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    Determining Cat Years | Kitten Ads

    Articlegeneral cat adviceFriday 20 May 2011
    If you have no prior experience of determining cat years, it can sometimes be tricky to determine the age of a cat. However, once you’ve learned how to convert cat years to human years, you’ll be able to work out the relative age of most cats. Read the guide below to learn more about how to determine a cat’s age.

    How to Tell the Age of a Cat: Top Tips

    • It’s a common misconception that the ‘7 year’ rule can be used to convert cat years to human years. While equalling each year of a human life to seven years of a cat life can be useful as a means of broadly estimating age, it’s worth remembering that a cat will develop extremely quickly in the first two years of its life. Therefore, a more accurate assessment is to equate two human years to 25 cat years, and then add four years for every corresponding year. Cats can live as long as two decades, or over the grand old age of 95 in cat years.

    • If it’s a stray cat of course, the above method will prove completely immaterial. To work out the age of a stray, it’s best to check the signs of body development. The teeth can be a big giveaway – a cat will shift all of its baby teeth six months after birth. Once you’ve established the size of the teeth, check the condition. If the teeth remain relatively white, it suggests the cat is just over a year old. An older cat will have a distinctive yellowing of the back teeth, where tartar has built up. Generally, the more wear and tear on the teeth, the older the cat. Large patches of missing teeth could suggest a cat is in the region of 10-15 years old.

    • As with humans, much of the signs of ageing can be clearly visible by examining the eyes closely. Check the condition of the iris – does the eye appear to have clouded over? This is usually a strong indication of ageing. Cats’ eyes will tend to decline after nearly 12 (human) years.

    • Analyse body tone carefully. Naturally, an older cat is unlikely to appear in the prime of life – younger cats tend to look muscular, fit and strong. An older cat’s body may appear to droop a little more, and may have a ragged, jutting appearance.

    • Finally, keep a close eye on behavioural instincts. Young cats are naturally curious, and may disappear for long hours on end to explore. They’ll also be more likely to interact if you initiate a game or use cat toys to catch the attention. An older cat’s behaviour will be far more subdued, and long sleeping patterns can hint at the fact the cat's age is somewhere close to its golden years..

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