how to tell how old a cat is

How Old Is My Cat? – Cat Rescuer’s Riddle

Do you have any idea how old your pet cat is? Maybe if you were present at the moment your cat was born, you can easily say how old it is. But what if you were not around when your adorable cat was born, would you be able to tell how old it is?

There are various methods on how to tell cat’s age. It is determined by checking their teeth, eyes, fur, and behavior. Although visiting a veterinarian is the easiest way to know how old your cat is, you can do it on your own by simply checking cat’s features mentioned above.


How to Tell How Old a Cat Is

Check out the different methods on how to know how old your cat is.

By Examining The Fur And Body


Like a human, cat’s hair and body undergo changes as they age. These changes can indicate how old or young your cat is.

  • A cat’s coat at a younger age should be fluffy and full with an equal amount all over his body. As the cat ages, they tend to have a more thinned out coat.
  • Young cats under the age of five may have excessively fluffy coats.
  • The texture of their fur changes as they age. The fur becomes coarse, and the feel is a bit different as compared to when they were younger, soft and fluffy.
  • Grey fur may pop up around the muzzle in an older cat.
  • The cat’s body condition is also a good indicator of their age. Young cats have a slender and muscular body as long as they are not overweight.
  • Cats with plump and round body may be between 3-7 years old; the older ones have less fat and muscle. The older cats look thin and have noticeable shoulder bones.

By Your Cat’s Behavior


Your cat’s behavior can be an indicator of how old or young they are, or their health. If you think your cat’s behavior is an indication of being sick, then you should bring him to his vet.

  • As the cat age, they become disoriented, acting more anxious and fearful. Sometimes, an elderly cat is more aggressive and angry.
  • An older cat may have a problem with their vision and hearing and they could suffer from pain caused by arthritis.
  • Elderly cats may have a problem using their litter box. You will know this if they are doing it outside their box, or if they litter around the house. This is not normal behavior for a cat and could be a sign of aging, sickness, stress or loss of vision. Position the litter box in a less stressful area and visit your vet to make sure that your pet is healthy.
  • Older cats tend to sleep more than younger cats. An elderly cat may stay awake at night and sleep during the day. They prefer to sleep instead of playing around. Also, older cats howl at night more often as compared to the younger ones.

By Cat’s Eye


The cat’s eye changes as they get older. 

  • Young cats under five years have clear eyes.
  • Ten years old cat may start to show signs of age like cloudiness in their eyes. It is due to their age, or they have developed a cataract.
  • Check your cat’s irises. It is the part that surrounds the pupil and gives them an eye color. Older cats will show signs of aging in their irises. Cats older than five years have thin iris with pigment patches and strands showing up through the iris. The cat who shows these eye changes is almost ten years old.
  • The level of tear discharge can also help you determine the age of your cat. It is not normal for kittens to have runny tears in their eyes. You can visit your vet to have your cat checked. It is normal for older cats to have regular eye discharge and tears, and you should not worry about it unless it is excessive. A normal cat at the age of five may start to have runny eyes.

By Cat’s Teeth


Your cat undergoes different dental development stages. If your cat is relaxed and comfortable, try checking what type of teeth your cat has and you will have an idea of how old your cat is.

  • 2-4 weeks old, the incisors are the first set of teeth that grow. The canines will grow at 3-4 weeks followed by the premolars at 4-6 weeks.
  • Cat at four months old will not have molars yet.
  • Cats 6 months up to one year old will have all their adult teeth. The cat’s teeth should be white and have no signs of wear.
  • As your cat becomes older, her teeth change and show the signs of aging. Yellow teeth signify that your cat is an older adult. The degree of the yellowing and wear will indicate how old your cat is.
  • When your cat reaches the age of two, you will notice a slight yellowing of her teeth.
  • At three to five years old, the yellowing increases.
  • At the age of five to ten, the yellowing will be visible.
  • If your cat reaches the age of ten or older the yellowing is very evident on all teeth.
  • At the age of five, your cat will show signs of tooth wear.
  • Cats between five and ten years old will display clear signs of teeth wear.
  • When your cat reaches the age of ten and beyond, heavy wearing down is seen. Some teeth may be missing.
  • Older cats may have dental tartar and gum recession.

Final Words

The methods above will give you an idea of how old your cat is. But, it does not give you the exact age of your cat. It would be best if you could ask your veterinarian’s opinion about your cat’s age.

You can also have your cat checked and plan for a care program for a longer life. By knowing the age of your cat, you will be able to give her the proper treatment and care. Hope you enjoyed reading our article. If you find this post helpful, you can share it with your friends.

Sarah Keene

I’m Sarah Keene, and I’m glad you found your way to my blog. I love cats so much; I consider myself a cat woman. I have 5 cats at the moment, and I am planning to grow my cat family. It is not easy to take care of these cats appropriately though I would wish to make them feel as comfortable as possible. This is why I depend on other blogging cat lovers like me to help me in providing all the necessities for my cats to have the best life possible.

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