Your new cat’s age can be a mystery to you if it was adopted or saved.
The best way to determine a cat’s age is to have a conversation with a reliable veterinarian, who can also help you develop a care routine to ensure the cat has the highest quality of life and the longest lifespan possible.
In general, a thorough veterinary examination of the cat’s complete body will help determine the cat’s age; nevertheless, while attempting to make this judgment, veterinarians typically concentrate on a few particular body parts. Here are a few methods veterinarians can use to determine your cat’s age.
Since a cat’s first baby teeth start to develop between 2 and 4 weeks old, teeth are a great way to determine a kitten’s age. The permanent teeth will start to replace the baby teeth by the time the kitten is three to four months old since they are developing above the baby teeth (also called deciduous teeth). Most of a cat’s adult teeth should be in place by the time it is 6 months old, thus assessing a cat’s growth is no longer necessary.
Another indication of age in elder cats is the amount of tartar or discolouration on their teeth.
Depending on how thoroughly the cat’s caretaker follows a dental care schedule, tartar may not be a reliable indicator despite the availability of instruments for cleaning pet teeth. As a result, although teeth are generally a trustworthy indicator of a cat or kitten’s age, they are not perfect.
As soon as six months after birth, male cats reach sexual maturity. Puberty symptoms include more prominent testicles and territorial urine spraying.
Female cats typically have their first estrus cycle between the ages of 5 and 9 months, while other variables, including the quantity of daylight and the cat’s weight, can also influence when this cycle happens. When a female cat is in estrus, she will vocalize and exhibit powerful bodily symptoms to let you know. A female cat can become pregnant at any time, although her reproductive potential is highest between the ages of 18 months and 8 years.
But many veterinarians now advocate early spaying and neutering. It is also believed to make the procedure itself easier on the cats when they are younger, in addition to preventing early pregnancies, which are harder on both the mothers and the newborn kittens. This can make figuring out a cat’s age a little trickier.
A kitten’s fur or hair is incredibly fine and fragile, but as they age, cats’ coats become thicker and coarser. Additionally, the hue could change tone, becoming darker or lighter. As a cat ages, it may even begin to develop patches of white or gray hair, exactly like an elderly person. While the coat can help a vet estimate a cat’s age, it is not a reliable indicator of age.
Additionally, a cat’s capacity for self-grooming can be used to estimate its age. While cats are generally very clean creatures, they may begin to ignore their grooming as they get older, put on weight, or begin to experience pain from dental or arthritic conditions.
Cats and kittens with healthy eyes have incredibly bright, clear eyes that don’t show any symptoms of discharge or tears during their maintenance years. Cats may however begin to tear and/or discharge as they age, and their eyes may appear cloudy. This usually does not occur until the cat is at least 10 years old.
If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet’s health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.
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