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How Old Is My Cat?

Amir Ali
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All right cats’ Moms and Dads. ‘How Old is My Cat in Human Years?’ If this is the question that arises in your mind then let me tell you, you aren’t the only one! Almost every cat parent had thought about it at some point in their lives. So if you have adopted your cat in the post-kitten stage and you were not with her at the time of birth the chances are you may not know her exact age. 

Unfortunately, there is no scientifically proven method to know the exact age of a cat but you can still make a close guess by observing her physical features and behaviour. 

So, in this read, you are gonna find out some important signs (or you can say the milestones of cats’ age) that would help guess her approximate age. 

Move on.

Life Stages of a Cat 

This inforgraphics shows the Life stages of a cat
Life stages of a Cat Infographic

How Old is My Cat in Human Years?

As said, there is no scientifically proven method to estimate a cat’s age in human years but there is a general agreement that the first six months of a cat’s age are equivalent to 10 human years. The next, 6 months add 5 human more years to her age. So, a one-year-old cat is equivalent to 15 years old teenager. Then the next year would add 9 more human years to her age. This means that a 2 years old cat is as old as 24 years old human. After 2 years, every passing year of a cat’s age is equivalent to 4 human years. 

The table below explains the different ages of cats’ in human years. 

Age of a Cat in Human Years 

Real Age of CatsAge of the Cats in Human Years
6 months 10 years
1 year15 years
2 years24 years
3 years28 years
4 years32 years
5 years36 years
6 years40years
7 years44 years
8 years48 years
9 years52 years
10 years56 years
11 years60 years
12 years64 years
13 years68 years
14 years72 years
15 years76 years
16 years80 years
17 years 84 years
18 years88 years
19 years92 years
20 years96 years
21 years100 years

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How to Tell Your Cat’s Age? 

You can make a rough estimate by observing her characteristics and behaviour. Cats’ organs such as teeth, eyes, and coats tell a lot about their life stage. Similarly, her body type, behaviour and sleeping pattern also give us important clues to predict her age. 

Let’s see what are the changes that you would see in your cat when she grows up from a tiny kitten to an old granny cat. 

1. Examine Her Teeth

This image shows an orange tabby cat showing his teeth

The first thing that you must do to estimate the age of your cat is to examine her teeth closely. A cat’s teeth go through different stages of dental development throughout its life.

The table below explains the kinds of teeth cats can have at different ages from her birth to old age. 

Cat’s Age Kinds of Teeth
0 to 2 weeks old kittenNo teeth
2 to 4 weeks old kittenIncisors
3 to 4 weeks kittenCanines
4 to 6 weeks old kittenMolars
6 months to 1 yearComplete set of 30 permanent teeth
4 to 5 years old catThe wearing of teeth begins
5 to 10 years old catClear signs of wearing
10 to 15 years old catThe heavy wearing of teeth and some teeth may have fallen or completely broken by this time

Yellowing of Teeth

The next indicator of a cat’s age is the yellowing of teeth(also known as tartar). A young cat usually has pearly white and glossy teeth. As cats grow older their teeth start getting a yellow coating of plaque. Some cats may develop black spots due to cavities by this time.

The table below explains the stages of yellowing of teeth in cats.

Stages of Yellowing of Teeth in Cats

Age Yellowing Shade 
2 weeks to 2 yearsRadiant white teeth with no signs of tartar.
2 to 3 yearsLight yellowing of teeth hardly visible
3 to 5 yearsIncreased yellowing
5 to 10 yearsDark yellowing especially at the base of the teeth is clearly visible
Above 10 years Almost all teeth turn yellow

These are the stages of yellowing of teeth in cats in general. But the intensity of yellowing may vary in an individual cat.

2. Look into Her Eyes

This image showsan old and sick cat with running eyes

If you still can’t estimate your age of your then it’s time to read her eyes. The eyes of young cats and old cats often differ from each other so they also give us some hints about the cat’s age. 

Young cats have smooth-looking vibrant and crackly iris(the coloured part of an eye) on the other hand, cats who are old may have a blurry iris with faded colour due to cataracts. 

Similarly, other eye problems such as excessive tearing of eye discharge are rarely seen in younger cats. Nonetheless, in senior cats,  it’s a lot more common.

Generally, after crossing 12 years of age, the majority of cats tend to develop cloudiness in their eyes because of this they may find it difficult to see far objects clearly and won’t respond to you when you are at a distance.

Remember, the discharge of tears from the eyes is not only an indicator of age but they also indicate the health condition of your cat. So, if you observe that suddenly your cat has started shedding too many tears, this is a clear indicator that something is not well inside her body. In this situation, you must take her to a veterinarian as soon as possible. 

3. Think About the Condition of Her Bones, Muscles and Body

Next, I want you to pay attention to her physique. If your cat faces difficulty in using the litter box and climbing to heights then there is a possibility that her bones and muscles are not working in the same way as they were used to when she was young. 

When it comes to body type, young, adult and senior cats all have different bodies. Usually, younger cats are lean, and muscular while middle-aged or adult cats have rounded bodies, filled limbs, necks and broad chests. Old cats, on the other hand, could be overweight due to low activity or sometimes become extremely thin and boney because of poor health.

4. Observe Her Behaviour 

It’s a  known fact that the younger the cat is, the more playful it will be. So, if you witness your cat running, jumping, falling, climbing and creating all the mess that your mind can imagine then congratulations she is still young she is going to stay with you longer unless anything unfortunate could happen. 

However, if you notice that now your cat prefers to stay on the ground. She avoids climbing to heights. And doesn’t like to move her body. This is a signal that now she’s getting older and needs more care, love and affection from your end.

Older cats often become aggressive towards young cats. They often suffer from health problems such as blurred vision, weak hearing and pain due to arthritis so they become irritable towards young cats, other pets and even their owners.

5. Pay Attention to  Fur Her Coat

Your cat’s coat tells a lot about her age too. Young cats in normal conditions have fine, vibrant, clean coats free from tangles, mats, or dreadlocks. While older cats have thick, rough and dull coats. If they are long-haired cats and you don’t get proper care then the chances are they may have developed tangles, dreadlocks and mats. Some old cats may grow hair in their coats. 

6. Notice Her Sleeping Pattern

this image shows a tabby cat sleeping on a couch

Lastly, observe the sleeping pattern of your cat. Whether she is sleeping more than usual? Does, she remain sleepy for a large part of the day? Does she howl at night? 

All these signs show that your cat is getting older. This is because older cats stay awake at night and therefore they have less energy during the day. So, they spend more time sleeping. Younger cats show a contrasting pattern. They tend to stay awake, spend time playing and remain active during the day.

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What is the Average Cat’s Life Expectancy?

The average life expectancy of indoor cats is 16 to 18 years. However, some cats may live longer up to 20 to 22 years. Outdoor cats can live just up to 2 to 5 years on average. This is because of poor nutrition or starvation, road accidents, attacks by larger animals like dogs and poor health.

The oldest domestics cat ever recorded was Creme Puff (August 3, 1967 – August 6, 2005) from Texas, the U.S.A. who lived for 34 years and 59 days. 

The life expectancy of some breeds is more than that of others. For instance, Siamese, Manx, Maine Coon and Burmese live longer than other breeds.


How old is 4 in cat Years?

The first two years of a cat’s age are equal to 24 human years. The next two years are equivalent to 8 human years. So, a 4 years-old cat would be equivalent to 32 years-old humans.

How old is a 20 years cat in Human years?

Reaching up to 20 years of age is rarely seen in cats. A 20 year of cat is like a 98-years-old human.

How to Tell the Age of Stray Cats?

Estimating the age of a stray cat is even more difficult than pet cats because they don’t easily let humans come closer to them. So, you can’t observe her eyes, teeth and coat closely but you can still make a rough estimate by looking at her body and agility.

Now Can You Guess How Old is Your Cat?

I hope that after reading this blog post you can successfully guess the rough age of your cat. I have all the possible signals and signs of cats’ ageing. But if you think that I still have missed something then do me a favour and let me know this by directly mailing me at If you liked the blog post then do share it within your circle. Enjoy our content.