Feline Aging

Cats usually live longer than most dogs and it is no longer unusual for them to live until 20 or beyond. How long an individual cat will live depends on many factors such as genetics, whether kept indoors or not, type of diet and of course the appropriate veterinary care he/she receives.

The rule of thumb is that at about age 7, a cat is considered to be middle-aged. At age 10 and above, a cat is considered to be in old age.

Cat Age Human Age Equivalent
6 months 10 years
8 months 13 years
10 months 14 years
1 year 15 years
18 months 20 years
2 years 24 years
4 years 32 years
6 years 40 years
7 years 44 years
8 years 48 years
10 years 56 years
14 years 72 years
16 years 80 years
18 years 88 years
20 years 96 years
21 years 100 years

As you can see, a seven year old cat is well into middle-age. Due to the fact that one year for a cat is equivalent to four human-years, many changes can take place in what for us, is a fairly short period of time. That is why most leaders in the veterianry profession now recommend twice yearly physical exams plus appropriate blood work on all cats who are 7 years old or above.

Some of the testing we may recommend for older cats includes the following:

  • blood pressure
  • complete urine analysis, including a urine culture
  • thyroid function test
  • fecal exam for parasites
  • complete blood count
  • comprehensive blood chemistry
  • chest and/or abdominal radiographs (x-rays)

With these tests, many health problems which are not readily detected in other ways can be caught early on and appropriate steps taken to ensure continued well-being and a longer life for your cat.

For immediate assistance call 253-874-2012