Annual Physical Exams for Cats

How to Determine Your Cat’s Age in Cat Years

Ever been curious how old your cat is in cat years versus human years? Well, there’s no absolute or reliable scientific calculation for determining exactly how old your cat is in cat years, but there are good calculations that come close to estimating your cat’s approximate age. So here’s how to determine your cat’s age in cat years.

What Factors Determine How a Cat Ages?

There are many factors that go into a cat’s aging and lifespan including how well they have been cared for, whether they are indoor or outdoor cats, their daily diet and quality of food, whether they have received good veterinary care and annual wellness exams, whether chronic diseases and short-term illnesses have been treated in a timely manner, if they have received good dental care, the environmental stresses they have been subjected to, and their genetic predisposition to disease. A cat’s normal lifespan varies greatly, but one thing to remember in determining a cat’s age is outdoor cats age far more quickly than indoor cats—some research suggests even twice as fast, due to the many stresses and risks they encounter daily. Outdoor cats can live an average of 8 to 12 years, whereas indoor cats can live an average of 14 to 20 years, with many surviving into their 20s.

In general terms, a 1-year-old cat is approximately 15 in cat years and a 2-year-old cat is 24 in cat years. Beyond this, your cat ages approximately four “cat years” for every human year. So, if you have an 8-year-old cat, your cat would be approximately 56 in cat years and well into middle age.

Stages of a Cat’s Life

According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), there are six stages of a cat’s life:

KITTEN – Birth to 6 months (0 – 10 cat years)
JUNIOR – 7 months to 2 years (12 – 24 cat years)
PRIME – 3 years to 6 years (28 – 40 cat years)
MATURE – 7 years to 10 years (44 – 56 cat years)
SENIOR – 11 years to 14 years (60 – 72 cat years)
GERIATRIC – 15 years to 25 years (76 – 116 cat years)

How To Determine Your Cat's Age in Cat Years
Life Stages in Cats
Cat Calculator to Determine a Cat’s Age

If you’re curious exactly how old your cat is, you can calculate your cat’s age using the CalculatorCat:

How to Improve Your Cat’s Lifespan

You can significantly improve your cat’s lifespan and help them live a longer, happier life by making sure your cat:

  • Gets spayed or neutered
  • Goes to the vet at least once a year for a wellness exam (senior cats every six (6) months)
  • Is given a high-quality diet including premium wet cat food (and dry)
  • Is given ample fresh water daily
  • Has ample cat toys, cat climbers, cat trees, cat scratching posts, can look at windows and stay mentally and emotionally stimulated
  • Gets prompt medical care and treatment if your cat shows any signs of suffering, ailing, sickness or is in pain
  • Is kept indoors to reduce all the hazards to cats outside
  • Make sure kittens receive appropriate FVRCP vaccine series and 1-year old cats get their FVRCP booster
  • Gets lots of affection, attention, playtime and care!