Age of Pets in Human Years

The aging of dogs and cats is dependent on many factors and can be complicated to estimate. Learn how to calculate your pet’s age in human years. Explore reliable pet health and pet care resources.

Can I still take my pet to the veterinarian during COVID-19? Yes, but expect some changes.



How Old Is Your Dog in Human Years?

There is a popular belief that one year of a dog's life equals seven human years. This is false because there are many factors influencing a dog's age. For example, smaller dogs live longer (on average) than larger dogs. Veterinarians now have a more accurate way to determine a dog's age. You will also find information about the canine aging process below. Dog Years to Human Years Calculator and Chart by Breed

How to Calculate Dog Years to Human Years (By size of dog when breed is unknown)

How Old Is Your Cat in Human Years?

The aging of cats is also complicated and converting a cat's age to human years is an educated guess at best.

Cat Years to Human Years Calculator


Are you uncertain about the type of veterinary care your cat needs based on his or her age? The American Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Animal Hospital Association partnered to produce guidelines that promote age appropriate care for cats. The guidelines address health, nutrition, behavior, environment, vaccinations and parasite control issues for each of the feline life stages.


The feline life stages are:


1. Kittens:    Up to six months of age

2. Juniors:   Seven months to 2 years

3: Adults:     3 to 6 years

4. Mature:    7 to 10 years

5. Seniors:  11 to 14 years

6. Geriatric: 15 years and older


As with dogs, many factors influence a cat's aging process. There is no specific definition of a senior or geriatric cat. In general, cats eight to ten years of age are seniors. Cats over twelve years of age are considered geriatric by most veterinarians. These classifications are arbitrary. A cat is not suddenly a senior on his eighth birthday.

Dogs and Cats

Aging depends upon many factors for both cats and dogs.

Common Signs of Aging in Cats

Seven Health Issues to Look for When You Have a Senior Dog

World's Oldest Living Cats and How to Tell If Your Cat Will Be One

Top Ten Dog Breeds that Live the Longest


Pet Care | Pet Health

ASPCA Pet Health Care

Vaccinations for Your Pet: The Risks and Benefits

Cutting Pet Care Costs (while still being a responsible pet parent)

Pet Parenting in Our New Normal

Best Friends Animal Society Pet Care Library

Something for everyone, whether seasoned rescuer, or first-time pet parent. Healthy Pets, Healthy People

COVID-19 and Pets

Cleaning Basics for Pets and Humans in the Home

6 Ways to Make Your Home More Comfortable for a Senior Pet

An Older Pet May Be the Perfect Pet

My Pet Needs That: A Free Resource for Pet Parents (consumer reviews and articles)

Vet written, vet reviewed. Includes large animal, bird, reptile and exotic pet care categories Feline Health and Care from the American Association of Feline Practitioners Blog: The Dog People

Please seek the advice of your veterinarian if you have questions or concerns about the health of your pet.




Know Your Cat's Health


Determining your cat's health status can be a challenge because cats are masters at masking their pain and suffering.

Many of the most common diseases display few, if any, clinical signs during the early stages.


Notify your veterinarian if you detect any of the following in your cat:


  • Changes in chewing, eating and drinking habits.

  • Drastic weight gain or loss (more than one pound a month.)

  • Withdraws from social interaction and avoids touching.

  • Changes in activity level, including sleeping more or hyperactivity.

  • Increased vocalization.

  • Increased urination, struggles to urinate (an emergency situation), or bypassing the litter box.

  • Changes in bowel habits: constipation (straining to go), diarrhea (soft or liquid stool), visible blood.

  • Grooms less or grooms certain areas excessively.

A sudden change in your cat's diet can result in diarrhea.

Go slowly when transitioning to a different food.


When it comes to your cat's health, timing is everything. Start by paying close attention to your cat's attitudes and actions. With advances in veterinary medicine, many diseases are treated or managed easily if they are caught early. By scheduling regular veterinarian exams for your pet, and identifying subtle changes in your cat's behavior and eating habits, you can become a better pet parent to your cat.


Feline Health Care Tip:


Weigh your cat monthly. Two extra pounds on an adult cat is like a ten to twenty pound weight gain on a person. As with humans, obesity in cats leads to multiple health problems including diabetes, heart disease, joint degeneration and arthritis. 


Caution: Rapid weight loss in an obese cat can lead to liver failure. Any weight reduction must be done slowly. Please consult your veterinarian before placing your pet on a diet.

How to Weigh Your Cat or Dog at Home

How to Help an Overweight Cat Slim Down

Pet Obesity Prevention: Weight Reduction in Cats

How to Slim Down an Overweight Dog

Healthy Weight Calculator for Dogs and Cats


Related Reading

Catnip Magazine: Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

The Catnip Times: Top 30 Pet Blog and Member of the Cat Writers' Association

Top Dog Tips: 10 Best Dog Magazines of 2020

(Helping you make informed decisions about your dog's health and care.)


Author's yellow and white cat Jimmy

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© 2020 Christine Jette