How Old is a Cat in Human Years

How Old is a Cat in Human Years

Have you ever just wondered how old your cat would be if he was a human? This is something that many cat owners ponder on from time to time, but the good news is that there is a way to calculate their age based on a human’s age. While people popularly assume that cats age like dogs, and that each year of their life equates to about seven human years. This couldn’t be more wrong. Actually, felines age very quickly, especially during the first couple of years of their life. Because of this, it is a little bit more difficult to accurately estimate ‘cat years’.

Calculating Cat Years


The way you go about calculating cat years can be pretty confusing, so we will break it down for you.

Since cats age more rapidly during the first couple years of their life, it is said that they reach the age of around 15 human years by the end of their first calendar year of life. By the end of their second calendar year, they will be around 24 years of age in human years. After the first couple of years, it slows down tremendously.

Cats age around four human years per calendar year once their aging slows down. With that in mind, if your cat was 6 years old in human years, he would be around 40 years old in ‘cat years’.

Do Some Cats Age Faster?

Another factor that you must take into consideration when calculating a cat’s age in cat years is the fact that cats that live outdoors will age a lot faster than indoor cats. In fact, they can age as much as two times faster. If you want your cat to age slowly, it is best to keep them indoors. This not only helps to ensure that they are safer, but it can also increase their life expectancy since indoor cats tend to live longer than outdoor cats.

Determining Your Cat’s Age

If you are not sure of the age of your cat, there are a few distinguishing features that you can look at to determine their approximate age. Here are just a few indicators:

1. Coat – A young cat will typically have a very soft coat that is made up of fine hairs. Older cats will grow thicker fur that is coarser in texture. Sometimes, older cats may even have discoloration in their fur, and may even have grey strands or white patches throughout their fur.

2. Muscles – You may also want to look at your cat’s muscle tone. Kittens and young cats are more likely to have better muscle tone because they stay more active. As cats age, they may get bonier and have less tone in their muscles because the activity level slows down a whole lot.

3. Teeth – This is probably one of the best ways to indicate your cat’s age. Older cats will usually have yellower teeth, especially if they have not had proper dental care over the years. Kittens get their permanent teeth when they are around four months old, and typically if the teeth are still really white they are still only around a year old in human years. If you notice some yellowing, then they could possibly be between the ages of 1 and 2, and cats with tartar and lots of yellowing will usually be between the ages of 3 and 5. If you notice that your cat has missing teeth, they could be even older than 5 in human years.

While it may be difficult for you to look at your cat and be able to tell their age based on their teeth, coat or muscle tone, a veterinarian has a trained eye for it.

They will usually be able to give you a good estimation that will be pretty close to your cat’s actual age. It is so important to understand your cat’s age and developmental stage, because you need to base their nutrition off of their current dietary requirements for their life stage.

Determining Your Cat’s Age

The Lifespan of an Average Cat

Now that you know more about how to calculate your cat’s age in human years and how to determine how old your cat is, you may want to know how long you can expect your cat to live.

The truth is that the average lifespan of a cat will vary greatly depending on a lot of different factors. Indoor cats will usually live anywhere between 12 and 18 years in human years, although many live into their 20’s. Outdoor cats, however, have a lower average of about 10 years in human years because they face more dangers.

The Stages of a Cat’s Life

There are essentially six stages of a cat’s life. They include:

  • Kittens – from 0 to 6 months of age – during this stage, growth is rapid and sexual maturity has not been reached.
  • Junior – from 6 months to 2 years of age – during this stage, cats will reach their full size and learn survival skills.
  • Prime – from 3 to 6 years of age – during this stage, physical and behavioral maturity is reached, and they are in their ‘prime’ so to speak.
  • Mature – from 7 to 10 years of age – during this stage, you could compare a cat to a person in their mid 40’s or early 50’s.
  • Senior – from 11 to 14 years of age –during this stage, cats are elderly and typically close to being around 70 years in cat years.
  • Geriatric – over 15 years of age – while not all cats reach this stage of life, some do and some are still thriving.

As you can see, there is a whole lot that goes into why cat’s age the way they do. Calculate your cat’s age and see where they fall in human years! Feel free to comment your cat’s age in human years to compare with other’s!



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Misty Weldon

Misty Weldon

They say some people are ‘dog people’ and others are ‘cat people’. I’m a cat person! I got my first cat when I was in the 2nd grade. I had to beg my mom to let me keep him. He was an orange tabby, and I have been partial to them ever since! We currently have three cats.

Being a cat person, I am always trying to learn more about why cats do the things they do. Cats are such loving animals, but they can be so fickle. I guess I can kind of relate to their behavior, and that is probably what attracts me to them.

Misty Weldon

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