How to Age-Proof Your Cat

If your new cat was adopted or rescued, its age may be a mystery to you. The best way to know a cat’s age is to speak with a reputable veterinarian, who can also assist you in creating a care regimen to guarantee the greatest possible quality of life and longevity.

In general, a comprehensive veterinary examination of the cat’s entire body will aid in estimating the cat’s age; nevertheless, veterinarians frequently focus on a few specific body areas when attempting to make this determination. Here are a few ways veterinarians can figure out how old your cat is.


Teeth are a great way to gauge a kitten’s age because a cat’s first baby teeth begin to erupt between 2 and 4 weeks. By the time the kitten is three to four months old, the permanent teeth will begin to displace the baby teeth because they are growing above the baby teeth (also called deciduous teeth). By the time a cat is 6 months old, most of its adult teeth should be in place, therefore measuring a cat’s growth is no longer necessary.

The degree of discoloration or tartar on a cat’s teeth is another sign of age in older cats. With the abundance of tools for cleaning pet teeth, tartar may not be a reliable signal, depending on how diligently the cat’s caretaker implements a dental care regimen. As a result, although teeth are a reliable indicator of a cat or kitten’s age in general, they are not infallible.

Sexual Behavior

Male cats mature sexually as soon as 6 months after birth. Territorial urine spraying and more pronounced testicles are symptoms of puberty.

The first estrus cycle of female cats normally occurs between the ages of 5 and 9 months, while other factors, such as the amount of daylight and the cat’s weight, can also affect when this cycle occurs. A female cat will vocalize and display strong physical signs of estrus to let you know. A female cat can become pregnant at any time, but between the ages of 18 months and 8 years is when she is most fertile.

However, a lot of vets now recommend early spaying and neutering. In addition to preventing early pregnancies, which are harsher on both the mothers and the newborn kittens, it is also thought to make the surgery itself easier on the cats when they are younger. This can make estimating a cat’s age a little more challenging.

Coat Composition

The fur or hair on a kitten is extremely fine and delicate, but as cats become older, their coats get thicker and coarser. It might also alter shade, turning darker or lighter in color. When a cat reaches senior status, it may even start to grow patches of white or gray hairs, just like an aged human. The coat aids a veterinarian in estimating a cat’s age, yet it cannot be taken as proof of age.

In addition, a cat’s ability to groom itself can assist determine its age. Although cats are wonderfully clean animals, as they age, put on weight, or experience pain from dental issues or arthritis, they may start to neglect their grooming.


Healthy kittens and cats have exceptionally clear, bright eyes that show no signs of tears or discharge during their maintenance years. However, as they age, cats may start to weep and/or discharge, and their eyes may appear hazy. 4 The cat typically doesn’t experience this until it is at least 10 years old.

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