’s milk.
The breast milk is insufficient and two days in a row there is no increase in the weight of the kittens. Their development stagnates without having a psychological problem. We must offer them replacement milk.
It is a timely solution for saving kittens, milk bottle as close as composition, with breast milk.
The strict hygiene rules and a feeding rate appropriate to the age of the cat will observe. The lower the rate of feeding the faster it will be.
Each time the baby brought in the kitten must allowed sucking breasts without forced or restrained.
The period of transition from liquid to solid food called withdrawal.
This is necessary because the dietary needs of the kitten are increasing. At the same time, the quantity of milk decreases, becoming insufficient in 5-6 weeks after birth.
The discomfort of the kittens will avoid due to the change in the diet with which they are familiar. Thus, the solid feed that the cat brings to the kittens during the lactation period will be identical to that given after the withdrawal. Remember, my recommendation is that the cat fed with junior food. It’s one of the reasons. Another is that junior food is richer in necessary elements in cat nutrition.
In practice, you can determine the withdrawal when you notice that the growth rate of the kittens is decreasing.
Consumption of solid foods should monitored. The amount of food will be increasing starting with the fourth week of life. Kittens considered to have exceeded the withdrawal period when they get to consume around 20 g of dry food or 70 g of preserved (wet) food. This happens around the age of 6-7 weeks.
Withdrawal recommended to progress piecemeal but should not take too long.
Prepared from the 4-5 weeks of life, it must completed at the end of the 7th week. Thus, the cat will be able to recover after this exhausting period.
Withdrawal considered a necessary evil for the cycle of life. This is a compulsory stage on the path to conquering the independence of the kittens. But at the same time, it is also a stress factor for small beings. For this reason, a great deal of attention and special care needed for kittens in weaning.
Maturity The cat spends a third of its time sleeping. Another third playing, and the rest dedicated to feeding and care of the fur.
Even if they do not leave the house (for their safety), the domestic cats keep their hunting character.
The felines attracted to moving objects. If they provided with balls, like toys, they will not be late to go hunting.
The cat hunts various creatures when has access to the outside.
To feed the cat, it uses the senses with which it endowed by nature, combined with a series of abilities. It has the fine hearing, the developed smell, a sense of special orientation. To which mustaches also contribute. It has a sharp vision, sharp claws, it moves very fast. Also, it has a very special ability: to move without making any noise.
Hunting is not an easy activity. It does not mean that if he saw the prey, he would succeed in capturing it. This action takes a long time, and the failures are quite many.
The claws and teeth of the cats
The claws of the cat have several particularities. They are increasing during their entire life. They are slightly rounded, they are retractable and inserted vertically. The ability of cats to use their claws allows them to move without making any noise. But, the claws are defenseless felines. It is the only aid for purchasing food. When looking for a shelter, they used in climbing.
The shape of the claws allows both the immobilization of the prey.and their rapid withdrawal, acting as small knives. Attack of a cat
It will always result in serious scratches on the skin.
I recommend cutting claws at the most.
I don’t recommend their surgical removal, as practiced in the USA. If you love your furniture more than cats, you don’t deserve on them. She remains stressed all her life after such an operation.
The claws must cut carefully. First of all, it is not good to cut the claws that are in perfect condition.
The cat armed with four claws on the hind limbs and five on the hind limbs. The fifth claw located above the others and tends to become infected in the flesh and to injure its labia.
Most cats sharpen their claws on various objects or scratches. This gesture is not meant to touch the nails, but rather to remove the superficial, degraded layer of ice. Thus, it leaves room for a new claw, sharp and perfectly healthy.
Some cats have a habit of gnawing their claws alone.
Often we can see them manifesting as if they were doing a manicure.
Apart from claws, the second natural reducible weapon of cats represented by teeth. Canines are quite special.
The cat’s teeth adapted to catch and tear the prey. But the food is often eaten whole.
Do not deprive the cat of the pleasure of snapping hooks. It is even advisable to get used to it from an early age with this type of food. The hooks favor chewing and prevent the appearance of tartar or limit its extension (if it already exists).
Cats consume 10 to 20 times day water in small quantities. The presence of a permanent source is indispensable.
The idea that dry food would promote different kidney disease is false.
Cats’ aversion to water reflected in their attitude to the act of drinking water itself. As cats have their origins in the desert, they are not generally consuming liquids. For this reason, their urine has a high concentration of toxins.
Cats that like water and love to swim are rare: the Turkish Van breed.
The life expectancy of cats
It is well-known that some cats have reached the record age of 30 years.
The life expectancy of a neutered cat is on average 10 years. Cats usually reach the age of 6 years – in females – and 5 years – in males.
This situation explained by the fact that the unscratched cats tempted to wander. Exposed to the risk of injury, contact with diseases, infections, and parasites.
Moreover, females can make pyometra.
If allowed outside the house, cats attracted to visit their neighbors to find their mate. Or to gain the supremacy of the territory.
Currently, the life expectancy of cats is increasing. This is due to our more careful care. The development of the cat food industry and other industries that target cats (toys, food supplements, essential oils, etc.). The existence of veterinary doctors too. And the awareness of cat owners about the importance of vaccines.
And last but not least, sterilization. This practiced between 6 and 12 months, before sexual behavior installed.
Old age manifested in cats (as in all other species) by lack of dynamism, tendency to drowsiness.
Difficulty in movement, frequent manifestation of different diseases too. Diminished elasticity of the arteries, respiratory difficulties. Sensitivity to infections (caused) by lowering the efficiency of the immune system). Frequent kidney diseases, endocrine problems.
Obesity is a risk factor for the onset of several diseases (diabetes, skin diseases). Weak cats are not exposed to such danger.
The appetite of the cat decreases with advancing age. Causes: common disease of gingivitis, ulcers or tumors, while reducing the digestive capacity.
Older cats tend to consume little water and can dehydrate.
From birth to old age, the cat retains its pride and independence. Hunting instinct and remains a true carnivore.
An early age the cat attracted to any moving object. At maturity its interest captured only by the hunting of small animals around.
Breed and age, the cat remains a fascinating animal. They deserve our full attention, admiration, and affection.
You can now learn to communicate directly with your cat.
I would be glad if you had time to leave a comment on the subject. Or you may want to share with us your experience.