Aging is a natural process that occurs to every creature present on this Earth, and cats are no exception to it. When you bring a kitten or a cat home from a shelter home or street, you are unaware of its age. But it is a fact that the activities, dietary, and healthcare needs of cats change at every stage of their life as they age. Hence, it is crucial to know to take your cat to the vet and determine its age in years so that you can take care of your cat accordingly.
People are always engrossed by the cat age. Many people ask what is the age of the cat in human years. Apart from this, some people believe that every human year equals seven cat years. However, it is not true; cats don’t age as a human, and you can’t predict the age of your cat, especially if you’re not a vet. Sometimes, even vets can’t predict the exact age of a cat, but a vet can give a precise estimate about your cat’s age.
Since cats develop faster, the rate of aging of cats and humans are quite different. To be more precise, the very first few years of a cat’s life is longer than the human adult years. If you want to know more about cat years and how it is related to human years, keep reading; this article will help in explaining the cat years to human years in detail.
How to determine your cat’s age in human years?
There is no reliable method to convert the cat years to human years. But people have now agreed that there is a difference in aging. The first two years of a cat’s life is actually equal to the 25 years of human age. After that, every year, the age is increased at the rate of 4 cat years’ additionally. For example, when calculating the age of 6 years old cat in human age, it will be equivalent to 41 years. Based on various experiments, cat enthusiasts and other vets concluded that the world’s oldest cat lived up to 34 years, which is equivalent to 153 human years.
What is the lifespan of cats?
Cats usually live longer compared to any other pets. However, maintenance plays an important role when it comes to longevity. Most of the cats seem to be generally living between 12-18 years. However, in the majority of the case, when cats are well maintained, their life expectancy goes up to 20 years. Only in the infrequent occurrence, they tend to live longer than that. Also, we are talking about indoor cats here. But it is scientifically proven that the cats that are exposed or living outdoor tend to live less long than the indoor ones.
How do I calculate my cat’s age?
People typically have a misconception that a one human year cat is equal to the seven cat years. But this seems to be wrong. Because considering various aspects, the one-year-old cats seem to be more mature than a seven-year-old kid. That’s how the conclusion was made, which led to various experiments conducted later.
Suppose if you are adopting a cat or bringing a stray cat home, then you may be uncertain about the age. If you take them to the vet, they will conduct certain physical exams and tests to confirm their age. Here are some of the crucial tests one must run to affirm the age.
- Cats’ teeth: Teeth are the first indicator of a cat’s age. Even, you can check on the cat’s teeth and approximately understand the age of a cat. Generally, older cats do have some stains on their teeth. It is also evident that the previous owners have not really paid attention to oral care. But what makes the difference is that the younger cats have white teeth, and it’s complete. If the cat is four months old, the teeth can be super-white, clean, and fresh. If there is a slight yellowish tinge on the teeth, you can proclaim that the cat is almost 1 or 2 years old. If you find the cat has built up a tartar layer upon the teeth, then it confirms that the cat is of age between three and five. Additionally, senior cats tend to lose their teeth because of aging, or sometimes, they have broken teeth.
- Cat’s eye: Many cat owners have agreed that they love their cat’s eye. They are shiny, bright, and clear. Most people even chose to pet the cat because of its endearing eyes and looks. But this is for the kittens and the younger cats, not for the senior cats. The reason behind it is that when they grow, which is after 6-7 years, they form slight cloudiness in the eyes. As a result, they have some eyesight problems. However, a cat may have cloudy eyes either due to some health problems or aging. With the iris testing, this will become clearer. The young cats have smooth iris, and pupil movement is usually recorded to determine the age.
- Muscle tone: Since their activity levels are higher, younger cats tend to have a defined muscle structure. They are strong and flexible. But in the case of older cats, it becomes weaker, and after some days, they lose muscles and become bonier. You can also see that the extra skin is hanging out from the shoulder, which is a sure sign of aging.
- Cat’s coat: This is very simple, and you can identify the difference quickly. The cat’s fur can easily reveal age. If they are soft, fine, and firm, then the cat is younger. But if you find their hair being weak and having patches, it means the cat is older. The mid-age cats have very thicker fur compared to the kittens and older ones.
These are some of the easy ways to find out the approximate age of your cat. It is always better to know the age as you can provide them with food and nutrition based on that.
Why knowing the cat’s age is important?
There are different developmental stages in a cat’s life. At each specific age, their needs and requirements, both physically and mentally, will change. It is the most crucial reason why you need to figure out the age. For better understanding, here is the table that you may need.
|Stage in Cat’s life||Cat’s age||Human age|
|Kitten||From birth to 6 months old||0 to 10 years of development|
|Junior||From 7 months to 2 years||12 years kid to 24 years adult|
|Prime||From 3-6 years old||28 years adult to 40 years matured man|
|Mature||From 7-10 years old||Between 44 years man to 56 years old|
|Senior||From 11-14 years old||Aging of 60 years to 72 years old man|
|Geriatric||15+ years old||Between 76 years to 100+ odd years of growth|
From birth until they are 6-months old
It is considered an important age in a cat’s life as they will be open to numerous experiences. You can see that at this age, the cat’s eyes and ears are shortly opened. Physical and mental development is created slowly. They are open to sounds, sights, and smells. When you bring kittens home, it is easy for you to train them, especially for better socialization. Help them create a complete personality during this stage.
You can always teach them what you want them to be. After three months, the cats can become independent. You can introduce litter boxes, a regular bowl for eating wet food, and a place where they can sleep. But at the same time, you need to be careful because they become highly curious and start chewing things around. Importantly, take them to the vet for all vaccination so that they can grow healthy and active.
From 7 months to two years old
It is the period when the cats are developing to the double-digit of human age. Here is when they continue testing boundaries. There is nothing called off-limits to them. Most pet parents complain during this age as they are naughty and seek more attention. They tend to push and pull everything, fight with fellow pets, and typically a brat. At this stage, give them interactive toys to play with, which will help make them active, and you can easily distract them from pushing things. Cat tunnel is found to be an exciting concept that the cats may love.
When a cat is one year old, it is literally entering an adult size. So, the preference automatically changes. Ensure that you don’t put him/her on the loose end. Create habits with them for all the essentials. Dental cleaning, occasional grooming along vet care are some of the essential things that they may needs.
From three years to six years old
Prime cats are adult cats, although they aren’t categorized as seniority. They know their responsibilities. If you haven’t created any habits, then they are not going to learn anymore. Usually, they become trouble-free. However, this is a crucial stage for health concerns. During this age, they are commonly found to develop some chronic disorders. If they haven’t taken the nutrition properly, their muscles will become weak. Vets say kidney dysfunctions are common, and hence, they have indigestion problems.
If taken treatments regularly or provided with healthy food and exercise, they will manage to be the healthiest one. Also, make sure that you groom them once or twice a week to ensure that they don’t lose hair during this phase.
From seven to ten-year-old
When your cat reaches about seven or eight years old, some vets may consider them as seniors, but cats live in their late teens; they aren’t seniors yet. However, at this stage, a complete transition in behavior can be seen. They hunt, guard, and take care of the younger ones. They become less playful but become very attached to their owners. They wanted more attention and love to explore new places. If they are not grown up socializing, they may not be welcoming to any other new pets at home at this age.
Since cats are prone to diseases at this age, you need to introduce supplements that will boost their immune system overall. Supplements like Pet Naturals are easy to chew for cats while they improve overall health, including the respiratory systems.
When they are nine or ten years old, they start growing silent. You have to be highly conscious of health. Most cats develop heart problems during this stage. Take them to vets regularly and have them thoroughly checked every month. Their appetite becomes less, but never forget to feed them with good nutritious food.
From eleven to fourteen years
Now they are getting the ticket to enter senior age. All the common problems both mentally and physically arise in this stage. Just like humans, their weaken joints are the first symptom of their seniority. Slowly the organs start to function less. Their routines become the activities, and apart from that, there are no signs of any other work. Dietary changes are absolutely necessary for them during their senior age. Commonly since they have indigestion, it is requested to transform to wet food and something highly nutritious slowly. Give them whole nutritious foods like Purina Pro Plan, which is rich in proteins, fiber, and all other nutrients required for adult cats. Talk to the vets to understand the transitions and plan regular checkups.
From fifteen to twenty years
The 15 years and older cats are real survivors. With proper nutrition and well-maintenance, they can even survive longer. But this is absolutely a time for their calmness and peace. You know that they are not going to create any trouble. They always wanted to stick with their owner no matter what. They cannot survive without supplements during this age. Slowly, they tend to lose the ability to hear first, followed by the vision. Most cats tend to sleep longer, and in fact, that will be most of their day. Also, the vets say during this age, they have cognitive dysfunction. Just like a human, they tend to cry suddenly at night, uncontrollably urinate, and more. Special attention is needed during this age.
These are some of the critical developmental stages in a cat’s life. Hence, it is essential to know the cat’s age in human years. So, you can find them what they undergo being from their shoes.
If your cats are living for more than twenty years, then you must consider yourself lucky. In fact, you must be proud of how well you have maintained them and provided them with proper nutrition. You are one of the reasons why they have survived so long. If you are bringing a kitten home, then basically, you are going to grow up with them. The only thing that differs is that they grow faster than you. That’s how cat years are one of the essential factors you should consider before you choose to adopt the cats.