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February 15, 2022 |7 min read

Exactly How Old Is My Cat in Human Years?

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There are many myths when it comes to cats– especially when it’s about their average lifespan and how fast they age. You might usually hear common statements like, “one cat year is equal to seven human years” or “cats have nine lives.” Well, it’s time to set the record straight when it comes to the myths associated with our favorite little furballs.

First things first, and it may come as a shock to some people, but cats do not actually live nine different lives! Just like Drake and the rest of us, they only live once. Shocking, I know. Now that we’ve established that one of these sayings is a myth, let’s talk about the other. Is one human year really equal to seven cat years? Although many people believe in the 7:1 ratio, it’s not true. It’s believed the idea behind this saying came about to highlight how pets age at a faster pace than we do. Do you think cats age quicker than we think? Well, it's true! So, how do you figure out how old your cat is?

How to Accurately Calculate Your Cat’s Age

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) worked with the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) along with the International Cat Care (formerly known as the Feline Advisory Bureau). Together, they have created and agreed a straightforward method to determine the age of our feline friends.

The first year of your cat's life is roughly equal to fifteen human years! After their first year, the next year is an additional nine human years. Their second year (and each following year) is equal to four additional years! 

So, how did these various cat experts all agree on the same cat-to-human year calculations? 

According to the AAHA, they’re based on physiological changes that happen during different stages of your cat’s life. Then they directly compare and match those stages with the different life stages of a human’s life.

A kitten that’s 1 month old is similar in age to a 1-year-old human baby, as opposed to a kitten that’s 6 months old, whose age is more approximate to that of a 10-year-old child. 

Here’s a helpful chart to figure out what life stage your cat is in:

Cat’s Life Stage

Cat’s Age Using A Calendar Year


1 month - 11 months

Junior Cat

12 months - 2 years

Adult Cat

3 & up

Senior Cat

11 & up


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How Do Outdoor Cats Age Differently Than Indoor Cats?

Did you know that environmental or external factors play a large part in the average length of our cats’ lives? When it comes to an outdoor cat lifestyle versus indoor cat lifestyle and how it affects your cat’s age, the AAHA says that this can be a controversial topic to talk about. Although, the reasoning for both cat types are valid. You might automatically think that indoor cats are less likely to be exposed to outdoor risks that can cause trauma and expose them to infectious diseases. 

However, it is also good to know that indoor cats have a greater risk of catching an illness because of the limitations of their environment. On the other hand, outdoor cats may have the benefit of a more stimulating and natural environment, the chances of them being exposed to dangers like diseases, predators, and injury are definitely higher. In the end, it’s ultimately up to you to figure out which lifestyle better suits your cats.

What are the Signs You Have a Senior Cat?

How can you tell if you have a senior cat?

When cats age, there are some signs that can help us figure out how old they truly are.

  • Teeth: One of the indicators that you have a senior cat is changes in their teeth. These can be the built-up tartar, yellow stains, and missing teeth. Knowing how to brush your cat’s teeth properly is crucial for the duration of their life.
  • Eyes: When your cats age, their eyesight might also decline. They might experience some cloudiness or have discharges.
  • Coat: You might notice that your cat’s coat is much thicker and coarser. In fact, you might also be seeing more graying patches of fur than a younger cat might have. But if your cat is losing hair, be sure to check with your veterinarian.
  • Activity Level: As your cat ages, they will have less energy to do the activities they used to love. They might also be easily tired and lose muscle mass and weight. Arthritis is also one indicator that you have an aging feline. 
  • Differences in Behavior:  The older they get, the more they wander around. You might also notice that they meow more and have higher levels of anxiety and get disoriented, or confused easily. However, if your hear an elderly cat yowling, there might be something that is causing them distress.

Learn more about six signs that your cat is getting older.

Want to figure out your cat’s age in human years quickly? Check out this other helpful chart!

Cat’s Age (according to calendar)

Approximate Human Age


















Some breeds of cats live to be as old as 25 which would come out to be approximately 116 years as a human! Wow! Talk about being a grandmeow or grandpurr! In fact, the oldest cat recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records, a cat named Cream Puff, lived to be 38 years and three days old! That’s 168 in human years!

Now that you understand how to determine your cat’s age, it’s important to take a proactive approach to their health as they get older. With PrettyLitter, we can help you stay on top of your cat’s health by monitoring the acidity and alkalinity of their urine. Learn more about the benefits of health monitoring litter and how it can help your cat live a long and happy life.


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Christina Scamporrino is a lifelong animal lover and began working in the petcare space in 2019. Christina’s passion for the community of feline owners and enthusiasts have led her to designing premium packaging for PrettyLitter cat litter, PrettyPlease dry food, wet food, and treats, and a litter box designed to solve common litter box issues.

Outside of her professional work in the petcare space, Christina is a longtime kitten foster and has worked with several cat rescues throughout Southern California. When given the option, she favors orange cats, but loves all cats equally.