Just a few days ago, I received an e-mail with a link to an article on Feline Lifestage Guidelines, sponsored by the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Animal Hospital Association.
Although this article is meant to be read by veterinarians, I believe all cat owners and cat lovers will want to check it out, for two main reasons. One is the way they classify the stages of a cat's life. Say goodbye to the simple "kitten, adult, senior" classification. The new classification scheme breaks down the lifestages as follows:
Kitten: 0 - 6 months
Junior: 7 months - 2 years
Prime: 3 years - 6 years
Mature: 7 years - 10 years
Senior: 11 years - 14 years
Geriatric: 15 years and older
I like this classification. Before, when I would tell a client their 7 year old cat was a "senior", I felt weird. Cats are living longer lives, and branding their cat a senior at 7 or 8 didn't feel right. I think "mature" is much more fitting. I also love the "junior" classification. I see many cats who are 18 months old, and while not technically "kittens", they've still got that wild and crazy streak that makes me reluctant to label them as "adults". Calling them "juniors" is perfect.
The part of the article that I think readers will find most interesting, however, is the age chart. While it is very similar to mine, it differs significantly in that they are more detailed when it comes to the early years. For example..
a kitten aged 0 - 1 month is like a person aged 0 - 1 year
a kitten aged 2 - 3 months is like a person aged 2 - 4 years
a kitten aged 4 months is like a person aged 6 to 8 years
a kitten aged 6 months is like a person aged 10 years
a kitten aged 7 months is like a person aged 12 years
a kitten aged 12 months is like a person aged 15 years
a kitten aged 18 months is like a person aged 21 years
The rest of the chart is pretty interesting. Check it out by clicking here.
For a review of my chart, go to How Old is My Cat in Human Years?