According to a legend, one human year corresponds to seven cat years. This legend comes from a time when people still believed in witches: Cats can fall from a surprisingly great height without dying in the process. Therefore one assumed in former times that they must have several lives. Why exactly there are seven lives, however, remains an open question.
In reality, a one year old cat is much more mature than a seven year old child and so we leave the legend behind and return to the actual topic: The possibility to convert cat years into human years and to all the questions that arise around this topic.
How old do cats become?
Cats have an average life expectancy of about 10 to 15 years. This is influenced by various factors such as habitat, diet and care, and of course whether or not you take your cat to the vet regularly and whether or not it suffers more serious illnesses. In general, free-roaming cats also have a shorter life expectancy, as they are more likely to get injured or catch diseases outside in nature than indoor cats.
Now you know how many years your cat lives on average. Still to be clarified is how this life expectancy looks in human years.
The age of cats in human years
A calculable connection between cat years and human years is not scientifically proven. However, it is generally accepted that the first two years of a cat’s life are roughly equivalent to the first 25 years of a human’s life. Each additional year after that comes close to four human years. This means that your cat with six cat years has an equivalent human age of about 41 years. By the way, the world’s oldest cat so far is said to have been a certain "Cream Puff. She died on 6. August 2005 at the age of 38 years – in human years this is a proud 196 years! Of course, some breeds will live longer than others – for example, Siamese and Manx cats live the longest on average.
Converting cat years to human years is important, by the way, so that you can adjust to certain circumstances of your cat: While we humans don’t age that much within a year, cats, for example, reach sexual maturity after only six months – they are now about 13 years old in human years and entering puberty. So if you have a female cat and want to prevent your cat lady from having little kittens, you should start thinking about neutering her. Equally important are the cat years converted to human years later, when your cat slowly becomes a senior and needs more care and attention from you. Therefore we provide you here a calculator, with which you can convert the cat age into human years:
The cat age and life stages
Cats reach puberty and sexual maturity at six months of age. But you can also assign other life phases and events to an approximate cat age.
At the age of about one month, the baby age ends for cats and they enter the "child stage". After puberty is over, they enter adulthood at about 18-24 months of age – they are now completely full grown. If your cat becomes seven years old, it is about 44 years in human years and begins its life as a senior cat. From now on she needs more rest, slows down and is even more happy about your attention and love.