What Are Cat Years?

Sleeping cat

A cat years calculation is a fun way to work out how old a feline is in human years. Many people believe that, like dog years, cats age faster than humans, and that the first two cat years to human years are as long as 24 people birthdays for kitties.

 The truth about calculating cat years to human years, however, is that felines do not age the same way people do. Not even being gifted with nine lives is an advantage for a cat, since a long and healthy life depends on many factors such as:

  1. Breed of cat
  2. Body condition and weight maintenance
  3. Indoor or outdoor lifestyle
  4. Quality of cat food
  5. Scheduled veterinary check-ups and vaccinations
  6. Amount of exercise through games (WATCH: 2 min video on home-made games for kitty)
  7. General cat care health
  8. Whether a cat is spayed or neutered

How to convert cat years to human years

Cats are much older than they look. The general rule of working out a cat’s human age depends on the growth, development and life stage she is in.

If you’re still wondering how old your healthy cat is, a rough equivalent of cat years to human years is calculated as 15 human years for cats that are 12 months and younger, then go up 9 years to work out kitty’s second birthday, and finally each cat year after two is an additional three or four human years.

Cat years vs Human years calculator

For mature to senior felines, pet parents can calculate a cat’s age online with this cat years calculator at Purina Pro Plan. Below is an age calculation for cats 1 – 8 years old in human years.


Cat Years Human Years Increased by
1 15 +15
2 24 +9
3 28 +4
4 31 +3
5 35 +4
6 38 +3
7 42 +4
8 45 +3


How many years is a cat year?

Cats experience life at a much more accelerated rate than people do. In comparison, a cat reaches sexual maturity at five months and can become pregnant with a litter before there is time to spay or neuter.

Likely the most use that the cat years to human years calculation can serve, is that it helps veterinarians determine which of the six life stages a cat is in, amongst them: kitten, adolescent, or senior. Other factors play an important role in determining age too, not only a cat’s human age.

10 Things that help veterinarians tell a cat’s true, life stage age.

  1. Size
  2. Weight
  3. Teeth and gums
  4. Eyes
  5. Ears
  6. Body condition
  7. Behavior
  8. Medical history
  9. Blood work
  10. Physical examination

Learn more about caring for your cat

Get cat care tips in your inbox from experts. Subscribe to the Petfinder Newsletter.