If you have taken in or adopted a cat in your home, it is very likely that you do not know its age. This information will give you an idea of the care that you will have to provide according to its vital stage, since the needs of a cahorro are not the same as those of an adult cat or in full old age.
Therefore, this time we are going to delve into the morphological details in which you should look to know approximately what week it is, if it is a puppy, or in what stage of its maturity it is. Are you accompanying us?
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The teeth, the weight and the muscular tone, very clarifying
There are several aspects of your cat’s morphology that you can look at to guide you about its age. We refer to the teeth, eyes, ears, hair, muscles, weight and habits.
If you look at the formation and appearance of the teeth, you will gather a lot of information. Like us humans, cats are born without teeth. Some incipient incisors will begin to emerge between 2 and 4 weeks of life . At 3 weeks the canines will do it. At 6 weeks, the premolars.
At 2 months of age, the puppy will wear the 26 pieces that complete its milk teeth, which will be replaced by the definitive one from 4 months. Thus, at 6 months you will have the final teeth. They will look white and shiny.
However, at 2 years of age, the first signs of tartar will begin to appear on the back teeth. They will look yellowish and dull. By 3 to 5 years, tartar will be evident throughout the mouth , as well as wear and tear. From 5 to 10 years you will appreciate that the gums have begun to pigment. From the age of 10, teeth may be missing.
In the first week of life they are usually closed. At 2 weeks they will open completely but the pupils will not dilate. At 6 weeks of age, their final eye color will be fixed , since at birth all puppies show blue eyes.
In turn, the iris also reveals information about the age of your pet. In fact, as babies their irises are smooth to become more irregular as they grow. At 12 years of age, senile iris atrophy is recurrent . It is a pathology in which the edges of the pupil are irregular and there are spaces in the iris, which causes blurred vision.
Likewise, you will know that your feline is old if you identify opaque fragments in its lens. Cats also develop cataracts with special prevalence in the final stage of their life.
The fur and skin of your pet are other aspects that you should pay attention to, both in terms of its touch and its coloration. When they are young, their hair is usually dense and short. From adults it is thinner and smoother to become thick and dry in old age. At this stage , gray hairs appear , the nose begins to pigment and the skin flakes off.
From the age of 10, it can suffer from hyperthyroidism , a pathology that causes dermatological changes in the animal, as well as accelerated nail growth.
At birth, felines do so with their ear canals closed and glued to their heads. They begin to open and detach around 5-8 days after delivery. At 3 weeks they will be fully erect.
As long as the diet that is provided is healthy, that the cat does not show signs of loss of appetite and that every day it eats the same amount, we can affirm that from its birth its weight should increase by 7 grams per day. In general, at birth they usually weigh 100 grams, in the first week from 100 to 150 grams and in the eighth 900 grams.
It is estimated that if there is no disease or malnutrition problems, each month the kitten must gain 450 grams of weight . At 12 weeks of age, it should weigh around 4.5 kg.
Your muscle tone
Palpating your pet will help you check the state of its muscles. If the toned notes indicate that it is a young cat. Elderly felines, between the ages of 10 and 15, begin to lose weight and lose muscle tone. The skin sags, the muscles are flaccid and the shoulder blades begin to protrude.
At this point, our four-legged friends also resemble humans. As young they are more active, have a world to discover and are eager to play, explore and interact. However, in adulthood, they begin to prefer the contemplative life and become more dominant and territorial .
The socialization phase, also called the imprinting phase, takes place between the third and eighth weeks of the kitten’s life. In this period, he will begin to challenge his peers, to mark his territory and to show us his temperament and his preferences. These experiences will influence his later behavior.
What happens after the year of life?
Between one year and 7 years of age, the cat is an adult. His character stabilizes and his sexual maturity takes place. Consequently, it will be the ideal time to consider spaying or neutering him .
From 7-8 years the feline is old and it is very likely that one or several diseases have made an appearance (vision problems, osteoarthritis or kidney failure, among others). You will need to provide him with a specific diet for older cats , since he will eat less, and that you follow all the guidelines that your veterinarian has set for you.
In short, the method that we have explained to you in these lines is not an exact science, but it is the one used by specialists to try to specify the vital stage of the cat whose date of birth is unknown. Regardless of your age, remember that there is no better medicine than feeling loved. Your love and attention will feed their life expectancy.