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How do I know how old my cat is? This question worries those who pick up stray animals on the street or take a pet from a shelter.
What are the signs that can determine the age of a cat, to calculate how old he is by human standards? You will find answers to these questions in our post.
How to tell the cat’s age
By the teeth
Teeth are an indicator of cat age (the method works best for determining the age of a kitten). Vets most often use them to determine the age of an animal.
- If you find only the first milk incisors in a kitten’s mouth, he is 2 to 4 weeks old.
- If milk canines are found near the incisors, you have a kitten who is 3 to 4 weeks old.
- The presence of premolars indicates an age of 4-6 weeks.
- If the baby teeth change into permanent teeth, but molars have not yet erupted – the kitten is 3 to 4 months old.
- White, healthy permanent teeth indicate six months to one year of age. There should be no tartar or signs of wear on them.
- A slight yellowing of the enamel and erased middle incisors of the lower jaw indicate the age of 2 years.
- The presence of tartar on all teeth and abrasion of the central incisors of the upper jaw – 3-5 years.
- If the enamel pigmentation is disturbed and the outer incisors of the upper jaw are erased, you have a 6-7 year old animal.
- Severe yellowing and wear on all teeth, as well as the absence of some teeth is over the age of 10.
- Fallen out canines indicate an advanced age of 15-18 years.
Keep in mind that teeth are not an absolutely accurate indicator of a cat’s age. They may be in poor condition due to improper care of the animal, or conversely, snow white teeth may mislead you in calculating the age and only indicate that the animal is well cared for.
By sexual maturity
If your cat is trying to mark his territory and urine has a strong odor, he’s sexually mature (usually around 5 to 6 months old).
Fully mature cats are very affectionate and let out a loud meow. They begin their heat, calling for potential grooms, from the age of 5 to 12 months.
According to the type of hair
The coat of younger cats is soft and thin. With age, the coat becomes coarser and the color may become lighter or darker. Older animals, like people, have gray hair. It may be individual white or gray hairs, as well as whole spots.
By the eyes
Young individuals usually have clear bright eyes. With age, you may notice a change in eye color or the presence of clouding, iris pigmentation disorders. If the cat is more than 6 years old, her eye lenses become denser. This can be seen with an ophthalmoscope.
After the age of 10, iris clouding can be seen with the naked eye.
By body type
Age-related changes affect the entire body. The following conclusions can be drawn from the pet’s body condition:
- young animals tend to be more muscular and leaner because of a higher level of activity;
- middle-aged cats are more well-fed and rounded, but the muscular corset is well felt;
- older animals have severely protruding bones in the shoulder girdle and flabby, and wrinkled skin.
Activity level, daily routine (alternation of sleep and wakefulness) can also tell owners the approximate age of the cat.
Behavioral signs that help to tell a cat’s age:
- Young animals are usually more playful and inquisitive. They alternate periods of daytime sleep with long periods of wakefulness.
- The middle-aged animals have not yet lost interest in the world around them, but they behave in a more reserved and cautious manner.
- Older cats are less active, they spend most of their time sleeping. They often confuse day and night.
- Fear, anxiety and aggressive behavior are more common for older animals.
The age of the cat compared to the human
Cats tend to grow up quickly. One year after they are born, they are fully developed and reach puberty. Therefore, in comparison to humans, a cat’s childhood is extremely short.
There are several versions of tables in the public domain, in which the cat’s age corresponds to the human age. We will cite two, which seem to us the most trustworthy.
Our tables allow you to know how old a cat is by human standards.
The first option
In this table, the first year of a cat’s life is equal to 15 human years.
The calculation goes on as follows:
2 years – 24 years
3 years – 28 years
4 years – 32 years
5 years – 36 years
6 years – 40 years
7 years – 44 years
8 years – 48 years
9 years – 52 years
10 years – 56 years
11 years – 60 years
12 years – 64 years
13 years – 68 years
14 years – 72 years
15 years – 76 years
16 years – 80 years
17 years – 84 years
18 years – 88 years
19 years – 92 years
20 years – 96 years
Here the countdown is from one month of age:
1 month – 6 months
2 months – 10 months
3 months – 2 years
4 months – 5 years
5 months – 8 years
6 months – 14 years
7 months – 15 years
8 months – 16 years
1 year – 18 years
2 years – 25 years
3 years – 30 years
4 years – 35 years
5 years – 40 years
6 years – 43 years
7 years – 45 years
8 years – 50 years
9 years – 55 years
10 years – 60 years
11 years – 62 years
12 years – 65 years
13 years – 68 years
14 years – 72 years
15 years – 74 years
16 years – 76 years
17 years – 78 years
18 years – 80 years
20 years – 100 years
Choose any table and count how many human years your cat has lived.
What affects the life expectancy of a cat
Your pet’s longevity is affected for many reasons: heredity, quality of life, including the quality of nutrition and care in general.
The life expectancy of cats tends to increase and is about 12-19 years.