How long do cats live ?

Like humans, a cat goes through various life stages. The different stages are much shorter than a human due to a cat's life span.
During the first few weeks after birth, a kitten will gain 3 ounces a week. Its main source of nourishment is its mother's milk. The mother will keep it warm and clean, licking it from head to toe. At 3 weeks, the kitten will be able to stand, eat solid food and use a litter box. At 4 weeks, it will begin to walk and use its tail for balance. Soon after, it is jumping and climbing. At 6 weeks, it is fully weaned. Between 8 to 12 weeks, it can be separated from the litter completing most of its physical development.

At 18 months, adolescence begins. Its energy level becomes more a mellow, routine pace. A male reaches sexual maturity between 9 and 12 months. A female reaches it at 10 months. If a cat is not spayed or neutered, breeding difficulties are usually due to its solitary nature. The ability of a female cat to become pregnant is related to its exposure to daylight. A cat living near the equator can get pregnant anytime while others go through periods of fertility or heat.
An 11 year old cat is 60 years old in human years. Aches and pains, health problems, decrease in fertility and weight gain or loss start to occur. Health care and dietary changes start to occur when a cat is 8 years old. With proper care, it can live over 20 years.
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