Cat years to human years: How old is my cat, really?

If your cat is a rescue, you’re bound to find yourself wondering How old is my cat? While the number may not matter, having some idea of your cat’s age (in cat years and human years) can help you anticipate their needs and provide them with everything they require for a healthy and happy life.

Below you’ll learn how cat’s age in relation to humans, simple tips for honing in on your cat’s age, and what you can do to help ensure your cat lives a long life at your side.

Table of contents

  • How to calculate cat age in human years
  • Cat years chart: Cat age to human years
  • How to tell how old a cat is if you don’t know when they were born
    • Teeth
    • Coat
    • Muscle Tone
    • Eyes
  • How do cats age?
  • Signs of a senior cat
  • How long can cats live? How long do cats live on average?
  • How to make your cat live longer?

How to calculate cat age in human years

It’s commonly stated that one human year is the equivalent of 7 cat years. This is an effort to demonstrate that cats age more quickly than humans. However, they do not age proportionately.

Cats reach maturity at a much faster rate than humans in the beginning of their lives. Once they reach adulthood, their aging slows down.

It’s difficult to draw a direct comparison between a cat’s age and its human equivalent, but the general consensus is that a cat ages the equivalent of 15 human years in the first year of their life.

By the end of their second year, a cat is thought to be the equivalent of 24 or 25 human years.

From 2 years on, experts believe cats age at a rate of approximately 4 human years per cat year.

Cat years chart: Cat age to human years

Keeping track of your cat’s aging can be confusing, so we’ve created this handy chart to help you compare your cat’s age to the corresponding human years. Understanding how old a cat is in human years can help you understand their current life stage and better predict their needs.

cat years to human years: cat years chart

How to tell how old a cat is if you don’t know when they were born 

Even if you can’t be sure when your cat was born, it’s still possible to determine their age with relative accuracy. The state of your cat’s teeth, coat, muscle tone, and eyes all offer insight into their age.

Using the tips below, you can work to identify your cat’s life stage and then make an educated guess as to exactly how old your cat is.



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