Determining Cat Age – Look for These Signs

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You are as old as you feel — or so the old saying goes. And the same holds true of cats. Although there are particular key events in the growth of a cat, it is not easy to establish a cat’s age precisely. Nonetheless, the claws and teeth, along with the condition of the fur and skin, could all give an indication of the age of a cat. Occasionally, it is also feasible to make use of x-rays to check out tell-tale indicators of ageing.

Just like numerous mammals (including Human beings), the teeth provide a good hint to the age of a cat. After it’s lost its milk teeth, the cat’s adult teeth will progressively wear down.

cat age old catIf you purchase a cat – a rescue cat or an abandoned cat from your neighborhood – lacking the knowledge of its complete background, you will likely be curious regarding its age along with other facets of its history.

Telling the precise age of a cat is an extremely hard job after the initial few weeks of life, but a skilled veterinarian just might assist you to determine the age of a cat when you take it for its first check.


A newborn kitten is totally helpless, but by about four days old it should be able to crawl to its mother from about 50cm (2ft) away. Even so, a kitten cannot stand until it is approximately three weeks old, and doesn’t develop its sense of balance till it is seven weeks old. At about three weeks it will likewise figure out how to control urination and defecation, so that it should be able to make use of a litter tray (if it is sufficiently strong to climb in).

With eyes open at a few days old, the following indication of its age is in the teeth. The milk teeth begin to grow at about 14 days, and the kitten can have a complete set of milk teeth (baby teeth) by the time it is five weeks old. However, these are going to be shed and replaced by adult teeth once the kitten is between four and six months old, so this is a significant indication of age.


Size is also relevant throughout the initial 12 months of life: generally, a cat is fully grown once it is 12 months old. After the first year of life there are few milestones that will give you a good clue about the age of a cat. A professional handler or breeder, or a vet, might be able to advise the age of the cat by checking out the level of deterioration of the teeth, and the condition of the claws. The condition of the coat can also provide a clue, since it has a tendency to become rougher as they age.


Most signs of ageing will also be amplified by undernourishment, illness and insufficient care, therefore a rescue cat might seem significantly more aged than it is, due to the fact it’s not had the easy, stress-free life that keeps a cat youthful and alert.

A mature cat is more prone to display symptoms of joint disease along with other problems related to old age, but, again, such problems will probably present themselves earlier in badly fed cats, or cats with a long history of illness. X-rays may expose worn joints or breaking down of bones, which also suggest the start of old age.

The health of the claws can provide an idea to a cat’s age: although a cat likes to keep its claws sharp, they might grow to be thickened and yellow as they age.

Sexual maturity can be a clue to age, but even this can be difficult to rely on. Male cats are sexually mature and prepared to mate from approximately 6 months old. Female cats begins coming into season and calling at numerous ages, according to the breed as well as the month or year. If a cat is obviously a purebred, then the age where she starts calling can reveal age: Siamese and other Oriental breeds may start calling as early as 6 months, whilst a Persian might not be totally sexually developed right up until she is 15 months. However, should you be taking in a stray cat, you should have her neutered.

Cats used to live to the age of about 10 years. But, the conveniences of domesticated living have prolonged life-span to 16 years.

Several varieties of kitten take at least a year to build up their adult coat coloring: in Siamese, as an example the coat goes on becoming more dark as the cat grows older.

It is best to take an adopted cat to the veterinarian for a comprehensive check for external and internal parasites, chronic ailments and guidance on inoculation and neutering.