How Old Is My Cat In Human Years?

Veterinary expert Arnold Plotnick, DVM, provides a chart for estimating a cat's age as it compares to a person's age.

Wondering what your cat's age is in human years? Via JeepFoto/Thinkstock

Q.

Do cats age the same way as dogs? For example, our cat, Bob, is 2 years old. Does that mean that he is 14 years old in cat years?

A.

The notion that dogs and cats age seven years for every one year is a myth that’s stuck around for years. If you think about it, some cats can live to be 18 or 19 years old. If they aged seven years for every one year, an 18-year-old cat would be equivalent to a 126-year-old person, clearly not very likely.

In my practice, we have at least 10 cats who are over 20 years old, but there are certainly no 140-year-old people. The seven to one rule is just not true. Cats age faster when they’re younger, but this slows down as they get older. At 6 months of age, a female cat already can reproduce. At 1 year of age, cat bones fully stop growing.

This occurs in people at approximately 24 years of age, give or take a few years. So, a 1-year-old cat is roughly equivalent to a 24-year-old person. From that point on, cats age approximately four years for every one year. While this is certainly not an exact science, the table below should offer a reasonable guideline as to how cats age compared to humans.

Cat Age Human Age

6 months   15 years
1 year         24 years
2 years        28 years
3 years        32 years
4 years        36 years
5 years        40 years
6 years        44 years
7 years        48 years
8 years        52 years
9 years        56 years
10 years      60 years
11 years      64 years
12 years      68 years
13 years      72 years
14 years      76 years
15 years      80 years
16 years      84 years
17 years      88 years
18 years     92 years
19 years     96 years
20 years    100 years

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Article Categories:
Behavior and Training · Cats · Health and Care

Comments

  • I have a new pet ninja 6months old he was sleeping in a truck. Know he is sleeping in my bed. Very happy kitty. My home was quiet but no more. Thats good.

    Lynn October 26, 2016 3:55 pm Reply
  • I have two beautiful kitty’s named precious and maddy they are lovely babe’s

    Ana Owings December 15, 2016 5:37 pm Reply
  • You know, I think of it a bit differently.

    Cats tend not to age in such a clear linear fashion as suggested by this chart. While of course our cats do get older and tend to deteriorate (to varying degrees among different cats) as they age, their age is more dictated by their health and physical condition.

    For example, if your cat is seven years old and obese with diabetes, they’re considerably “older” than one who regularly explores the outdoors to maintain a healthy weight and muscle tone. We can’t simply break our cat’s age down to some human equivalent because our lifecycles are, frankly, quite different.

    To really bring the point home, consider the world’s oldest cat, Cream Puff. Cream Puff lived to be 38 years old. That would put her at about 172 human years old, making her long life far more impressive than the official holder of the record for longest-lived person, who died at 122. Cream Puff would have even been over 30 years older than the Indonesian man who, according to unproven claims, made it to an amazing 146 years old.

    If not based on average lifespans and commensurate health status, what is the basis for this conversion?

    WildernessCatLady May 2, 2017 1:56 pm Reply
    • I somewhat agree with everything you have mentioned but this chart still holds true to the average cats. Creme puff simply got lucky genetics to live a far above average lifespan of 38 years. that woman simply got lucky genetics to live a far above average lifespan of 122 years. most cats will die of old age around their late teens. most humans will die of old age around their mid eighties.
      Although like I said, I do agree with the points you made. specifically different lifestyles. Outdoor/stray cats barely make it to 10 years. Although For the AVERAGE indoor cat this chart is pretty much spot on.

      brandon woods May 12, 2017 6:19 pm Reply

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