It’s a common belief that 1 human year is equal to 7 cat years, similar to the estimate for dog years. This calculation is true for a brief time when a cat is about 5 calendar years old and when a dog is about 6, but it’s mostly incorrect.
Cats actually develop very quickly compared to humans so that by age 1, they’re already the equivalent to a 15-year-old-human. That explains why kittens are so rebellious at that age! Shorty would definitely have gotten a tattoo and listened to heavy metal.
As they get older, cats age progressively slower so that a 20-year-old cat is roughly comparable to a 96-year-old person (as opposed to 140 if you were multiplying by 7), so there isn’t an easy calculation to make when determining cat years. It’s a sliding scale until they’re about 2, or 24 in cat years, and you can then easily add 4 cat years to every calendar year thereafter, if that makes any sense. To make things easier, check out the graph below to determine the age of your cat.
Make the most of their cat years
To extend and make the most of her cat years, when I adopted Shorty from the Toronto Humane Society, they insisted I keep her indoors. Indoor cats have an average lifespan of 15-20 years, depending on many factors like genetics and healthcare maintenance, while outdoor cats, facing many more threats like traffic and other animals, live about 3-5 years.
Such a shame they can be in our lives for such a short time, but the amount of joy they can pack into that time is immense, isn’t it? It’s a good reminder that even though you may occasionally feel you don’t have the time to play or bond with your cat, your kitty has even less time as those cat years fly by.
Now stop reading and go pet your kitty! 🙂
Human Years to Cat Years