Guessing a Cat’s Age

Have you ever looked at a cat and wondered how old it really was? It seems to make a difference in appearance if the cat was kept indoors or outdoors.

Most of the time a cat will be full size by 1 year. If you do not know how old your kitty is, your vet can give you an estimate of his or her age. Alternatively, here are some guidelines to follow.

Teeth– Your cat should have a full set of teeth by 6 months. The teeth may become dull by age 2 and may start to have tartar build-up and some wear by age 5.

Fur– The fur of your cat will do a complete 360. When a kitten is born, it normally has a thick and short coat. As the feline ages, the fur will turn soft and fine, but will once again become thick and coarse in old age. Your cat may also have gray patches when older.

Muscle Tone– An older cat will be bonier and have more sagging skin, whereas a younger kitty will be more toned because they are more active.

Indoor cats tend to live an average of 12 – 18 years. Outdoor cats have shorter life expectancy. After a year or two, outdoor cats appear older than their linear age compared to indoor cats.


Indoors or Outdoors? An International Exploration of Owner Demographics and Decision Making Associated with Lifestyle of Pet Cats. [Internet] Available from:

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