How to calculate a cat’s age in human years



What does your cat’s age really mean?

Comparing your cat’s age to the equivalent in «human years» can help you get some perspective on your cat’s stage of life. Understanding the feline aging process will help you care for your cat as experiences the challenges of growing older.


Instructions

Step 1

Make your best guess at your cat’s true chronological age

If you adopted your cat from a shelter or found him as a stray, then you may not have an exact value. Your vetrinarian will be able to make an educated guess at your cat’s age based on some physical characteristics.

Step 3

If your cat is between 1 and 2 years old…

Take your cat’s age in months and subtract 12. Multiply that number by 3 and then divide the result by 4. Add 15 to that number, and you have your cat’s age in «human years».

For example, if you have a 17 month old kitten, you would subtract 12, which gives you 5. Multiplying 5 X 3 gives 15, which we now divide by 4 to get 3.75. Finally, we add 15 to 3.75 and get 18.75.

Your 17 month old «kitten» is actually a «young adult,» but at least she won’t head off to college and only call when she needs money for «books».

Step 4

If your cat is more than two years old…

Take your cat’s age in years (not months) and subtract 2. Multiply the result by 4, and then add 24 to get your cat’s age in «human years».

For example, if you have a seven year old cat, you would subtract 2 from 7, which gives 5. Multiplying by 4 results in 20. Finally, we add 24 and see that the cat is 44 «human years old».

Your 7 year old cat is approaching middle age and may not be as playful as he was when he was younger. You may need to change his diet to compensate for reduced activity and slowing metabolism, and your vet may have other age-related advice for your cat.


You will Need
• An estimate of your cat’s chronological age
• A calculator

Tips and warnings

• Depending on which book or web page you read, there are many different ways to estimate a cat’s age in «human years».
• Since cats age differently than we do, there is no perfect formula for making a comparison.
• Like people, cats can sometimes have unexpected health problems at a young age. Be sure to follow your vet’s advice and get regular check-ups as recommended for your cat.

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Comment: 6
  •  
    Darrin  23.11.2015 21:28

    Hi, Molly. That’s a good question. To write the how-to, I used the table that is the first link under the heading «Cat Years Charts». I assumed that the cat’s «human years» age is a piecewise linear function of chronological age, i.e. that each stage of the cat’s life can be described by a straight line. It’s only a rough guide; no formula will fit all cats, but it will give a good perspective on the life stage of your cat.

  •  
    Noonan  20.12.2015 13:18

    That’s an interesting formula for figuring a cat’s age. Can you please provide the source?

  •  
    Hart  29.12.2015 14:14

    Hi, Molly. That’s a good question. To write the how-to, I used the table that is the first link under the heading «Cat Years Charts». I assumed that the cat’s «human years» age is a piecewise linear function of chronological age, i.e. that each stage of the cat’s life can be described by a straight line. It’s only a rough guide; no formula will fit all cats, but it will give a good perspective on the life stage of your cat.

  •  
    Bonham  16.01.2016 16:30

    That’s an interesting formula for figuring a cat’s age. Can you please provide the source?

  •  
    Penington  20.03.2016 02:03

    Hi, Molly. That’s a good question. To write the how-to, I used the table that is the first link under the heading «Cat Years Charts». I assumed that the cat’s «human years» age is a piecewise linear function of chronological age, i.e. that each stage of the cat’s life can be described by a straight line. It’s only a rough guide; no formula will fit all cats, but it will give a good perspective on the life stage of your cat.

  •  
    Kitchens  17.04.2016 21:40

    That’s an interesting formula for figuring a cat’s age. Can you please provide the source?


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