Thursday, November 30, 2023
Daily FeatureFridaygreat rescues day bookhealth and safety

Feline Life Stages in Human Years

Share the Love.
Share the Love.

Above, geriatric and young adult—Peaches at age 20 was considered geriatric, and Giuseppe at 18 months a young adult. Giuseppe adored her, and stayed close with her in her last months, escorting her around the house and napping with her to keep her warm.

So just how old is a senior cat, and when do cats go from being kittens to being adults? And are there stages in between, and beyond? And do we count five years for every year to equal the human equivalent, or seven?

While we can generalize over the course of a cat’s life using “7” to multiply to reach a human equivalent, the result is way off the mark at the beginning and end of life. Consider that they can have babies as young as four months old in some circumstances, yet if we multiplied “7” by, say “.5”, we’d get “3.5”. To reach a real human equivalent for the ability to reproduce we’d have to figure it out another way.

For most of the years I’ve lived with cats I’ve had representatives in each age category, but right now my household is a mix of Junior, Prime, Senior and Geriatric—and it’s really hard to think of Mimi as geriatric! And actually, Mimi and her kids are all older than me in human equivalent years. Nearly all my cats lived to their geriatric years. It’s a good indicator of where they are and what they need.

And if you’re wondering about adopting an older kitty, this may help you understand where they are in their lifespan.

This information was contained in the American Association of Feline Practitioners/Cat Friendly Homes 2010 AAFP/AAHA Feline Life Stage Guidelines.

Ready for Play, pencil © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Ready for Play, pencil © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Kitten, birth to 6 months

0 – 1 month = 0 – 1 year
2 – 3 months = 2 – 4 years
4 months = 6 – 8 years
6 months = 10 years

The Bug, pencil © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
The Bug, pencil © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Junior, 7 months to 2 years

7 months = 12 years
12 months = 15 years
18 months = 21 years
2 years = 24 years

In the Bag, pencil © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
In the Bag, pencil © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Prime, 3 years to 6 years

3 = 28
4 = 32
5 = 36
6 = 40

Moses in the Sun, pencil © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Moses in the Sun, pencil © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Mature, 7 years to 10 years

7 = 44
8 = 48
9 = 52
10 = 56

Don't Wake Me Up, pencil © Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Don’t Wake Me Up, pencil © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Senior, 11 years to 14 years

11 = 60
12 = 64
13 = 68
14 = 72

pencil sketch of sleeping cat
“Stripes”, pencil, 8″ x 5″, 2002 © B.E. Kazmarski

Geriatric, 15 years+

15 = 76
16 = 80
17 = 84
18 = 88
19 = 92
20 = 96
21 = 100
22 = 104
23 = 108
24 = 112
25 = 116

Download a guide to Feline Life Stages and Human Equivalents

Life Stages of Cats and Human Equivalents
Life Stages of Cats and Human Equivalents

I’ve designed a guide sheet with the information above in PDF and JPG format so you can view it easily on either a desktop or a mobile device.

Read a wonderful article on Cat Man Do, the blog of Dr. Arnold Plotnick of Manhattan Cat Specialists, Cat Age to Human Age Comparison.

The pencil sketches are available as Feline Sketches note cards on my website.

one tortoiseshell and five black cats
Cookie and her minions.

Read more articles about Health and Safety and Veterinary Medicine.

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals


Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork

Great Rescues Day Book:
Portraits, Rescue Stories, Holidays and Events, Essential Feline Information, All in One Book

day book with cat portraits
Great Rescues Day Book

This information is part of what’s available in Great Rescues Day Book!

Each month features one of my commissioned portraits of a feline or felines and their rescue story along with a kitty quote on the left page, and on the right page the month name with enough lines for all possible dates, with standard holidays and animal-themed observances and events. Great Rescues also includes a mini cat-care book illustrated with my drawings including information on finding strays or orphaned kittens, adopting for the first time or caring for a geriatric cat, a list of household toxins and toxic plants, or helping stray and feral cats and beginning with TNR.

Each book includes also 10 sheets of my “22 Cats” decorative notepaper with a collage of all the portraits in black and white so you can make your own notes or write special notes to friends.

The portraits in this book, collected as a series, won both a Certificate of Excellence and a Muse Medallion in the 2011 Cat Writers’ Association Annual Communication Contest, as well as the 22 Cats Notepaper mentioned below.

Read more and order.


All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

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© 2022 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:

Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life

Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters

Tuesday: Rescue Stories

Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork

Thursday: New Merchandise

Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy

Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats

And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!




From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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