Your Adult Cat: What to Expect at 1-2 Years

Cat Playing With Toy
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By age 1, your cat is in the prime of his life! If you have had your cat since he was a kitten, you’ve endured the teenage phase, and now you’re ready to reap the rewards of your patience and training. So sit back and enjoy your cat.

Physical and Mental Development

Whether chasing prey or dust bunnies, all cats love the game of pursuit. Cats never lose their keen fascination with movement, light and shadows, and the element of surprise. Don’t forget to play with your cat just because he seems to have outgrown the playful kitten stage. Active play prevents boredom and helps control destructive behavior.

Your cat’s body is fully developed now. Mature cat eyes see far better than human eyes, especially in the dark, and cats also hear better than we do. Hopefully, your cat has already been spayed or neutered, which prevents unwanted pregnancy and offers other health benefits. A good way to bond with your cat, now that he is calmer and has settled down, is to brush him. Most cats love to be stroked, and regular brushing removes loose hair and reduces the likelihood of hairballs. Longhaired cats may require a wide-toothed comb to remove mats and tangles.

Behavior Changes

Three behaviors you might notice now are hissing, hiding and kneading. Cats hiss and spit to communicate their dislike for a potential competitor or enemy, human or animal. Your cat hisses or spits hoping to avoid, not incite, a fight. He will resume his normal posture and behavior when the threat disappears.

Cats also like to hide in high places, a result of years of learning the advantage of high ground as an escape from predators. Even though your cat hopefully has nothing to fear in your house, he may seek shelter in a high cupboard or on a high shelf. You may also notice that your cat likes to knead your arm or leg with his paws. Kittens knead their mothers while nursing, and adult cats find alternate paw prodding to be a calming stress reducer.

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