Knowing How To Guess The Age Of A Cat

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Age Is Important When You Adopt A Cat

If you are planning to adopt a cat or are thinking about buying one, you need to know the age of the cat first. When you are taking up a kitten it is usually easy to guess their age. Kittens are usually a stage that lasts for six months after which they mature into adult cats. When you are adopting a cat from a breeder, they will be able to tell you the age of the kitten or the cat. When you bring in a cat to a vet, they should be able to tell you the age of the cat with a fair amount of accuracy. Many breeders keep records of their cats and thus, knowing the exact age of the cat is an easy process when adopting from experienced breeders. It is best to adopt from a breeder and not from anywhere else.


If the origin of a cat is unknown, it would be difficult to tell the age of a cat by simply looking at it. The following confusions can occur:

  • A five year old cat will look similar to an eight year old cat
  • A two year old cat can look like a eight year old cat even
  • Educated guesses are usually made by looking at the teeth of the cat but that too can mislead
  • Cat’s teeth will differ based on the diet that it keeps. Thus, a farm cat which eats hard kibble will have teeth whose condition is different from cats that eat out of a can
  • Indoor cats have different teeth conditions than feral cats
  • Genetic variability also has a role to play in the teeth condition of cats

Age And Teeth Conditions

When a cat enters old age, it is easier to guess its age by looking at the state of the teeth. That is because by then tartar buildup is considerable on their teeth. Most cats develop a lot of tartar build up on their teeth as they age. Thus, if you take them to the vet they can guess their age by studying the tartar build up on their teeth. However, the age guessed by vets even in such cases is off by two years or more. Again, some cats who are looked after at home, are taken to the vet for dental cleaning. Thus, the tartar being removed from their teeth, it becomes more difficult to state the age of well bred cats.

Symptoms Of Age

There are other symptoms of age that become evident in cats:

  • When cats enter their senior years, their stomach starts to hang
  • Many cats develop cloudy eyes or cataracts which again put them in the senior bracket without much more accuracy about their exact age
  • Cats are known to age more gracefully than humans and the signs of age are subtle and not very drastic

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