What are the life stages of cats?
The life stages of cats are divided into six sections, in which the cat is exposed to many changes in shape, size, weight, and the nature of food, these stages include small cats, young cats, elderly cats, and until cats reach the fun of big cats, they must be provided with appropriate care, vaccinations and preventive examinations from any diseases, the six stages are:
Kittens younger than six months :
At this stage, the cat is characterized by growing very quickly, in terms of size, weight, and shape, but it is not in it that it is sexually mature. The most important thing that distinguishes this stage from others is that the cat feeds on its Mother’s milk through lactation, and it often takes up to two months to wean, as the majority of cats are able to eat at the age of eight weeks.
At this stage, the cat from the age of 0-3 weeks uses its legs to move, but not completely, as its movement resembles the movement of a swimmer (the cat’s limbs are far apart and it moves in a crawling-like manner), as the cat does not have a muscular motor development at this stage, after the third week the cat begins to learn to walk.
Cats do not need a long time to be able to open their eyes, so at this stage, specifically after the age of 7-10 days, they begin to open their eyes, and by the second week of life, they are able to fully open their eyes.
Kittens from seven months to two years old :
The cat at this stage is able to deal independently with the environment and life in a way that enables it to survive, and the most important thing that distinguishes it at this stage is that it has reached its full size., the cat at this age is in adolescence, and the most important feature of it is that the cat has strong teeth, because at this stage the milk teeth have been replaced, and it may begin to reproduce sexually.
Cats at this stage mainly eat food with high protein sources (meat).
Kittens from three to six years old :
Cats at this age achieve physical and behavioral maturity, they are distinguished by their health and physical activity, their shape at this stage is distinguished from the rest of the stages by being striking as their hair is soft and shiny, and they deal with life usefully (as they are able to secure their own food, and take care of their young).
Kittens from seven to ten years old :
The cat at this stage is considered to be in the youth stage, which is equivalent to the age of a human at the age of 40 years, the most important thing that distinguishes this stage from others; is that the cat needs a lot of care as he has health problems such as diabetes, kidney, high pressure, and hyperthyroidism.
Several symptoms may also appear in cats that must be paid attention to at this age, the most important of which are: lethargy, weight loss, diarrhea, decreased activity, appetite changes, and changes in the urine.
Cats from 11 to 14 years old :
At this stage, the cat is equivalent to 70 years old in humans, this stage is one of the most difficult stages compared to other stages in which the cat may be exposed to many treatable problems of them, and at this stage, its sense of smell begins to weaken, at this stage, there are 5 common diseases that may affect cats, namely: chronic kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer.
Stages of fetal development of cats :
The embryo of cats goes through a number of stages, divided into 4 stages, as follows:
The stage of fertilization :
At this stage, the female mates from 10 to 20 times during the period of a month, a month and a half, during the mating process, the egg moves from the bottom of the fallopian tube until it reaches the uterus and settles in it, as well as the sperm that passed from male to female, (sperm may belong to more than one male and therefore multiple fathers), two weeks after the fertilization process, the stages of fetal development begin, as the organs, skin, placenta, skin and spinal cord begin to grow.
The fetus is three weeks later :
At the three-week stage, the length of the fetus exceeds 2.5 cm, organs begin to form, and faces are formed, at this stage, signs of pregnancy begin to appear on the female cat (mother), as the fetus begins to change in size precisely.
As the cat’s weight increases due to its increased appetite for food, the mother cat is characterized at this stage that physical changes appear on it, the most important of which is the change in the color of the nipples and their swelling, and the fetus is characterized by the fact that it begins to benefit from the nutrients it receives through the placenta.
The fetus is four weeks old :
At this stage, the fetus has gained more change, especially in the size, as it reaches a length of 3.8 cm, the fetal teeth have formed by the fourth week, the bones have begun to become strong, and by the fifth week the fetus swallows 6.3 cm, and their eyelids begin to form along with the claws.
Also, the fetus at this stage begins to move in the mother’s womb, and it should be noted that they do not have hair at this stage yet, after the end of Week 6 the cat is more than 8 cm tall and its hair began to grow, its tails grew and its ears became large.
In the seventh and eighth week, the fetus has developed the sense of smell and oral organs, especially the tongue, at this stage the fetus begins to increase in size in terms of fat as it begins to consume fat as a nutrient element through the mother’s food through the placenta.
Prenatal stage :
At this stage, after 60 days (ninth week), the fetus is about 17 cm long and weighs 350 grams, and its organs are complete, most cats may give birth at this stage, as the fetus has reached full maturity (physically) and some cats may continue the pregnancy for the tenth week, depending on the type of breed of the fetus.
One of the most important signs that indicate that the fetus and the mother have become at the time of Labor, is to notice the leakage of milk from the mother’s nipples, she also begins to make a purring sound, her contractions begin to clear, and the mother’s body temperature drops (by one degree).