How Old Is Your Cat in Human Years?

March 14, 2022 by The Spot Pack

Have you ever caught yourself wondering, “How old is my cat?” Cat years are different from human years, so your feline friend’s age can get a little confusing. At what age do cats stop growing? How many cat years is one human year? These are valid questions — and we are here to help you get answers. 

Cats are fascinating pets partly because they can often live longer than other domesticated animals. Dogs typically have shorter lifespans. It’s not uncommon to hear of cats who live to be 20 years or older. So how old is your cat? This guide will help you figure out how old your cat is in human years. 

We will give you more information regarding cats, their life stages, and how long cats generally live. Then, we will dive into additional information about how old your cat is in human years. We will even answer any questions about how many cat years equate to one human year. 

After that, we will cover additional information regarding when cats stop growing and share additional information regarding the cat life cycle. Learn more about how to support your beloved pet through all of their life stages. When you understand your pet’s different stages of life, you can make the best decisions for them as they age. This includes making accommodations for their living space to make it more comfortable or changing their diet. 

Are you ready to learn how old your cat is in human years, how much one cat year equals in human years, what the cat life cycle looks like, and how you can support your cat through all of these phases? If so, continue reading. By the time you are done, you will have a more comprehensive understanding of your animal, making you a better pet parent regardless of what life stage they are currently in. 

How long do cats generally live? 

Generally speaking, an animal’s longevity will roughly correlate with their size. There are some exceptions, but keep this in mind when considering your cat’s age. Smaller cats tend to live longer than larger ones. Their specific genes also contribute considerably to their health. 

You can expect your cat to live somewhere between 12 and 14 years. However, it’s common to hear about cats that live into their later teens and 20s. Part of the reason these cats can live so long is due to their specific genetic makeup. If you find a cat family with good genes, you have a better chance of having a cat that lives to be a bit older. However, the behavior of pet parents also plays a role in ensuring their furry felines live as long as possible. 

You could help your pet live longer by taking them to the vet if you are concerned about something wrong with them. In addition, you can help your cat live a long, healthy life by providing them with nutritious, yummy food that will properly nourish their body. 

Your cat’s care requirements will evolve as they get older and closer to their later years. A successful pet parent will be able to provide their pet with exactly what they need as they need it. Be observant; if you notice that your cat seems to be evolving, you can take appropriate action to help them live their best life for as long as possible. 

How old is your cat in human years? How many cat years is one human year?

Have you heard people say that one cat (or dog) year is equivalent to seven human years? This is not entirely the truth. Your cat ages faster in their first few years of life than they will later. A lot of critical aging will happen to your cat in the first couple of years of their life. It’s difficult to say exactly how many cat years are equivalent to human years because it varies. 

There’s no cut and dry answer regarding how many cat years equate to human years. 

Growing fast in the first few years of life

Let’s talk about the first few years of your cat’s life. When your cat is in their first year, they reach the human equivalent of 15. In your cat’s first year, they are officially a teenager (so don’t be surprised if they exhibit that grumpiness that teenagers sometimes show!). 

When your cat reaches two years old, they are officially in their 20s — their mid-twenties, for that matter. When your cat is two years old in cat years, they are equivalent to being 24 human years old. 

Growth slows after age two

After the first two years of rapid development and aging, your cat’s growth slows a bit. Take this as a welcome reprieve from the rapid growth that happens during the first two years. 

When your cat is three years old, they are the human equivalent to their late 20s: 28, to be specific. By four years, your cat has reached their 30s and is now 32 years old. Your cat is in their mid-30s and is 36 years old by age five. After the first two years, when your cat rapidly gets older, growth slows considerably as they reach the middle part of their life. 

Aging becomes consistent after age five

Your cat will be four years older on every birthday from that point forward. When they are six years old, they will be 40. At age seven, they are 44 years old. This continues onward. If your cat reaches 21 years of age, they are the human equivalent to 100 years old — so be patient with them when they get up there in age!

Your cat starts getting quite a bit older when they reach their 70s at age 14. Your cat, at that point, will be 72. Think of your cat as a senior citizen and consider talking to your vet about how you can adjust to help take care of your pet as they reach their older stages. 

If you ever have questions about your cat’s age, ask a trusted vet who knows your pet well. Keep this guide handy to always have a resource that provides you with everything you need to know about your cat’s age as they continue to go through life.

When do cats stop growing? 

Humans stop growing at a certain point — but do cats stop growing at the human equivalent of that age? Don’t worry — here at Spot Pet Insurance, we have rounded up the answers you are looking for regarding when cats stop growing. 

Keep in mind that your cat’s adult size depends on several factors. Some of it depends on how large your cat naturally is. Some cats are big-boned; others are small. In addition, other cats are larger breeds, and some tend to be a bit smaller. As a result, it is helpful when you first bring your cat home to better understand which size you can expect your pet to be. 

The first few months when you bring your cat home, you can barely go a day without noticing that your pet is growing quickly and considerably. The first six months of your new kitty’s life will be a period of extremely quick growth. Between the ages of six months and 12 months, you will begin to witness your cat slowing down their growth. They might begin to balance out a little.

Of course, if your cat gains weight later in life, they will still look like they grew in size. However, you will notice that their body size pretty much balances out even if they put on a few extra pounds. 

This does not necessarily equate to your cat stopping growth altogether when they reach a year old; minor growth can still occur following this timestamp. Your cat will have completed the bulk of their growth by this point. 

They might just age in terms of their face or appearance. After all, who could expect their cat’s face (or their body shape) to be the same between one and twenty years old? Of course, your cat will continue to evolve, just like humans do. 

Keep an eye out for feline obesity 

Tremendous risks are associated with an obese feline. That’s why if you think that your cat companion is packing on too much weight, you should reach out to a vet about what you can do to help them get in better shape. 

A chubby cat is cute, but it is not the best for their health. That’s why you should take care of this as soon as you see your cat beginning to become obese. 

What does the cat life cycle look like? 

Your cat will pass through six different life stages, and doing diligent research on your cat’s stages of life can make a big difference in the care you provide them. 

The kitten life stage for cats

When your cat is between zero and six months of age, they are considered a kitten. You will notice your cat is growing extremely quickly during this time. They’re not ready to have babies of their own at this point, either, which is an important distinction. 

The period when your cat is a kitten is essential for several reasons. For one, it will help them with socialization. Cats that are well behaved will generally be socialized during this time. 

A lot of this starts with the mother cat. If the kitty you bring home has a mom with a calm attitude towards people, you might find that the kitten is also calmer. It’s also best for cats to stay in the presence of their littermates until they reach 12 weeks of age for socialization reasons. 

Kittens are usually weaned when they reach six or seven weeks of age. However, this does not necessarily mean they will stop suckling for comfort. It can continue to go on for a while, but the mother cat will gradually leave the kitten alone for a longer period of time. 

If your cat is orphaned, this could result in inappropriate suckling later in life, which could mean that your cat clicks or chatters a lot. 

The junior life stage for cats

Your cat will reach the junior life stage, which occurs when your cat is between six months and two years of age. During the junior phase, the cat will reach the size they will be as an adult. 

In addition, your cat will learn more about how to function as an adult cat. You will notice that your cat seems to explore more during this time. Your cat will also reach sexual maturity during this time; make sure that they are spayed or neutered

The prime life stage for cats

When your cat is three to six years old, they are in their prime. At this point, your cat will be at its most physically mature. In addition to this, they are typically healthy, active individuals. Your cat will be jumping around and full of energy. 

The best way to support your beloved feline during this time is to bring them in for regular checkups, feed them healthy food (if you need recommendations, you should ask your vet), and keep them active, both physically and mentally. 

The mature life stage for cats 

Next, your cat will reach their mature life stage. This happens between the ages of seven to 10 years. When your cat is in their mature life stage, they are less active than they were in their prime life stage, just a few years earlier. Don’t worry, though. These behavioral changes are to be expected. 

You will have to provide different support for your pet in the mature life stage. This is also the time to keep an eye on your pet’s eating habits. If you find that they are engaging in any concerning eating habits, like avoiding their food or water, you should immediately bring it up to your vet. 

As your cat ages, it is helpful to check in with a vet you trust and who knows your pet every so often. This ensures that if anything changes with your cat’s health status, it is immediately caught. 

Find a vet that you trust and like during your cat’s earlier stages and stick with them as your cat reaches their mature life stage and beyond. This will be helpful as your vet will already understand what behaviors are considered typical and what would be considered abnormal for them. 

You are your cat’s best advocate — so take notes of what is considered standard for your pet. If you see anything change, you can take immediate action and reach out for help or advice. Don’t forget to take care of their dental health, too! 

The senior life stage for cats 

Congrats: Your cat is officially a senior citizen! Between the ages of 11 and 14, your cat is in their 70s if they were humans. As a result, you should treat them with extra love and care as you would an elderly person. 

This time frame is when it becomes even more critical to take your cat in for checkups with the vet. These should not just occur when something is abnormal. You should do this for preventative measures. 

Ask your vet what to keep an eye out for so you understand what age-related health conditions could look like if they pop up in your cat. It is wise to understand this because you will know what to look for and get care quickly. 

You also want to be sure you are feeding your cat an extremely well-balanced diet during this time. Ideally, their food should be designed to support digestive, circulatory, and immune health. Because your vet knows your cat’s health the best, you can ask them if they have advice on what food is best for a senior cat. 

Of course, you will want to be sure to switch your cat over slowly so that you do not give them any digestive problems as a result. You could also use the senior cat version of the food that you have been giving your cat for years for consistency. 

The most important thing is that the food you are giving your cat supports them at this unique life stage. Remember that your cat is not a kitten anymore. You should shift your approach to their health from reactive to proactive. It is always best to address a problem before it occurs with a senior cat. This will help ensure that they live their happiest, longest life. 

The super-senior, or geriatric, life stage for cats 

Because cats can live extremely long, happy and healthy lives, you might not even realize that your feline friend is as old as they are. 

When your cat is in the geriatric age, they are officially 15 years of age or older. This is equal to being an adult human who is 76 years or older, depending on how old your cat is. 

This is the final stage of your cat’s life, but it certainly does not mean that they can’t enjoy it. Use this opportunity to really spoil your cat with all the love and affection they deserve. You should also make things as easy as you can for them at this point because they’re not the young, youthful cat that you first brought home anymore. This means making sure that they can easily access water, food, and their litter box. 

This is also probably not the right time to add a new kitten to your family, as it could be shocking or jarring for an older cat. Pay a lot of attention to your senior citizen cat and show them how much you care for them. Yes, you can sneak them a few extra treats — as long as it does not negatively interfere with their health!

How do you support your cat through all their life stages? 

What can you do to support your cat through all of their life stages? As a pet parent, it is your responsibility to do as much as possible for your feline friend. In many cases, the best ways to support your cat are some of the most basic. 

First, regularly bring your cat to a trusted vet who can accurately assess their health. No matter how old your pet is, you want to be sure that they are getting regular checkups to ensure that they are in good health. This is helpful because you can handle a condition as soon as possible if anything pops up. 

Next, you should nourish them with proper food, water, and nutrients. We told you: the best care for your furry friend starts with the basics, and then you can build from there. On top of that, Spot Pet Insurance helps you be the best pet parent that you can. We are here to support you and your cat through their many wonderful life stages. 

 

Sources: 

Developmental Stages of Kitten Behavior | PAWS 

Feline Life Stage Definitions | AAHA 

Changes Seen During a Cat’s Main Stages of Life | The Spruce Pets 

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