We all know the saying that cats have nine lives, but how do their years compare to ours? Are you wondering just how old your feline friend is?
Knowing how old your cat is, and which phase of life they’re in can help you give them just what they need and know what to expect as they grow. Let’s break down the relationship of cat years to human years and look at the different stages of your cat’s life by age.
The life stages of cats
When looking at the general conversion of cat to human years, it is good to know the different stages your cat will go through as they age. Cat’s have a longer than average life expectancy in comparison to similarly sized animals and even though the expected lifespan of a cat is 12-14 years some cats live to be in their 20s. Cats will often live long enough that if they were human they could get their license, register to vote, or even buy lottery tickets!
In comparison to human life stages where we go through adolescence, teenage years, and eventually into adulthood – how do cats progress through their ages? How do these stages relate to our aging experience?
Your cat has six life stages, starting when they are a kitten, followed by the junior stage, then their prime stage, then their mature stage, after that they are a senior, ultimately falling into the category of super senior.
Cat years to human years, how do they compare?
Knowing that there are six different stages of your cat’s life you might think “How do these phases translate into cat years and how does my cat age throughout them?”
What’s interesting about discussing cat years to human years is that even though it is stated that one human year is equivalent to seven cat years, your cat ages at a very different rate than you. The way cats grow means that their age at any given point is not necessarily relatable to the correlated human age when it comes to maturity.
Cats will mature at a different rate and actually hit a plateau of growth later in life whilst the beginning phases of their life are equivalent to a larger amount of human aging. Because of this, the seven to one ratio of cat to human years doesn’t line up exactly as cats progress through their lives, so let’s look at how cats age throughout their different life phases.
Kitten: 0-6 Months
Human Year Equivalent – 10 Years
In the first six months of your cat’s life they will have already aged 10 human years – this is a major time for cat growth and they mature more rapidly than humans. This time is when your cat will be growing the most as it develops, learns, and grows. These months are formative as your cat figures out what life is all about and starts to develop a sense of what is going on around them. Their curiosity during the kitten stage is limitless – and adorable!
Junior: 7 Months – 2 Years
Human Year Equivalent – 12 – 24 Years
During the junior phase your cat has gotten its bearings and is now starting to mature more, become smarter, and continue to grow. This time period is crucial as your cat learns about survival and will reach their full-grown size. After they hit two years, your cat will have aged as much as 24 human years and they have already reached a high level of maturity, the first two years are the fastest aging periods for your cat.
Prime or Adult: 3 – 6 Years
Human Year Equivalent – 28 – 40 Years
After your cat hits three years of age, it is now developed and in its prime – this is when aging slows down considerably as the first two years have the most rapid growth. Your cat is physically and mentally mature and in the midst of its young adulthood! These years your cat has mostly figured out what life is about but they are still highly energetic, playful, and agile. The human year equivalent is representative of how your cat is fully grown and by the time your cat is six, they will be entering their 40’s!
Mature: 7 – 10 Years
Human Year Equivalent – 44 – 56 Years
As cats approach the 10-year mark, they may start to have slightly decreased energy and may need more playful stimulation and nutrition to keep them happy and healthy. It is good after your cat hits this age to pay extra attention to nurturing your cat’s good health as they begin to enter their later years of life. Your cat at this time could be showing signs of age-related health issues so it is good to be proactive and keep up with vet visits and look out for signs of arthritis, feline diabetes, or heart disease. Spot offers cat insurance plan options that cover eligible vet bills for accidents and illnesses. You can also add on preventative care coverage for an extra cost. Senior: 11 – 14 Years
Human Year Equivalent – 60 – 72 Years
At this point, your cat officially can use a senior discount! When your cat enters the senior phase of their life, they might start to gray and be less active. This is all totally natural and is an expected side effect of aging which happens to all of us! This stage is similar to the way many humans age during this time and your cat might need extra medical care for their aging body.
Super Senior: 15+ Years
Human Year Equivalent – 76 years (add 4 human years for each additional cat year)
Unlike a lot of other animals, it is actually common for cats to reach this age group and many will live years past 15. A lot of cats will remain rather active throughout their whole lives and their appearance might remain the same so it could even be rather difficult to tell if a cat is a super senior! Some cats even reach 100 human years in age and because they hit a plateau of aging after their prime stage, their aging is slower in their later years.
From kittens to super seniors
Cat years to human years provides interesting insight into the growth and maturity levels of your feline family member. From getting a new kitten to having a super senior who has been by your side for over a decade, it is important to know what phase of life your cat is in and what it might need to help it be happy and healthy. Paying attention to your cat’s health, diet, and activity will help you make sure your cat – no matter their age – is feeling fantastic!
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