The adage that a cat's lifespan is equivalent to seven human years is probably something you heard of. You might not be aware that this is a cat myth that many of us have come to accept. A one-year-old cat is considerably more mature than a seven-year-old child, but one human year corresponds to seven "cat years."
Find out in this article how old they are in human years and everything else related to that.
How many cat years are in a human year?
It's not as easy to use a factor of 7 to convert between cat years and human years (as some people think with dogs, and sometimes cats). The primary cause is that cats mature swiftly in their first two years of life.
An acceptable way is to add 15 years for the first year of life to convert the cat age to an equivalent human age. Then, to account for the second year of life, add 10 years. For every year a cat lives after that, add 4 years. Accordingly, by the second year, a cat is almost the same age as a human who is 25 years old. Let’s look at the conversion table:
Cat’s life stages
Cats go through six different life stages, so let's discuss each one to gain a better understanding.
Kitten (0 to 6 Months)
This is the moment to look for issues that may have existed from birth, like a cleft palate or a hernia, as well as to talk about dietary choices, lifestyle decisions, identifying methods like microchipping, vaccinations, and any behavioral difficulties.
Cats can be neutered as early as four months old.
Ask your vet how to clean your cat's teeth and how to get your cat used to having its mouth, teeth, ears, and claws examined.
Junior (7 months to 2 years)
Since young cats are more active and love to explore, common health problems for junior cats include serious viral infections and disorders related to hunting, fighting, and trauma. Around a year old, your cat will receive its first booster shot, which is crucial to maintaining immunity to some of the most frequent infectious diseases.
Along with paying attention to the environment as your cat develops physically and mentally, you should also keep an eye on its diet and weight to prevent it from putting on too much weight following neutering.
Prime (3 to 6 years)
Many cats who are allowed to live outdoors as adults continue to be active hunters, so ongoing attention to immunization and parasite management is crucial. The majority of adult cats suffer from dental and/or gum disease, which can cause excruciating discomfort and tooth loss.
Ask your veterinarian how to properly brush your cat's teeth. At this period of life, other typical issues include obesity, dental disease, cystitis (bladder inflammation), intestinal illnesses, heart disease, and problematic behaviors.
Mature (7 to 10 years)
Even though many cats beyond the age of seven still appear young and are lively, there is a higher likelihood that 'older cat' age-related issues will manifest. Examples of common diseases include cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney illness, and hyperthyroidism. It's crucial to keep an eye out for symptoms of disease, which include poor coat condition, lethargy, weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, changes in urination, changes in hunger or thirst, and less activity in older cats.
Regarding nutrition, extra caution must be used because obesity also peaks in mature and senior cats. It's crucial to weigh cats frequently and keep track of their physical condition score.
Senior (11 to 14 years)
Changes at this stage are frequently subtle, with much more napping or less exercise. Age-related issues in cats include an overactive thyroid, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and diabetes. Many of these conditions can be successfully treated, giving elderly cats a decent quality of life.
Super Senior (15 years and more)
Several things can go wrong at once when you're a super senior. They are more likely to develop age-related illnesses like cancer, kidney disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, weight loss brought on by digestive issues, and cancer. The examination is still crucial, especially if your cat displays symptoms of the feline version of senile dementia, such as confusion, withdrawal, aimless wandering, and excessive meowing.
How to know a cat’s age?
It's better to take your cat to the vet to get an age estimate. However, you can still search for obvious indications of a cat's age and health condition.
Around four months after birth, a cat's permanent white teeth erupt. A few teeth with yellow tartar stains can indicate that your cat is between one and two years old. The cat is probably between three and five years old if the stains are present on all of its teeth. Missing teeth typically indicate that your cat is a mature senior, aged between 10 and 15 years.
Age causes a cat's fur to alter. Only young cats often have fine, silky fur. Older cats typically have patches of grey hair and fur that is rougher and thicker.
Muscles and bones
Consider aspects that can help you determine your cat's age because appearances can conceal age. Similar to humans, your cat's muscles will be more defined with more activity. A kitten's game involves playing, jumping, and running.
In light of this, it may be an indication of aging if you observe that your cat tends to lose muscle mass or doesn't want to walk around much. Older cats may have more boning, sagging skin, or protruding shoulder blades.
The Bottom Line
With the help of these suggestions, you'll be able to figure out your cat's age and give them all they require to thrive at this point in its life.