Your cat has hit that age. This 6-12 month age is considered the second life cycle of a cat. Now your precious kitten has hit the teenage years. These “teenage” years affect them and everyone around them. If the words “crazy” or “out of control” have escaped your mouth and there are no kids in sight, you may have a feline teenager on your hands.
During the second life cycle of a cat journey, you will start to see many changes. Since cats are mostly self-grooming, they may start to get hairballs at this age. For instance, as a cat licks themselves, they can swallow the hair. As a result, most of this hair will be eliminated but too much fur can cause blockage by becoming a dense ball in your cat’s stomach.
This age is also when puberty arrives. Females will go into heat and can get pregnant. At this point, a cat may not have the emotions or developed instincts to handle motherhood properly. Melatonin will be secreted from their pineal gland, which plays a crucial role in your cat’s cycle of reproduction. Your cat will see an increase in estrogen as well. If you have a male cat, you will also see changes. The cute little boy will start becoming sexually mature. He could even begin to roam and start a little urine marking. If you don’t want to deal with a urine-spraying furball or an estrogen-induced kitten, then get those boogers spayed and neutered a soon as possible. Almost all adoption agencies include a discount or even free services for this.
During this point of the second life cycle of a cat, you could also see growth spurts that may leave them looking lean and long as they are still filling out. So, don’t worry if your cat seems a little thin, this is part of the process of growing up.
New behaviors will probably arise in your cat. Unfortunately, you may not like them all. An adolescent cat is more confident and a bit more demanding. They may try to escape through an open door, terrorize the house at 4 a.m., or decide they want to dine with you by jumping up on the table. They may also be less tolerant. This can take the form of resisting any nail trimming or running in the opposite direction of the carrier. Don’t get too worried as this is all normal as their brain is still maturing. They will push boundaries as they test new ways to interact with the world.
Food and Nutrition
By this point, your cat will need to be weened off of kitten food. Your cat is entering its adult stage and needs more protein that adult cat food will offer them. Don’t give them people food as this can cause deficiencies or other toxicities. You want your cat to have a well-balanced diet so they can continue to prosper and not have a spoiled cat who prefers your garlic chicken over their kitty kibble. A premium commercial food that has been specially formulated to meet your cat’s growing dietary needs is the perfect choice for your cat. If you have any questions, feel free to ask your vet as they’ll be able to point you to the right food or brands.
Tips for Playing
During this part of your cat’s life, mental stimulation and play is a top priority. Interactive play needs to be a regular thing as it burns energy and will help decrease some unwanted behavior. Use food puzzles as they can help minimize any aggression in play, conflict with other cats, and annoying or demanding behavior. Be sure to engage all your cat’s senses.
Whether lounging on the couch or soaking up rays from an open window, a cat loves its comfort when sleeping. When it comes to sleeping the most, cats are the top sleepers in the animal kingdom. They may sleep from 16-20 hours a day. Their sleep does involve both REM and non-REM sleep. Unlike humans, their asleep is different. Even when kitty cats are dozing and completely zonked out, they are instinctively aware and ready to go.
No matter where your cat is in cat years, your feline companion depends on you to do what is best for them. Their actions during these tumultuous adolescent times are typical. Your kitten hasn’t lost their mind. They’ve just entered those cat years age or commonly referred to as their teen years. While your cat may seem like a handful, proper care and knowing how to handle your feline adversary will make it go a lot smoother and strengthen the bond between you both.
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