Translating Cat Years to Human Years

The time-worn cat age formula no longer holds true. Here's how you can determine the life stage of your kitten or cat.


Newsflash for cat lovers: You can forget that popular belief that you can determine your cat’s age in human years by simply multiplying his age by seven. A cat celebrating his first birthday is actually the equivalent of a person who is 15 years old, a 10-year-old cat is the equivalent of 56, and a 17-year-old cat is the equivalent of 84, according to the new Feline Life Stages Guidelines developed jointly by the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Animal Hospital Association.

Kittenhood ends at seven months old, marking the transition to the “junior” years, according to the guidelines.

A cat’s “prime” years begin on the third birthday (the equivalent of 28 human years). These prime years end with the onset of the “mature” stage at age seven (the equivalent of 44 human years). Senior cat years begin at age 11 (60 human years), a stage when veterinarians begin to focus more on diseases associated with aging. The geriatric cat stage begins at 15, or 76 human years.

Why “Cat Years” Are So Helpful

This new cat age calculator was developed to outline life stage wellness programs in order to aid the veterinary community in delivering the most comprehensive care for cats. The specific goals are to provide recommendations for optimal health care throughout the different life cycles of a cat, and to facilitate improved veterinary visits between client and veterinarian.


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