How To Determine Your Cat's Age

Posted by Crystal Long
Old cat lays on the couch.

When you adopt a cat from a shelter or rescue, little things like the years of age may be a bit fuzzy. Here is how you can determine the age of a cat.

I'm sure we all know about the concept of "dog years." Yes, the old adage of one human year is equal to seven dog years is a belief we are all too familiar with, especially if you are a dog owner -- even though this "rule" might be untrue.

But what about for our feline friends? Outside of taking Fluffy there to the vet, how can we determine a cat's age? Moreover, is there a "one-size-fits-all formula" that can easily compare cat years to human years or human age? Whether you just brought home a cat from the shelter whose history is a bit mysterious, or you're trying to provide better life-stage appropriate care for your cat's life, we've got you covered when answering the question "how old is my cat?"

How Old Is My Cat?

There are several telltale signs you can be looking for when it comes to determining the years of life in a feline.

One of them is checking the cat's teeth. Since cats get their baby teeth around two to four weeks old and should have their full set of adult teeth at six to seven months of age, a cat's teeth are often one of the best indicators of a cat's age. Also, older cats tend to have more tartar build-up than younger cats. However, a cat's dental care can play a huge part in the state of a cat's teeth, so the amount of tartar might not be the best indicator. That goes the same for missing teeth: missing teeth may mean that it's a senior cat, but again, it might be because of other reasons.

Looking at a cat's eyes is another way to determine your cat's age. Young cats will have very bright and clear eyes, while adult cats may start to develop a bit of cloudiness in their eyes; this won't really be noticeable until the cat reaches about 10 years of age though.

Your feline's coat can also be an indicator of how old your kitty is. Kittens will have fine and oh-so-soft fur, while older cats will have thicker and coarser fur. The coat may also change colors as they age, becoming lighter or darker in shade, and much like humans, senior cats may even develop patches of white or gray hairs.

Lastly, muscle tone is another indicator to determine your cat's age. Typically, younger cats are more muscular while older cats are often bonier, with extra skin or protruding shoulder bones as they age. However, this can also depend on the activity level your cat is getting.

Now, after you determined your cat's age like a pro, you can always use a cat age calculator to find out just how old Fluffy is in human years!

Have you had to find out your cat's age? Share your experience on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!

READ MORE: 5 Ways to Improve Your Cat's Quality of Life

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How To Determine Your Cat's Age