How do cats age?
You have probably heard that one year of a cat’s life equates to seven human years. However, our feline friends tend to age much faster. According to Wikipedia,
- The first year of a cat’s life equals approximately 15 human years
- The second year equals an additional 9 years
- After the second year, each subsequent year equals 4 human years
The six life stages for cats
For their size, expect a long and healthy lifespan. Cats will likely live for 12-14 years on average. It is not atypical for cats to live over 20 years!
These first six months mark the kitten phase of your furry friend’s life. The cat grows rapidly and is not sexually mature.
The subsequent phase spans from the seventh month until two years. Your cat will reach its full size.
Your furry feline is physically and behaviourally mature. Your cat should be healthy and active and making the best out of life.
This phase spans between the seventh year to the tenth year. For us Sapiens, this equates to our mid-40s to mid-50s.
This phase spans between 11 and 14 years. It equates to about 70 human years.
This is the last phase! Your furry friend lives longer than 15 years.
The stages serve as benchmarks for gauging the general wellbeing of cats. A cat’s age is not very apparent from the outside as cats seldom go grey or display signs of pain or illness.
What if your cat is a stray or adopted?
Guessing their age can be tricky. Below are general guidelines, which provide an overall idea. However, much depends on their diet, living conditions, health and previous care.
Older cats tend to have stained teeth. White teeth mean that the cat is below the age of one. If there is some yellowing, your cat is probably between one year and two years old. If the teeth have tartar buildup, know that your cat is between three and five years of age. Also, missing teeth may mean that your cat is in its senior stage.
Older cats tend to have thicker and coarser fur. However, much depends on health and the breed or mix. Senior cats usually have white or grey patches.
The muscle tone
Younger cats tend to be muscular. Older cats, however, are bonier and have extra skin. Upon ageing, their bones may protrude more due to muscle loss.
Younger cats have bright and clear eyes, usually without discharge. Upon ageing, the eyes may appear jagged. A cat with eye cloudiness usually indicates a senior age.
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