How to Tell a Cat’s Age?

Do you know when the birthday of your cat is? If not, it is worth knowing because cats from different age groups have different needs. For example, an older cat will be healthier if it will be fed with higher protein content which is not the case for younger kitties. 

We guess you are now curious to find out how you can tell the age of your feline pet. Actually, it can be pretty difficult to know if you did not have your cat from birth. But, in this article, our goal is to help you approximate your cat’s age through different factors. 

To begin with, a kitty gains one pound each month up until 4 to 6 months. So, if you adopted a kitty weighing 3 pounds, it is most likely that it is 3 months of age. 

5 Tips to Figure Out A Cat’s Age through Different Methods:

Once your kitty cat has reached its adulthood, it is rather challenging to pinpoint its birth year but there are some indicators to make a wild guess such as the following:

  1. Check Those Teeth

Kitten’s baby teeth (deciduous teeth)  begin to come-out between 2 and 4 weeks of age. Then at 4 months of age, these baby teeth begin to fall-out and the permanent teeth start to erupt. Typically, by 6 months to 1 year of age, all the permanent teeth of your cat are in place. 

Once all those adult teeth are out, one way that you can check so you can tell the age of your cat is the color of its teeth. The yellower the teeth are, the older the cat is. Why? Blame on its wear and tear. 

 Typically, if you see only a bit of tartar, your cat is still young, around 1 to 2 years of age. Between the age of 3 and 5 years, you can see an increase in the yellowing of its teeth.

 As your feline pet advances in age, say at 10 years or older, all of its teeth are shining yellow already!

Color is not the only indicator of age. Check the quality of the teeth. By this, it means that the older cats have dull-looking teeth, lack in luster, whiteness, and even less in number unlike those beautiful and sparkling with a complete set of teeth that you see in ads. This type of wear and tear begins to show at around 5 years of age.

Some of the teeth are not as pointed anymore and in some cases, have broken off. By age 10, some of its teeth may be missing and may also show signs of gingivitis or inflammation of the gums. 

 

  1. Check Those Furs

A kitten’s fur is baby-fine and soft but the texture changes as your cat get older. Its fur will get thicker and rougher. The color may also change-from brighter to lighter or vise versa. 

Once your cat is in its senior years, you will also see some gray or white patches of hair pretty much the same as what happens to its human parents. 

 

  1. Check Your Kitty’s Grooming Habits

Are you impressed by your cat’s obsessiveness with cleanliness? Your cat constantly cleans itself to stimulate blood flow, to clean its wounds, and to maintain its body temperature. But, as cats get older, the lesser they groom themselves. 

There are many reasons why your cat stops cleaning itself at a certain age but the dental issue is one reason. Around the age of 5 years, tartar and plaque begin to accumulate and these cause pain and discomfort. 

If your cat is experiencing painful teeth and gums, it will result in a reluctance to groom itself. 

The other reason why your cat stops grooming itself is due to arthritis brought about by aging. It can be very painful for your cat to move constantly, more so to reach those areas like its neck, as a result, grooming is done less frequently. 

 

  1. Check Your Cat’s Eyes

Cats have the most unique eyes in the world of animals. So beautiful that these are imitated by many women in the form of makeup application known as the cat eye makeup. 

Healthy kittens and adult cats have clear and bright eyes. If you inspect your feline pet’s eyes closely, you will not see any cloudiness and discharges. But, once your cat ages, those once brilliant eyes will turn into dull and cloudy eyes. 

Usually, you will start to notice the change in its eyes clarity by the age of 10 years old. 

Aside from clarity, try to examine your feline pet’s iris. This is the colorful portion of the eyes. As your cat advances in age, you will see some changes in the iris which is called iris atrophy. What happens is that the inside of the iris breaks down and gets thinner and some strands will begin to manifest on the iris. 

 

  1. Sexual Maturity

Don’t be surprised if your tomcat begins sexual maturity as early as 6 months of age. Around this time, you will notice a change in its behavior brought about by hormones. For example, it will act out by displaying aggressive behaviors especially if you have other cats in the house. 

Other signs of sexual maturity among male cats are urine spraying and nighttime vocalization (that sound you hear as if a human baby is crying out loud), and wanting to escape from your home. 

On the other hand, your Molly will reach sexual maturity around 5 and 12 months of age. She will start to go into heat every few weeks. This implies that she is in season and it is ready to find a perfect partner. 

The signs that your female cat is in season are sweetness overloads like wanting to rub its body against your legs all the time, excessive grooming, and vocalization. 

Your Molly can soon become a Queen and have its first litter at 7 1/2 months of age. 

 

What are the Signs that Your Cat is Old?

If cared well, your cat can live up to 15 years of age. A lot of fur parents like you want to find out if their pets are already in its advanced stage or not. To help you figure out, here are the symptoms of an aging cat:

It begins to lose its muscle mass and weight. 

Your cat will either drink more or less water than usual. 

The sound of its meow is different.

Your cat will experience in moving caused by arthritis. 

 

Life Stages of Cats by the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Animal Hospital Association:

 

  • Kitten: 0 to 6 months of age.
  • Junior: 7 months to 2 years old.
  • Adult: 3 to 6 years old.
  • Mature: 7 to 10 years old.
  • Senior: 1 to 14 years old.
  • Geriatric: 15 years of age and up. 

 

How to Tell the Age of a Cat in Human Years? 

Just like many pet owners, we are pretty sure that you want to know the age of your cat and its equivalent to human years. Here it is:

  • The kitten stage: Equivalent to 0 to 10 years in human age.
  • The junior stage: Equivalent to 12 to 24 years in human age.
  • The adult stage: Likened to 28 to 40 years in humans.
  • The mature stage: 44 to 56 years in human age. 
  • The senior stage:  Equivalent to 60 to 72 years old in humans 
  • The geriatric stage: Equivalent to 76 to 100 years plus in human age. 

 

Conclusion

Knowing the birth year of your feline pet is composed of different factors. Though it is not really excessively important to determine the age of your cat, it is vital to know roughly so you can adjust the necessary care like the diet of your cat. This is especially true if you adopted a stray cat roaming around the streets. 

By examining your cat’s eyes, teeth, grooming behaviors, and other physical characteristics like its fur and weight, you can more or less determine the birth year of your feline pet. 


Author Bio:

Jaden is an author of mypetience.com, a pet blog sharing knowledge about taking care of a pet. He has more than five years of experience in raising small animals like dogs, cats, hamsters, and freshwater fish. What he always focusing on is offering valuable and useful information to pet enthusiasts.


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1 reply
  1. eva adams
    eva adams says:

    For a cat of unknown age, a veterinarian can usually make a good estimate by looking at the cat’s general condition but mainly the wear and tear of its teeth. Older cats often develop darker spots on their eyes, and sometimes their eyes can be more “sunken,” which can be related to health issues that become more common as a cat age. One stray I took in was in a terrible state. At first sight, our vet thought she was an elder, but on checking her teeth, she realized she was only just past kitten hood. A bit of love and home comforts transformed her.

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