It’s easy to see in a cat’s first year of life how fast they grow up! But a popular misconception is that cats age seven years in human years for each year on the calendar. But cat years to human years isn’t a simple one-to-one conversion rate. In fact, cats age much quicker in their first two years of life! But before we get to the converting, we need to know how old the kitty is first.
Cat Age Indicators
When you adopt a cat, it can be easy to tell the difference between a kitten and a senior. But what about everything in between? A three-year-old cat and a seven-year-old cat can look very similar. So how can you, or more likely a vet, know how old your kitty is?
- The Cat’s Coat: The coat is an easy first way to identify how old a cat is. If the coat is silky and soft it’s likely a kitten or young cat. A coarser, thicker coat is more common on older cats. A senior cat will likely have white and gray patches.
- The Cat’s Muscle Tone: Younger cats will have more muscle definition from running around and playing, and older cats will likely be a bit bonier and have extra skin hanging from them.
- The Cat’s Teeth: This is the best indicator of a kitty’s age and where your vet will probably come in handy. Older cats will tend to have more staining than younger cats. And a kitten’s first teeth first come in around two-four weeks. Their more permanent teeth will come in at around four months. If you open your kitty’s mouth and see some big sharp, pearly whites, you’ve probably got a one-year-old. If there’s a little staining, then maybe a 1 to 2-year-old. Tartar build-up on all teeth might mean 3-5. And any missing teeth would indicate your kitty is likely a senior!
Cat Years to Human Years
So, if you know how old your kitty is (or you’ve at least got a ballpark estimate) then you can figure out how old they are in human years! Knowing these conversions helps us and owners know how old the cat is on the inside since it can be hard to tell on the outside. (On the left will be the kitty’s real age, and on the right, their human age.)
How Old is Your Cat?
- Kitten: 0-6 months ………………. 0 – 10 years
- Junior: 7 months – 2 years ………12 – 24 years
- Prime: 3 – 6 years ……………………28 – 40 years
- Mature: 7 – 10 years ………………… 44 – 56 years
- Senior: 11 – 14 years …………………. 60 – 72 years
- Super Senior: 15+ years ……………76 – 100+ years
Converting cat years to human years is pretty incredible! If you adopt a young kitten before you know it, they’ll be grown up and even older than you (in human years, of course). This isn’t just fun information to figure out. Since our kitties age pretty quickly, this can be good information to know so we can help keep them feeling fit, healthy, and young!
Keeping Your Cat Young
Of course, you can’t avoid the inevitable aging process. Knowing their age (and internal age) is just the first step of keeping your cat fit. Now that’s figured out, there are a few other things you can do to help keep kitty trucking well past 15 years!
- Regular Vet Checkups. You probably are friendly with your cat’s vet, but the older they get the more friendly you’ll become! Don’t forget to bring your kitty to its regular check-ups especially as they age. They become even more important since the vet can identify early diseases and problems in older pets.
- Watch for Illness. Cats are extremely talented at hiding their illness until it’s too late. So make sure as your cat gets older, you become keenly aware of when their routines are off. This could mean changes in their water consumption and bathroom patterns, loss of appetite, weight gain or loss, changes in activity level, and skin lumps and masses. If you feel unsure or have concerns about anything, the vet is always there to help! Playing it safe is the best way to keep a healthy and young-spirited kitty.
- Excercise! An active kitty leads to a younger-looking and feeling kitty! Exercise helps maintain a healthy body weight, strengthens joints and muscles, and provides some mental stimulation.
- More Mental Stimulation. Most cats are never too old to play. So provide them with laser toys to chase, treat puzzles to try and crack, and obstacle courses for them to navigate. Mental stimulation will keep their mind sharp well into their super senior years!
How old is your cat in human years? Be sure to let us know on our Instagram!
Don’t forget to check out our range of Car Cuties to find your kitty’s twin!