Signs Your Cat Is Getting Old
As cats age, there are typically some physical and behavioral markers that show that theyre getting older. Here are some of the feline signs of aging:
As cats get older, their teeth can turn yellow and plaque can build up, leading to dental problems. If you notice yellow stains on your cats teeth, it means that the cat is growing old. Tartar build-up is very common in cats over the age of 2. We already know that two cat years compared to human years is 24, therefore its completely normal for tartar build-up to appear. The greatest indicator that your cat is at its senior life stage is missing teeth. Cats teeth tend to fall out with age.
Another key indicator of aging in cats is their coat. As they grow older, cats fur may become thinner, patchier, and less lustrous. In addition, senior cats may start to groom themselves less often than they did when they were younger. As they get older they may have patches of graying fur and white marks.
If youre not sure how old your cat is, you can always turn to veterinarians for the cats stages of growth and development. They should be able to give you an estimate from cat to human years based on your cats physical appearance and health history.
|DID YOU KNOW: If you want to engage your indoor cat with the outside world while still keeping it secure, consider constructing an outdoor cat enclosure. This will allow it to enjoy the outdoors safely.|
Cat Years To Human Years In Detail
Have you ever wondered how old your cat is compared to human years? Cats age way faster than humans, even though they may still look young, they tend to age pretty quickly. Depending on if your cat lives indoors or outdoors that significantly changes her lifespan.Theres a common misconception that one cat year is equivalent to seven human years. Thats not correct. You can check a more appropriate comparison on the table below.
Important Note: You should also know that an outdoor cat ages way faster than cats that live indoors. The lifespan of cats that live outdoors is an average of only 2 to 6 years. They can live longer, but due to all the dangers they face, their lifespan becomes significantly reduced in comparison to cats that live indoors.
How To Calculate Your Cat’s Age In Human Years
At first it’s a little tricky, but then it gets very simple, Becker says. That’s because cats will develop rapidly in their first two years of their livesreaching the human equivalent of the mid-20s by the time they’re 2 years old.
Here’s how Becker lays out the process: A 1-year-old cat is the equivalent of a 15-year-old human. Then, a 2-year-old cat is 25 in human years. Then it gets much easier: Each year of a cat’s life is roughly equal to four human years, so a 3-year-old cat is about 29 a 4-year-old cat is 33 a 5-year-old cat is 37 and a 6-year-old cat is 41. And so on and so on. If your cat gets to 20, she’s around 97 human years old.
Unlike dogswho have different human age equivalents depending on their sizethe formula for cats is universal because they’re all roughly the same size.
To find out the exact human age of your cat, look at the chart below!
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How Do I Calculate My Cats Age In Human Years
So, if youre asking How old is my cat in human years? the calculation is fairly simple. Compared to dogs, which have greater variation based on size and breed, the method to calculate a cats age is pretty standard.
According to the American Animal Hospital Association , these age guidelines have been created and agreed upon by the AAHA, the Feline Advisory Bureau , and the American Association of Feline Practitioners :
- The first year of a cats life is equal to approximately 15 human years.
- The second year of a cats life is equal to an additional nine years.
- After the second year of a cats life, each additional year is equal to about four human years.
So, how old is your cat in human years? You can use our cat age to human years chart below to find out!
How To Keep Your Cat Young
Lifestyle and dietary factors greatly impact an animals health and their chances of living well into old age. Thats why Dr. McGonigle emphasizes preventative care for cats of all ages.
Disease prevention, a balanced diet and routine vet visitsall of those things can keep cats healthy for as long as their genetics allow, she says. Here are some tips:
- Be proactive. Preventative treatments for such parasites as heartworms, fleas and ticks are important. Why? Because fleas and ticks carry diseases, Dr. McGonigle says.
- Focus on diet. Though she doesnt endorse a particular brand of cat food, Dr. McGonigle recommends a premium, balanced diet that keeps in mind a cats unique nutritional needs.
- Go for regular checkups. As a general rule, cats should visit the vet once a year up to the age of seven, and twice a year for cats past that age. We can help extend their lives and keep up the quality of their lives, Dr. McGonigle says.
- Brush your cats teeth. This can be tricky, so its best to get them used to a toothbrush while theyre young. Dr. McGonigle says its for a good reason: Good dental health is associated with better overall health outcomes for cats. Learn how to brush your cats teeth here.
Cats should eat and drink regularly throughout their lives, Dr. McGonigle says. Abnormal food or water intake, especially if accompanied by weight loss, should prompt a visit to the vet.
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What A Cats Coat Says About Their Age
As cats age, their coats often begin to show some gray. In cats with light-colored coats, this change may not be noticeable, but for cats with dark coats, youâll begin to see some grey or white hairs where there werenât any before.
Older cats may begin to neglect their frequent grooming routines, leaving their coat looking dirtier or duller than it otherwise would.
Itâs not uncommon for a catâs fur to change texture as they get older. The fur may become thinner, less glossy, or more coarse. Sometimes these changes can be indicative of a health issue, such as kidney problems or malnutrition, so if you notice sudden changes, donât hesitate to contact your veterinarian.
Muscle Tone Another Cat Aging Factor
Muscle tone is another indication of how old your cat is. Kittens are typically quite lean and have not yet accumulated much muscle mass. Healthy adult cats typically have good muscle tone. They shouldnât have protruding bones, and their spine should be straight.
As cats enter their senior years itâs not uncommon for them to begin losing muscle. You may notice your senior catâs shoulder blades or hip bones begin to protrude more than they did previously. Often, senior cats arenât as active as they once were and thus they spend more time sleeping and less time exercising. Naturally, this leads to a loss in muscle definition.
While some muscle loss is normal, excessive muscle loss could be an indication of a serious health issue. Cats with poor nutrition or health problems such as kidney disease could struggle to maintain body weight and muscle tone. If you notice a sudden, significant decline in muscle mass in your aging cat, speak to your veterinarian.
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What Factors Affect My Cats Life Expectancy
A cat is a senior once theyve reached about 10-11 years old. Read our recommendations for taking care of a senior cat. To make sure your cat lives a long, happy life, you should closely monitor things like development, nutrition, physical exercise, and vaccinations.
Just like different lifestyles would impact a humans life expectancy, there are many factors that can shorten or lengthen a cats life. If you want to have more years of joy with your muffin, make sure you are careful about the following:
Routine medical checkups: Vaccines and other preventative measures are not the only times you should go to the vet. Your adorable kitty may continue to act adorable without seeming like theres something wrong with it. Its likely that you only notice when a certain underlying condition has progressed to the point of no effective treatment. Dont let that happen and take your cat to the vet for annual or bi-annual tests to rule out any suspicious conditions. If caught early, it can easily be treated.
You can also consider pet insurance to cover an unexpected illness. After all, your one in a million munchkin deserves the best chance at a healthy and happy life.
FAQ about cats age and cat years:
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Do indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats?
How can I tell if my cats a senior cat or an old cat?
There are a bunch of tell-tale signs indicating your cat is a senior or reaching the senior stage.
The final words
Ratio Of Cat Years To Human Years
There have been several debates on what the actual conversion of cat years to human years is. Given below is an easy explanation of the same.
- A typical cat grows very quickly in the first year.
- It attains maturity within this first year itself.
- The level of maturity of a year old cat is almost equal to the level of maturity of a 15-16 year old human being.
- So, 1 cat year = 15 human years.
- Now, in the second year, the cat grows at a fast pace, but slower than the first year. This is approximately around 8-9 human years for every cat year.
- So, a 2 year old cat can be said to be 24 years in human years.
- Gradually, this pace comes down to around 4 cat years for every human year. This means that an average, say, 7 year old cat can be said to be around 44 human years.
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How Old Is My Cat A Vets Perspective
Because every animal matures at a different rate, even veterinarians have trouble knowing for certain how many years, months and days a cat has been on the planet. They can, however, make a very educated guess.
When Im giving someone an estimate on their cats age, I tend to start by looking at the teeth, Barrack said. Teeth can be strong indicators of a cats potential age, especially in younger animals. A kittens baby teeth will usually start to come in when they around three weeks old, with all 26 being present by the time they are around six weeks old. Ages between three to six months can be determined by the rate at which the baby teeth are falling out and their permanent replacements are coming in.
If veterinarians see a full set of adult teeth, they usually assume the cat is at least six months old, and if those teeth are clean and sharp, the cat is likely younger than two. After that, however, things can get murky. Beyond age two it becomes a lot harder to tell the cats age by its teeth, Mears said.
Beyond the physical exam, lab work on older kitties can help veterinarians pinpoint a patients age. Kidney issues may show up around age ten, and hyperthyroid indicators a year or two later, however Mears said that he has seen these in cats as young as six or as old as 22.
When Is A Cat No Longer Considered A Kitten
Your kitten will develop so much in her first year it’s actually a little crazy.
“The first year is the terrible twos and the teenage years in one year,” Becker says.
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Adolescent Cat Age In Human Years
This is the stage that cats begin to mature regarding sexuality and behavior until they reach two years old. Below is the explanation:
- Seven to twelve months in your cats age represents twelve to fifteen years of human age.
- Twelve to eighteen months for your cat represents seventeen to twenty years for humans.
- Two years for cats is equivalent to 24 years for humans.
Do Indoor And Outdoor Cats Age The Same Way
Another factor that may play a role in how cats age is whether theyre indoor or indoor-outdoor cats. In fact, the AAHA actually states that this is a controversial topic and there is valid rationale behind both sides of the argument.
According to the AAHA, indoor cats are less likely to experience trauma and exposure to certain infectious diseases which may result in longer lifespans. On the other hand, indoor cats may be at a greater risk for illness due to environmental limitations.
For outdoor cats, the reverse is true. Although outdoor cats can benefit from a natural and stimulating environment, theyre at a much greater risk for trauma and exposure to disease.
Ultimately, its up to each cat parent to decide which of these lifestyle options works best for their cat, but its worth noting that this decision may contribute to the way your cat ages.
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How Long Your Cat Can Live For
Up until six months old, your pet is considered a kitten. Then, it goes from kitten to junior up to two years old. Around three to six, your cat enters its prime years of development, before moving into the mature stage of life, around seven to 10 years old. When your cat finally reaches its senior age , care begins to change more dramatically. In fact, your cats life begins to change even more so during the geriatric stage, when reaching a whopping 15 years of age and older.
Your cat can live for a long time, depending on lifestyle. Consider if your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, for instance. Some wild cats live for about four to five years, while many indoor cats live for about 13 to 17 years. Despite this, its not unusual for an indoor cat to live up to a long 20 years. If your cat is overweight, however, they are likely to live between 12 and 15 years old.
Kittens From Birth To Six Months
The first six months of a kitten’s life are filled with eye-opening experiencesliterally. A kitten’s eyes and ears open shortly after birth at around one to two weeks of age, and from there, its physical and mental development takes off. A kitten is exposed to sights, sounds, and smells just like that of a human infant. Each new animal, person, and object it comes in contact with helps to form its personality. Over the course of the next few weeks, the socialization skills of a kitten are greatly affected depending on all of these interactions and exposures.
After a kitten leaves its mother at about two to three months of age, it will start to become more independent and curious. It will explore its surroundings, get into a little trouble, and potentially chew on things it shouldn’t chew while its adult teeth are starting to erupt. Growth happens fast during these months and by the time a kitten is six months old, they are comparable to a 10-year-old child in age.
A series of vaccinations will need to be performed and kittens are typically spayed or neutered around six months of age. Most hereditary or congenital issues are usually discovered by your veterinarian during this time if there are any at all.
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Calculate Your Cats Age
Want to quickly calculate your cats age in human years? Use the dropdown box below to select your cats current age and then the box below will tell you how old your cat is in human years!
Note that is is an approximation only.
Nutmeg was from the UK and he led a really happy and uneventful life with a wonderful couple, Liz and Ian Finlay, who considered him their son. It wasnt until 2015 that he suffered a serious seizure and stroke. Nutmeg was treated by Westway Veterinary Centre in Newcastle and they helped him bounce back from the incident. Sadly, his health made a turn for the worse during the summer and he passed away on August 29, 2017. The Finlay family is completely heartbroken and do not plan to get another cat.
Do you have a cat that has lived a really long and vibrant life? Be sure you tell us about it in the comments or on Facebook!
How To Tell How Old A Cat Is If You Dont Know When They Were Born
Even if you canât be sure when your cat was born, itâs still possible to determine their age with relative accuracy. The state of your catâs teeth, coat, muscle tone, and eyes all offer insight into their age.
Using the tips below, you can work to identify your catâs life stage and then make an educated guess as to exactly how old your cat is.
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How Do I Calculate My Cat’s Age
To calculate cat age: