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Life stages

Life stages defined and frequency of examinations

International Cat Care and ISFM developed a set of life stages for cats, these life stages enable consistent use of terminology and also recognise with an average life expectancy of 14 years many cats will be living well into their late teens. The life stages take into account how cats mature both physically and behaviourally, along with the onset of common age-related changes and diseases. Six stages have been defined: Kitten, Junior, Adult, Mature, Senior and Super Senior. Individuals mature and age at different rates, so life stages should be regarded as guidelines, and not as absolutes.

The cat’s age can be expressed in terms of the human equivalent, which helps owners to consider and understand the risks of certain diseases and which they should be look out for. Charts and posters are available to use in the clinic and on the clinic’s social media platforms. Clear recommendations are made to owners about the frequency of routine examinations that should be undertaken at each of these life stages.