January 24, 2019 3 min read
Pet parents do all they can to ensure their pets live long, happy lives - giving them all the cuddles, treats and nutrition they deserve. It’s important to understand how your pet’s life expectancy compares to yours to allow us to give our animals the best care we can.
For cat parents, this means converting cat years to human years. You’ll know when your feline friend is a playful teenager or a senior citizen which will allow you to provide for them accordingly.
Before you ask, “How old is my cat in cat years,” the first step is to understand your kitty’s lifespan. Thanks to advancements in pet medicine and nutrition, domestic cats are living longer than ever. Experts say that cats can live up to a range of 10-18 years.
This means that your cat can be by your side for a good while. In North America, the average human lifespan is 77 to 81 years old meaning your whiskered friend could be around for at least an eighth of your lifetime.
Of course, there are a couple of factors that could vary how long your pet lives. The most important to consider is whether your cat is an indoor-only or outdoor pet. It’s also important to consider breed and whether your cat is spayed or neutered.
Cats, as all cat parents know, are complex creatures. They actually experience childhood and most of their adolescence within their first year of life. At 18 months old, your cat is a fully fledged young adult!
This makes converting cat years to human years a little tricky at first. But remember, understanding your fur baby takes time and care.
First of all - what are cat years? Essentially, “cat years” describe how long a feline has been alive. It’s calculating a cat’s age in “human years” that really describes a cat’s biological age in terms that humans can understand.
So, it’s not about converting human years to cat years - it’s about converting cat years to human years.
There isn’t a single, exact conversion rate to change cat years to human years, but the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners provide a simple guideline.
By a cat’s first birthday, your feline friend is already 15 human years old. By year two, your pet is 24 in human terms. It’s almost as if a cat’s first two years are on fast forward.
But after year two, things get a little easier. Once your cat is 24 in human years, add four human years for every actual year after that. So, for example, your cat is 28 on its third birthday and 32 on its fourth.
According to Vet West Animal Hospitals, an indoor cat’s lifespan averages 12 to 18 years. Generally speaking, indoor-only pets live longer than outdoor pets, simply because they are less exposed and less susceptible to outdoor accidents and diseases.
Keeping your whiskered friend indoors also protects them from anxiety induced by inconsistent food, water, and attention. However, there are other sources of stress for indoor cats - change in environment, change in routine or even change in the people they’re around. These factors can have adverse effects on both behavior and physical health.
Making sure your cat is comfortable is a top priority. Eliminating stressors is a surefire way to rid your companion of anxiety; but sometimes, it isn’t clear what may be causing distress.
Natural and homeopathic remedies can help de-stress your cat. These include flower essences, herbs and, more recently cannabidiol (CBD oil). It’s important to consult your veterinarian before beginning any of these treatments.
In particular, CBD for cats is a strong approach to combat health complications. CBD is a non-toxic, natural compound extracted from the cannabis/hemp plant that does not yield psychoactive effects. Cannabidiol has proven its power against human health issues - the same has been found for CBD oil for cats.
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When using CBD for cats’ anxiety, it’s important to know the exact CBD oil dosage for cats. The average cat weighs below 10 pounds, so a minimum dosage - approximately 1 milligram or a single drop of oil - is best. And remember to be patient with your companion, as results may not show within the first hour.
There are plenty of other uses for CBD oil for your cat beside anxiety. Cannabidiol can combat pain, loss of appetite, all of which can be direct causes or effects of a cat’s stress. CBD for cats is an all-encompassing remedy, able to target physical, mental and emotional issues.