Knowing our dog’s or cat’s age in human years is more than satisfying a curiosity. It helps us understand where our dog or cat is developmentally. Their human-equivalent age helps us anticipate their behavioral stages, learning or training abilities, and biological processes. Knowing where they are at compared to humans also helps us related to them and become better providers.
What Do Vets Consider When Estimating Our Cat’s Age in Human Years?
Estimating age can be a pretty big question mark when it comes to rescues. We adopt them, but more often than not, we have no idea where they’re from, when their birthday is, and what their life was like. Even so, there are factors we can look at that will help us get reliably close to their actual age.
Vets will consider factors like the thickness of their coat. Older cats may have thinning fur, but keep in mind the seasons, stress, and disease can affect our cat companion’s coat. The texture is also a consideration. Younger kittens typically have smoother hair, while aging cats have more coarse hair that may be graying.
We look at body type when evaluating age. Activity levels change as cats age. Younger cats may be more lean and muscular because that’s when they are the most active. Middle aged cats tend to be more filled out, and older cats begin to show loose skin and pronounced shoulder bones.
Behavior and mood is something we, as guardians, will be the most familiar with as we get to our cat or kitten, but paying attention to a few common queues can give us a good sense of our feline friend’s age. For example, older cats will experience limited vision and hearing. They may have joint pain or arthritis. And they may be suffering from disease or an aging condition. All of these play a role in how a cat will present their mood and behavior. If we notice our feline suffers from fear or anxiety, or they seem overly aggressive, these may actually be symptoms of their illness, discomfort, or age. That means they may be more of a senior cat than they look.
The eyes are a common age indicator for all of us. When looking at our kitties, we are checking for clouding and dullness. Bright, clear eyes are for younger cats. If the iris, the colorful part of the eye, is clean and smooth, our kitty is younger. If it’s rough or jagged with patches of pigment, our cat is older.
The final common factor is our cat’s teeth. Dental development is consistent across the life stages for cats and dogs. Younger cats will have white, sharp teeth with no signs of wear. Yellowing of the teeth means we have an older cat – probably two to five years old. Yellowing on all the teeth, however, means they are closer to ten years old. Cats begin to show wear on their teeth around five years old. Older cats will have a few missing teeth, tartar buildup, gum recession, and maybe a few broken teeth.
Of course, dental health is also determined by cat’s diet, just like body type and mood can also be determined by a cat’s lifestyle, stress, and potential discomfort from disease. All these factors need to be taken into account collectively rather than depending upon just one measure to determine a cat’s age.
How Do I Calculate My Cat’s Age in Human Years?
The formula for estimating our cat’s age in human years may not be as simple as multiplying our cat’s age by seven, but it’s an easy calculation. Cats mature more quickly than dogs in their early years, but it levels out in their later years.
A one-year old cat is the human equivalent to 15 years. A two-year old cat is a surprising 24-year-old human. Imagine if humans aged that fast in any two-year period.
After two-years, we add four human years. For example, a six year old cat will be the human equivalent to 40-years old! It’s that easy to calculate our cat’s age in human years. Just keep in mind those first two years really add to our pet’s age and replace the folklore number seven, for number four when multiplying each additional year.
How Can We Ensure A Long Life For Our Furry Friends?
For those who read Part One, which focused on calculating our dog’s age in human years, we know that EcoEats is one of the best ways to ensure a long healthy life for dogs. It’s as close as we can get to a whole foods diet, without all the fuss of meal preparation AND without the difficult-to-digest fillers in commercial food.
There are also several supplements we recommend for dogs and cats. Many of our pets are only getting the minimal nutrition they need to survive. But to really lengthen their lives, we need to make sure they are getting everything they need to grow strong and stay strong. Vet Organics has a family of healthy, organic, all-natural products that are specially and thoughtfully formulated for dog and cat health.
EcoImmune is a supplement that’s not only formulated to be nutritious and tasty for cats and dogs, it’s easy to administer. There are no pills or sprays or drops. Just a sprinkle of this powerful formula onto our cat or canine companion’s food and we’re setting them up for a long, happy, healthy life.