If cats as a species have a serious fault, it is that their lives are so much shorter than our own. You bring home a baby kitten, and it seems like the next thing you know she is a senior feline. If you adopted your cat as an adult, the days you share may seem even fewer.
The older cat possesses a special dignity and sweetness that is every bit as precious as the cuteness of kitten hood, and she is in some ways a better companion than ever. She has the wisdom that maturity and experience bestow. She loves you, and she depends on you. And while you cannot make time stand still, in most cases you can help your cat stay healthy and active well into her teens.
With a basic guide to the steps you can take, and in partnership with your veterinarian, you can ensure that your cat remains a vital part of your life for as long as possible.
So, how do you know when your cat is a senior? Individual cats, like individual people, age according to their own inner clocks. Genetics, life history, environment, and a measure of luck all play parts in determining how the body and mind respond to the passage of time.
Some pet cats live well into their 20s; most live into their early teens. Some remain vital and active almost to their ends of their lives while others are slowed by the effects of aging or other factors. Still, we can generalize to some extent.
Want to figure out your cat's approximate age in human terms? On her first birthday, she is more or less like a human being in her late teens. From then on, figure about five human years for every cat year.
Life has a way of moving at such rapid pace that we neglect to cherish the here and now or to document the times we love. If you love your cat, keep a record of her life. Take photos of her doing her favorite things. Jot down special events and funny things she does.
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