What Exactly Are “Cat Years?”

Cats do not live as long as humans, even though we may sometimes wish that this was not the case. The aging process in cats is a lot quicker than it is for us. It is quite difficult sometimes to tell exactly how old a cat is. When people talk about the age of a cat they will often refer to cat years, which is how old the cat would be as the equivalent of human years. When a year passes it is said to be more than one year in cat years. How cats age and how cat years are worked out are explained in more detail below.

How Long Do Cats Live On Average?

This is a difficult question to answer because there is not really such a thing as an average cat. If a figure had to be given then it would probably be around fifteen years. However, there are a lot of different factors that play a part in how long cats live. Generally speaking, an indoor cat will live longer than those that also go outdoors as long as they get enough exercise and are well nourished. Life expectancy can also depend on the breed of cat and whether there are any underlying medical issues.

How do Cats Develop?

It is generally accepted that cats go through six main stages in their lives – kitten, junior, prime, mature, senior and geriatric. Cats remain kittens for about six months after their birth when they then progress to the junior stage. They are in the prime of their lives between three and six years old. They are considered to be geriatric if they are aged fifteen and over. As will can be seen in the chart below cats age quite rapidly in the first two years of their life before their development starts to slow down.

How Do You Work Out Age In Cat Years?

The following information may help you work out how old your cat would be in human years. The way that cats age mean that there is not a set amount of cats years that a cat ages in one year, it actually depends on what stage of the life they are at. The information below will provide more detail about how old your cat is in human years.

  • Cat is 1 month old – Human equivalent is 1 year old
  • Cat is 3 months old – Human equivalent is 4 years old
  • Cat is 4 months old – Human equivalent is 8 years old
  • Cat is 6 months old – Human equivalent is 10 years old
  • Cat is 7 months old – Human equivalent is 12 years old
  • Cat is 12 months old – Human equivalent is 15 years old
  • Cat is 18 months old – Human equivalent is 21 years old
  • Cat is 2 years old – Human equivalent is 24 years old

From this point for every year that passes, the cat will age four years in cat years. This means that when they reach three this is equivalent to 28 cats years, when they reach four they will be 32 in cat years and so on. In order to use this table you will need to know how old your cat is and for this you may need to consult a vet.

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