How Old Is My Cat in Human Years?

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

By Arnold Plotnick, DVM

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Man with Cat -- How Old Is My Cat in Human Years?
Cats age fastest when they're young. This slows down the older they are.

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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Reader Comments

Janet    International

12/16/2014 3:03:49 PM

My pedigree Persian cat Penny (AKA Portrait Secret Love)was born on 16/04/1993 and sadly passed away on 15/11/2014. Up until a couple of weeks before that she was still very active and demanding. in her 21 1/2 years she had very few health problems.

amanda    Mathews, VA

12/15/2014 2:16:13 PM

My cat butterscotch is 1 in cat years and 24 in human years

Janice    International

12/7/2014 8:35:56 AM

My cat died when she was 23 years old. She behaved normally until 2 days before her death. Then her back legs went and she died of renal failure. She was just a moggy. Perhaps muddies live longer as not so finely bred.

Elizabeth    Ipswich, NY

12/2/2014 8:30:56 AM

My friend channel is 19 years old . She has become very stubborn. Still knows what time of day it is to eat. Sleeps most of the day, but can be quite active when she wants to be.

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