Convert Your Cat's Age to Human Years

6.5 week old kitten is alert and active
Photo Credit: © Franny Syufy

When we get a kitten, we fall in love with him or her into adulthood and senior years. Over time, we pet owners learn how to take care of our cats from beginning to end, understanding the ins and outs of spaying and neutering, bathing and vaccines, and weight management and food preferences. We quickly learn that there are different stages of development that cat's experience, requiring us to care for them in new ways.

Luckily, we have the ability to understand our cats' development more easily when we have a general idea of what their age is in human years.

Convert Your Cat's Age to Human Years

There are several methods that allow cat owners to convert their pet's age, and the following process utilizes averages. In other words, development changes from cat to cat. Some purebred cats, like the Maine Coon, mature much slower than others and don't reach full development for three or four years. Like humans, cats age in relation to genetics, diet, exercise, care at home, and veterinary care. For example, a kitten can be six or seven weeks old but appear to be far more advanced physically over a human baby of the same age.

Regardless of the chart's averages, it's worth it to get an idea of how old your beloved cat truly is in human years:

  1. First, allow 15 human years for the first year of your cat's life.
  2. Then, add nine years for the second year. For instance, a two-year-old cat will be approximately 24 human years.
  1. Next, add four human years for each successive year of your cat's life.
  2. Finally, refer to the accompanying cat-age-to-human-age chart to double check your calculation.

Control Your Pet's Aging Process

When calculating the age of your cat in human years, it's important to recognize that various factors may affect your cat's comparative age to that of a human.

This may include variables such as heredity, diet, environment, and physical and medical care. While it's probable that you don't have any say over heredity, you do have options for controlling other factors that have an effect on your cat's aging process. For instance, if you have a senior cat, you can provide them with special needs by performing a weekly physical, brushing his or her hair and teeth daily, and feeding them proper nutrition.

How Long Your Cat Can Live For

Up until six months old, your pet is considered a kitten. Then, he or she goes from kitten to junior up to two years old. Around three to six years, your cat enters its prime years of development, before moving into the mature stage of life, around seven to 10 years old. When your cat finally reaches its senior age (11 to 14 years old), care begins to change more dramatically. In fact, your cat's life begins to change even more-so during the geriatric stage, when he or she reaches a whopping 15 years of age and older.

Your cat can live for a long time, depending on his or her lifestyle. Consider if he or she is an indoor or outdoor cat, for instance. Some wild cats live for about four or five years, while many indoor cats live for about 13 to 17 years.

Despite this, it's not unusual for an indoor cat to live up to a long 20 years. If your cat is overweight, however, he or she is likely to live between 12 and 15 years old. For optimal health, simply take care of your cat with routine vaccinations and vet checkups.