If you want to take good care of your cat, it is really important that you understand at which stage of his/her life he/she is.
The easiest way for us to do so is to draw a comparison between cat years and human years. That’s why the common question:
How old is my cat in human years?
In the past, many people adapted to cats the 7-year rule, that was originally made for dogs. However, it is now clear that the 7-year rule is a misleading over-simplification.
That’s because cats age much faster during the first two years of their lives than in subsequent years. Indeed, a simple rule of thumb to use is that the first two years of a cat’s life are roughly equal to 24 human years. After that, each cat year can be translated into 4 human years.
As an example, if your cat is four years old, you can consider the first two years as 24 human years, and the following 2 cat years as 8 human years. The total will be 32 human years (24+8).
But we know that nobody likes to do calculations! Here’s why we created this cute little table for you to check every time you are wondering.
What age does the average cat live up to?
An important premise to this question is that indoor cats tend to live longer than outdoor ones. Also depending on the breed, there will be variations in life expectancy.
In any case, in general, the indoor cat lives 16 to 18 years. At the same time, it is not too uncommon for cats to live up to 20 years old (that’d be around 96 human years as you can see in our chart).
How old is my Cat in Cat years?
If you adopted or rescued a cat it is usually recommended to bring the cat to a vet for a checkup. As you do your vet will surely be able to estimate your cat’s age.
If you want to learn to figure that out yourself, below are a few things to look out for.
Check the teeth
While not perfect, teeth are usually one of the best markers to get a rough idea of a cat’s age.
- If a kitten shows no signs of teeth he’s likely 3 weeks or younger as teeth start to show up around two to four weeks
- Kitten’s permanent white teeth show up at around four months of age
- If you see a few yellow stains on teeth, it is likely that the cat you are looking at is around one or two years old
- If you see stains on all teeth, the cat is at least three to five years old
- Missing teeth are usually a clear signal that you are looking at a senior cat, likely between 10 to 15 years old
Other indicators that you can check
In addition to the cat’s teeth, here are a couple more things that you could take a look at when determining a cat’s age.
- Eyes → If you see any sign of cloudiness on the eye’s lens, it’s likely that you are looking at a senior cat
- Coat → As cats age, they tend to become less thorough with their grooming habits, so checking if the coat is well-groomed can be a strong signal of the age of a cat