Here’s How to Tell How Old a Cat Is

There are many myths that talk about cat ages—the most popular being that cats have nine lives. If they do, does their age start over in each life or does it accumulate? Some people say that each year for a cat is equivalent to 7 human years, while others say that it’s equivalent to 5. Still others say that the first two years of a cat’s life is equivalent to 21 years, while others still say that a 20-year old cat is equivalent to a 100-year old person. Is there any truth to any one of these claims?

Probably not, but one of them is at least based in logic. Most cats live to about 17 years old, while the average life span for humans in 84 years. That’s roughly equivalent to a five to one ratio. However, it isn’t really that simple because you can’t really compare feline development to human development. Still, if you wanted to just figure out how old your cat was, it might be difficult to tell just by looking. The fascinating thing though is that you most certainly can. There’s a way to determine a close approximation of your cat’s age by looking at specific pointers of development.

If you have a kitten in your hands, look for these signs to figure out at which point of development your kitten may be currently in.

Determine a kitten’s age

  • Birth to 1 week – At this age, kittens have no teeth. They almost always keep their eyes closed.
  • 1 to 3 weeks – They will begin to open their eyes, but they will still be toothless.
  • 3 to 5 weeks – The kitten’s canine teeth or fangs will begin to appear. They will also begin to pick up on their activity.
  • 5 to 8 weeks – All baby teeth are visible. If the kitten’s adult eye color is supposed to be different, the change will happen around 5 weeks. At this stage, they will have much better coordination.
  • 8 to 16 weeks – The baby teeth will begin to space out and will completely fall off by the end of 16 weeks. The teeth will fall out in a pattern, starting from the front teeth and will work its way towards the back. Adult teeth will begin to come out.
  • 16 weeks to 7 months – All adult teeth will have erupted at this point. Rapid growth will occur.
  • 7 to 18 months – This is the adolescent stage. Puberty will occur if a kitten has not been spayed or neutered. Kittens will reach their adult height and weight by the end of this period.

Determine a cat’s age

  • 18 months to 3 years – This is the young adulthood stage. Cats will begin to show signs of imperfect health such as dental problems and weight problems.
  • 3 to 7 years – This is the prime adulthood stage. Cats will still be active at this point with very rare serious health conditions. Poor dental hygiene will result to serious dental diseases at this age.
  • 7 to 14 years – Cats in this period are considered middle aged. Health problems will begin to appear, and cats will begin to show signs of aging. Most cats will develop a slight blue or gray tinge in their pupils. Hairs will begin to clump together. Cats will be less limber.
  • 14 years and above – This is the senior citizen stage. Some teeth may fall out as dental diseases ensue. Pupils will definitely have a gray tinge. Activity will significantly decrease. Cats will have hoarseness in their voice. Bones will be more brittle, and hair will be noticeably matted.

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