Thoughts for Thursday – How old is your cat?

There are a lot of theories, studies, and jokes about age and the reality of what age actually means. This reality has definitely changed over the years. You’ve heard the term, “Forty is the new twenty,” and “sixty is the new forty.” Don’t we enjoy hearing that when we sure don’t feel our age? In fact we fight the numbers as much as we can by creating a more youthful illusion with hair dyes, make up, and even nips and tucks here and there. (Well, I know people who do all that.)

There are also quips, theories, and questions about a cat’s age in human years. The good news is that cats are living longer. This is partially because more cats are kept indoors and because of improved veterinary medicine. It may be that we have access to higher quality diets for cats, as well.

Even today, the life expectancy of a cat born on the streets is thought to be 3 months to 3 years. A cat that’s cared for and also kept indoors can live to be 18 or 20 years old.

Did you know that there are breeds of cats with longer life expectancies? They include the Manx and the Siamese. I would imagine that mixes with these breeds could have more longevity as well. However, the longest living cat on record was a Burmese who lived to be 35 years old. A tabby beat that record, but unofficially, as I guess they couldn’t verify that this cat was actually 39 years old.

How old is your cat in human years? This has been debated and discussed by most cat people at some point. Some say a cat ages 9 years to our every one. But experts say it is a little more complicated than that, and I found a chart that spells it out quite succinctly. Check it out. How old is your cat? According to the chart, a kitten ages 15 human years in his first year of life. A two-year-old cat is the equivalent of a 24-year old human. I learned from this chart that our cat, Sophie, is actually around 80 in human years. High-five, Sophie, you’re doing pretty swell in the healthy-cat world. Here’s the chart and an interesting article accompanying it for those of you who really want to know how old your cat is compared to you.

No matter how old your cat is, hopefully he’s still young at heart.

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