Cat Years to Human Years: Your Feline’s Lifespan Explained

Science from cat years to human years suggests that cats age much faster than their owners. Although our furry friends go through the same stages in life as we do, they usually only live a fraction of the time we do.

Studies show the average cat lives to only 14 years old, which is 70 in human years.

According to Dr. Cats Protection Field Veterinary Officer Lucinda Alderton-Sell, aging in cats begins quickly but slows down as they age

Newsweek asked the experts how a cat’s lifespan compares to humans and how to take care of older cats.

How old is a cat in human years?

An old women’s tale often suggests finding out a dog’s age. Multiply it by seven to reveal its human equivalent. However, this is incorrect for both pets.

Dr. Lucinda Alderton-Sell told Newsweek, “By the age of three to six, cats are in the prime of their lives and usually at the peak of their physical fitness. That period includes the ages of 24 to 40 in human years.”

“They then move into their mature age, seven to ten, when they begin to slow down a little and gain weight. This is when they are the human equivalent in their mid 40s to mid 50s. “

“From then on, they’ll reach human retirement age and at 14 they’ll be the human equivalent of 70.”

“At this point in their life they need more rest and tend to live more slowly. When they turn 21 it would be 100 years in a person’s life, so their health will likely deteriorate.”

Cats don’t stay kittens long because they age much faster than humans.
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Cat years to human years

According to International Cat Care (IAC), there are six stages in life for cats, but it can be difficult to tell a cat’s age from the common traits we would consider for a human, such as graying hair or arthritis.

IAC said, “What these stages allow us to do is to estimate how old the cat is inside, as, as noted, this is often not very obvious from the outside, as cats rarely turn gray or show any external signs of pain or illness . “

How to convert your pet’s age from cat years to human years.

  • Six months = 10 in human years
  • Two years = 24 in human years
  • Five years = 36 in human years
  • 10 years = 56 in human years
  • 12 years = 64 in human years
  • 14 years = 70 in human years
  • 21 years = 100 in human years

How long do cats live?

As with humans, there is no one-size-fits-all answer that applies to every cat. Instead, various factors will change the longevity of their lives, such as “health, diet and their environment,” explained Dr. Alderton-Sell.

She continued, “The average lifespan of a house cat is around 12-14 years. However, some house cats can live around 20 years.”

However, one thing has been proven, pets can help people live longer. A study by the American Heart Association found an association between pet ownership and low blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol levels. Caring for a cat seems to benefit both us and them.


Older cats need more attention to their health and a comfortable place to sleep.
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How to take care of an older cat

Dr. Alderton-Sell says cats need a lot more attention to their health and a comfortable place to sleep at this point in their life.

As with humans, this is where illness and symptoms can become a bigger problem, requiring more frequent health checks.

She said, “Older cats tend to need to be taken to the vet for health checks more often than younger, healthier cats, especially if they have age-related symptoms or illnesses.”

“Your vet can advise you on how often you need to be examined, and many practices now have special ‘geriatric’ clinics. Regular weight checks are just as important as regular booster vaccinations, as cats’ immune systems can weaken with age. “

Dr. Sarah Elliott, a key veterinarian on cat protection, told Newsweek that there are some of the special things to watch out for, including constipation, cognitive dysfunction, and deafness.

Stock image of a cat
From kittens to adult cats, our pets go through different phases of life.
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