How Old is “Senior”: Life Stages of Cats and Human Equivalents
Above, geriatric and kitten—Cookie at age 15 was technically geriatric, and Jelly Bean at four months still a kitten. They all liked Sister Cookie, and respected her.
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.
The Feline Advisory Bureau developed the life stages as a poster as part of its WellCat Programme, and it’s a great reference for where your cat is in her life. Hmmm, right now I have four “prime” cats and one “mature” cat, after years of “senior” and “geriatric” cats. I’m sure the Fantastic Four adore being termed “prime”, but I’m not so sure Mimi likes being called “mature” (humans aren’t fond of that term in reference to life stages either), and Kelly and Cookie, and Peaches before them, were totally over the “geriatric” tag! But even without their attitude about the titles of the stages, 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 Feline Advisory Bureau 2008 Annual Review, www.fabcats.org.
Kitten, birth to 6 months
0 – 1 month = 0 – 1 year
Ready for Play, pencil © B.E. Kazmarski
Junior, 7 months to 2 years
7 months = 12 years
Prime, 3 years to 6 years
3 = 28
Mature, 7 years to 10 years
7 = 44
Senior, 11 years to 14 years
11 = 60
Geriatric, 15 years+
15 = 76
Read a wonderful article on Cat Man Do, the blog of Dr. Arnold Plotnick of Manhattan Cat Specialists, Cat Age to Human Age Comparison.
This information and more is also included in my Great Rescues Day Book. The pencil sketches are available as Feline Sketches note cards on my website.
All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile 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.
9 thoughts on “How Old is “Senior”: Life Stages of Cats and Human Equivalents”
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Wow, my Simone was over 20 and I thought she was old, but Stanley was 25…WOW!
Sue, anywhere over 20 is old! Several of my cats have hit 20, but Stanley, I thought he was going to hold on forever. Here’s to Simone!