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How Old is My Cat in Human Years?

Score for Seniors:
Activity Level:
Weight: Pounds

Your cute little furball that once hopped around on its tiny toe beans is now growing. You miss its bright-eyed and bushy-tailed energy and how it used to fit in your hand. But every moment spent with your feline friend is comforting and every memory precious. This is precisely why you might be wondering how old your cat is in human years.

Use this simple calculator below to turn your cat years into human years:


The calculations used are based on the Animal Hospital Association and the Association of Feline Practictioners‘ guidelines (see details below).

How do I Calculate my Cat’s Age in Human Years?

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA’s Facts of Your Cat Life) and American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFF’s Cat Life Stages) have agreed upon certain guidelines that help you accurately calculate cat years to human years:

  • The first year of your cat’s life is equivalent to almost 15 human years.
  • The second year is equal to another 9 human years.
  • After the second year, each additional year of your cat’s life is equal to 4 human years.

How many years are cats expected to live?

  • 13 to 18 years is the average. The life expectancy of cats has significantly improved over the past few decades. Thanks to better nutrition and medical care. The average life expectancy of an indoor cat is 13 to 18 years. Some indoor cats even often reach the age of 20.
  • Breed matters: The factor that plays the most important role is the breed of your cat. For example, Siamese and European Shorthair are believed to live the longest up to 20 years or above.
  • Overweight cats and cats who don’t do much exercise are likely to live somewhere closer to 13 years. A well-fed, exercised and with regular visits to the vet should  live around 13 to 18 years.
  • The oldest cat in the world lived to be 38. Creme Puff was born on 3 August, 1967, and lived for 38 years and three days. 38 cat years translates to an amazing 153 human years. According to the 2010 edition of Guinness World Records, she was the oldest cat ever recorded, when she died aged 38 years and 3 days. Also, a Burmese named Kataleena Lady lived to be 35 years old, and Grandpa, a Sphynx cat, died at 34 years old.

What factors affect my cat’s life expectancy?

A cat is a senior once they’ve reached about 10-11 years old. Read our recommendations for taking care of a senior cat. To make sure your cat lives a long, happy life, you should closely monitor things like development, nutrition, physical exercise, and vaccinations.

Just like different lifestyles would impact a human’s life expectancy, there are many factors that can shorten or lengthen a cat’s life. If you want to have more years of joy with your muffin, make sure you are careful about the following:

Routine medical checkups: Vaccines and other preventative measures are not the only times you should go to the vet. Your adorable kitty may continue to act adorable without seeming like there’s something wrong with it. It’s likely that you only notice when a certain underlying condition has progressed to the point of no effective treatment. Don’t let that happen and take your cat to the vet for annual or bi-annual tests to rule out any suspicious conditions. If caught early, it can easily be treated.

You can also consider pet insurance to cover an unexpected illness. After all, your one in a million munchkin deserves the best chance at a healthy and happy life.

Diet: A good kitty diet should be rich in moisture and protein and relatively lower in carbohydrates. According to studies, when given the freedom to eat foods with different concentration of protein, fat and carbohydrate, cats prefer a diet that gives them 52% percent of their calories from protein, 36% from fat, and 12% from carbohydrate. In simple words—don’t make them vegetarian despite what Facebook tells you.

Exercise: We are all familiar with how cats turn into tiny tornadoes at 3 am. Running around the house and frantic playing with that bottle cap is the norm when they are young. But as cats grow older, they can become notoriously lazy. It’s important that you keep them active and moving. Laser point and feather wands can do the trick. You can also take your cat out on walks.

Keep them busy: This one might surprise you but keeping your cat busy and engaged can also lengthen their life. They say curiosity killed the cat but it can actually be boredom. Cats like to play and climb. Both of these things are important part of their life. So give them that. Add new toys to their collection. Install a cat tower for them to climb. Consider wall-mounted option to take playtime up a notch.

FAQ about cat’s age and cat years:


WATCH: 3 Important Tips To Care For an Old Dog [VET VIDEO]


Do indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats?

Being an indoor or outdoor cat also determines how long the cat will live. While indoor cats seem to have many advantages over outdoor cats, American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) says there’s a bit of bad in both situations.

Indoor cats are less likely to suffer from trauma and infectious diseases. But at the same time, they also may have weaker immunity and compromised health due to a limited environment. On the other hand, outdoor cats have a stimulating environment but are more exposed to diseases.

The best lifestyle for your cat would be indoors with controlled outdoor access. You can take your kitty on leashed walks or let them play around in cat-proof enclosures. This will give them a stimulating environment while keeping them safe.      

How can I tell if my cat’s a senior cat or an old cat?

There are a bunch of tell-tale signs indicating your cat is a senior or reaching the senior stage.

  • Teeth: Yellow stains and missing teeth are the signs of an aging cat.
  • Eyes: If you notice cloudiness, tearing, and eye discharge, your cat is likely a senior.
  • Coat: Young cats have soft fur. If your cat’s coat is coarse, thick, and has patches of grey hair, it has reached its senior life stage.
  • Muscles and bones: Cats lose weight and muscle mass when aging. Older cats are bony with extra skin hanging. 
  • Activity level: Playing, jumping, and running around are the ways of a young cat. If your cat has stopped moving around much, she is heading towards old age.
  • Behavioral changes: Increase in meowing and confusion also indicates old age.

The final words

Cats grow up and age much quickly in the first two years of their life. A one-year-old cat is at the same growth and development stage as a 15-year-old human. At 2 years, a cat’s age is equivalent to 24 human years. However, after the first two years, the aging process becomes quite steady. No matter how old your cat is, remember to take care of their diet, schedule regular medical checkups, play with them and give them unlimited belly rubs.

May you keep getting your daily dose of cuteness and comfort for years to come!

Author

  • Dr. Winnie earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. She is a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs.

Disclaimer: This website's content is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action. Read More.

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