Create Account

How to Tell How Old Your Cat Is

April 02, 2020

How to Tell How Old Your Cat Is

This post is written by our holistic veterinarian at "I and love and you", Dr. Angie Krause, DVM, CVA, CCRT.

If you didn’t adopt your cat as a kitten, it may be difficult to know exactly how old they are. While it’s impossible to know their age with certainty, here are four ways to help determine your cat’s age:

Teeth 

Your veterinarian may be able to make a better guess at the age of your kitty by looking in their mouth. Cats have their adult teeth by the time they are 6 months of age. After this age, dental disease (gingivitis and tartar accumulation) and tooth wear provide clues to the age of your kitty. However, some very young kitties can have advanced dental disease, while some senior cats have perfect dental health. Dental x-rays may also give your veterinarian an idea of your kitty’s age. As kitty’s age, their pulp cavity (the hollow part of the tooth) becomes smaller.

Eyes

Geriatric cats have changes in their corneas that can give your veterinarian information that may give a better guess of age.

Bloodwork

Most cats have some loss of kidney function as they become seniors. This can be measured by blood work including blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine (CREA).

Body Condition 

As cats progress past the age of 12 years, many start to experience the loss of muscle mass. There are many diseases that cause this loss such as thyroid disease, intestinal disease, diabetes, arthritis, and kidney disease.

How Old Is My Cat In Cat Years?

Once you've figured out approximately how old your furry friend is, the age chart in this post shows the actual age of your kitty or cat.

If you are unsure of your kitty’s actual age, having veterinary examinations every 6 months becomes critical in catching diseases. Cats age more than 5 times the rate of humans. As a result, diseases can come on over a few months. In between vet visits here are three things you can measure at home:

  1. Weight. You can get a baby scale to weigh your kitty once monthly. Gradual weight loss can be difficult to notice when you see your kitty every day. Weight loss can alert you or your veterinarian that more serious disease may be present.
  2. Oral exam. If your kitty will let you, peeking in his mouth a couple of times a month can alert you to painful dental disease. Unfortunately, kitties with horribly painful mouths never stop eating or alert you that anything is wrong.
  3. Litterbox.Changes in the size of pee clumps or consistency of their poop can be indicators that it is time for a visit to the vet. Cats that produce a large amount of urine may be suffering from diabetes or kidney disease. Chronically loose stools may be a sign of treatable intestinal disease.

While you may never know the exact age of your adult cat, teaming with your veterinarian along with thoughtful observation at home can prove incredibly helpful in having a ballpark idea of your kitty's age. Remember that age is not a disease, and using this information can help you better support your cat's overall health and wellbeing.

How did you determine your cat's age? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

With love,

Dr. Angie


More From ILY Pet

Ensuring Safe Travel with Your Emotional Support Dog

Ensuring Safe Travel with Your Emotional Support Dog

November 15, 2021

If you’re wondering what an ESA dog is, we’re giving you the low-down on all things travel, and how to do it safely with your emotional support dog!
poodle cuddles with owner

Adoption Tips: Questions to Ask When Adopting a Dog

November 08, 2021

Adopting a dog is a big decision. That’s why we’re coming to the rescue with our adoption guide in order to ensure a paws-itive process for you and your pup!
kitten licking its lips

Toys to Relieve Your Kitten Teething Woes

November 02, 2021

From the baby teething phase to the adult teething phase, here are our tips about how to handle and help relieve your kitten's teething woes.