So, you decide to have a pet. If you took him from a shelter or purchased a club animal, then with his age, everything is clear. But what if the cat is called from the street? There are certain signs by which you can determine the age of the animal quite accurately. Consider two options: a small kitten and an adult animal.
How to determine a cat's age
The age of the animal is determined by the following main characteristics:
- Dimensions, physique.
- Ear shape, eye color.
- Behavioral features.
- Body mass.
It is difficult to estimate the age of a kitten by its size. Much depends on the breed. So, Maine Coons from birth are larger than the same Siamese or Thai cats. It would be more correct to pay attention to the proportions of the body. Up to 3 weeks of age, babies have a relatively large, big-faced head and small body. If the animal is less than 2 weeks old, it is freely placed on the human palm.
Starting from 1 month, the baby becomes more proportional, turning into a smaller copy of an adult cat. Paws lengthen, become stronger. From 3 to 5 months the kitten develops musculature. The size of a six-month-old pet is ¾ of the size of an adult cat. By the age of 9 months, the kitten grows up completely, becoming an adult.
We estimate the age of the kitten by the shape of the ears and eye color. Babies are born blind. The eyes open on 10-14 days. In this case, the iris is a dull blue hue. Some breeds (colorpoint cats, Siamese, Thai) have blue or deep blue eyes. If the kitten is sighted, but the iris is not a light blue or gray-blue, then it is less than 2 months old.
For adult animals, an estimate of age by eye is uninformative. It is generally accepted that in young animals the iris is brighter, and with age it dims. However, the cause of dimming of the iris can be diseases: cataracts or cataracts. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian.
The shape of the ears of different age kittens is different. In newborn animals, the ears are tiny, pressed to the skull.
The first 5-8 days, kittens do not hear because of the closed ear canals. The ear is completely straightened in 2-3 weeks. As for lop-eared breeds, such as Scottish folds or Ukrainian left-handed ones, their auricle is initially normal, as in other breeds. “Lop-eared” appears as the animal grows older. The period of ear formation in cats is 3-4 months.
Body mass. The first weeks of a baby's life are a period of intense growth or weight gain. Much depends on nutrition. If you took the baby from the street, then it is unlikely that he will be as fat as fat kittens. Therefore, veterinarians recommend 2-3 days to feed the pet before weighing, not forgetting the dangers of overfeeding. If a small kitten eats properly, then, depending on the breed, it adds 10-30 g per day.
The weight of a kitten depends on such factors:
- Cat nutrition during pregnancy.
- The number of kittens in the litter.
- Features of the breed and heredity.
- The sex of the animal. Males gain mass faster.
Kittens weigh 80-125 g before 1 week. A two-week-old baby weighs 120-170 g. By 3 weeks, the weight of the pet is about 250-260 g.
Further gain on average is as follows:
- 4 weeks - 350-550 g.
- 5-7 weeks - 480-760 g.
- From 8 weeks - 800-1300 g.
- 12 weeks - 1200-1500 g.
- 3 months - 1700-2300 g. Starting from this age and until the end of puberty (9 months), a kitten on average adds about 500 g per month.
Weigh the kitten at the same time, before feeding.
These are teeth. They give the most reliable information about the age category of the pet. Kittens are born toothless. Milk teeth appear in 2-3-week-old animals. The incisors appear first. The animal acquires milk fangs by 3-8 weeks. Lateral milk teeth erupt in 5-6 weeks. Total milk teeth - 26. From 4 months they are replaced by permanent ones. The six-month-old kitten already has root fangs, and a complete replacement occurs by 7 months. The number of molars in cats is 30.
As they grow older, tooth abrasion occurs, and it begins at the age of one.
Consider the signs indicating the age of the pet:
- 2 years - slight yellowing of tooth enamel. There are no other signs of tooth damage.
- 3-5 years - abrasion of the upper incisors in the center. There are signs of fang wear.
- 5-10 years - severe abrasion of the incisors on the upper and lower jaws, sometimes their loss. Cracks and tartar appear on the teeth.
- 10-12 years old. Yellow tooth enamel. The central incisors completely fell out.
- After passing the 15-year milestone, the incisors are completely absent, the lateral teeth are very worn. Animals older than 15 years often have no incisors.
It should be borne in mind that the condition of the teeth depends on the conditions of the cat, its state of health and a balanced diet. If the nutrition is correct and balanced in organic and mineral substances, tooth loss and wear occur more slowly.
It concerns the behavioral characteristics of a kitten. The method is uninformative, since each cat has its own character, so you can make a mistake.
There are young phlegmatic cats, and some "elders" frolic, kittens envy
- Up to 3 weeks of age, the kitten does not respond to external stimuli (as an option, it reacts weakly), does not stand on its paws, but crawls.
- From 3 weeks, the cat stands on its paws, becomes curious, learns with interest the world around it.
- A monthly pet walks confidently, becomes playful. There is more and more interest in current events.
- At 5 months, the first signs of puberty appear. A feline teenager asks outside, meows loudly. Sometimes during puberty the animal shows aggression, so you should constantly be on the alert.
If you are not sure of the correct estimate of the age of the pet, consult your veterinarian. This is especially useful if you have a kitten for the first time and have no experience with the pet.
Assessment of the age of the pet is carried out according to the condition of the coat and the general appearance of the animal. The fur of kittens and young animals is tender, soft to the touch. The wool coarsens with age.
In animals, starting from 5-6 years old, the hair dulls, the color does not appear so clearly. Older animals of a dark color sometimes turn gray. In aging black cats, the glossy, “black” color is replaced by a dirty brown.
As for the general appearance of the animal, a very small kitten looks somewhat disproportionate. Teenagers are awkward, thin, with long legs. An adult cat is distinguished by developed musculature.
Build meets breed standards. Young cats run fast, gracefully cope with obstacles.
After 7-8 years of age, the spine sags in animals, the shoulder blades bulge. This is due to a decrease in muscle volume. Aging cats tend to lose weight quickly.
The correct assessment of the age of the pet is important. She will help you feed a small kitten and establish proper nutrition and care for an adult animal.
Why you need to determine the age of the kitten
It is advisable to know the age of your pet, especially when it is picked up on the street. At least in order to timely vaccinate or treat him with those drugs that are acceptable and acceptable to him.
Animals that are under four to five months old must not be transported across the country's border. Although this is due to the fact that after mandatory vaccinations against viral infections and rabies, a quarantine period of at least 30 days must pass.
Therefore, if a foreign bridder tries to sell the baby and assures him that he is five months old and looks three years old, it is worth doubting and sorting it out.
With scammers selling under the guise of a thoroughbred kitten adult, but small in size animals, you can come across in Russia. In this case, tips on how to determine the age of the kitten will definitely come in handy.
In kittens, very young, it is quite easy to determine the age by the following parameters:
- Umbilical cord. If it is still present in the form of a dry “tail”, then the baby does not have a week. And in the case when there is a fresh pink trace on the abdomen, this means that it has recently disappeared. The age of the pet is from one to two weeks.
- Body type. Until the first month of life, the head of a kitten is disproportionate to the body, it seems disproportionately large. And the ears, on the contrary, are small and pressed to the skull (up to two weeks). Paws are short and weak.
By two months the body lengthens, the ears rise and become the right size.
- Eyes. In all newborns, the color of the iris is cloudy and has a blue tint. But in a month and a half he begins to match the color.
- Behavior. Up to a month, a kitten practically does not know how to walk on its own, it only crawls. The muscles of the paws are not yet sufficiently developed.
Older kittens can be distinguished by age in other ways.
One of the most important tools for orienting cats in space. In kittens up to two, three, and sometimes four months, mustaches are often bitten, as if broken. Usually this is done by the mother in order to limit the area of movement of the kitten and protect it from harm.
In a five-month-old kitten, the mustache is usually already long and thick and matches the color of the vibrissa pads.
After seven years of age, the mustache may lose pigmentation. By the age of nine, they are usually gray in all pets.
The easiest way to establish the estimated age of a kitten is in his teeth.
All babies are born with bare gums, the first milk incisors begin to appear in the second week of life and are fully visible by four. Fangs are formed in three to four weeks, in six to eight - premolars. 26 milk teeth grow before the shift.
To change teeth for permanent kittens begin in three to five months. First, the first and second incisors are updated, then the premolars. A little later, molars grow.
At five or six months, fangs also enter the process - dairy ones fall out, permanent ones grow. Usually, a complete change of teeth ends by seven to nine months. But, depending on the individual characteristics of the baby, it may be a different age - plus or minus two months.
Males usually finish tooth changes a little earlier than females.
An adult animal has 30 permanent teeth, including 6 upper and lower incisors, 2 upper and 2 lower canines, 10 premolars and 4 molars.
In adult animals, teeth begin to grind gradually, but although veterinarians have certain comparative standards, this process is quite individual and depends on the pet's lifestyle.
For example, in the opinion of doctors, incisors become completely oval in shape by the age of a cat, but in some cats this can happen by the age of five.
It is believed that the first and second incisors fall out by 12 years of the animal's life, and all fall to 16. But pets of an older age are also known who have safely preserved all their teeth.
Experts note that the color of the eyes changes in all feline species during the life cycle.
By two weeks, they open in all newborns, regardless of species and breed. The change in the bluish shade of the iris begins after two weeks of life - into yellow, copper, amber, orange or any shades of green. The whole process usually ends by three to six months.
In young animals, the eyes are usually bright shades, they grow dull with age.
It should be remembered that there are breeds in which the color of the iris of the eyes never changes, and it is only blue:
- Neva Masquerade,
- All snow colors of any varieties.
Weight and dimensions
If the pet is healthy, then the size of its body will most likely help determine its age. Although in some individuals, growth occurs slowly due to the individual characteristics of the body.
A newborn is usually no longer than 12 cm (without tail). By the end of the first month of life - 15 cm, by three - about 20.
It should be noted that fluctuations in length plus or minus 2-3 cm are permissible. In addition, from three months of age, males grow faster than girls and usually larger.
A female with a body length of 21-23 cm is likely about four months, 25 cm - five, a six-month-old cat - 26-27 cm, and a boy at the same age - 29-35 cm.
The weight of the animal can also be an indicator of age. Newborn kittens of medium-sized breeds weigh up to 100 g (plus or minus 30). For the first week of life, babies add 15-20 g, for the second - about 80, for the third - up to 100.
By the end of the first month of life, the weight of the kitten is about 400 g, then each week brings a weight gain of 50-100 g.
From six months, the height and weight of the pet is not growing so rapidly and size changes are usually recorded monthly.
The full growth of an individual usually ends by 1–1.5 years, but males up to 2.5 years of age continue to “mature”, sounding in the shoulders, chest, and muzzle.
In some breeds, for example, Bengal, cats reach maximum sizes only at the age of three to four years.
Cat age rating
If the kittens were found on the street with their mother, then, first of all, you need to pay attention to how she feeds them.
The female begins to limit babies in sucking for about six weeks, by about eight to ten completely weaning them from the breast. But often the litter sucks further, all the time while it is next to it.
If the kitten is fully capable of eating on its own, then it should be at least seven to eight weeks old. At this age, the baby with pleasure begins to study the world around him.
You can follow the gait of a pet. He makes his first attempts to walk at the age of about three weeks, and before that he only sucks, sleeps and crawls next to his mother and brothers or sisters.
If the kitten’s gait is uncertain, then he is no more than three weeks old. By the month the baby usually knows how to roll over in the air when falling and land on all four legs.
Most often, by the age of one and a half months, the pet is already quite fast running, playing enthusiastically.
Until two to three weeks, the kitten does not see and hear well. But if he unambiguously reacts to movement and noise around, it means to him at least the fourth week.
By two months, the pet already has a good reaction and excellent hearing, he confidently jumps and runs, is not afraid of others, he remembers the location of rooms and furniture. At the same time, the kid continues to joyfully study the environment, finding new places for games and leprosy.
Determination of puberty
When a pet enters a person’s house at an undetermined age and could not be calculated by its teeth, size and weight, it is enough to wait for the first signs of puberty.
In almost all breeds, females are ready for fertilization by ten to twelve months, and the first estrus can occur from six to eight.
The male can feel the first signs of rutting at about the same age, but some cats remain indifferent to the opposite sex for up to a year or a half.
Both cats and cats can start actively tagging, marking their territory during puberty.
Usually thoroughbred kittens reach puberty later than their yard counterparts.
But the first signs of impending maturity can be seen in a pet from four to five months, since the hormonal restructuring of the body begins. This is manifested in the active sniffing of an animal of the opposite sex, signs of some irritability and aggression appear.
Cats can start a fight, sharing territory and females as early as six months. Therefore, it is especially necessary to behave with such adolescents.
Confirmation of age
First of all, you need to ask the age of the pet in the nursery or at the seller if the baby is not found on the street.
The breeder will be able to tell the exact date of birth, in addition, the animal must have a veterinary passport, metric or birth certificate of the litter.
The age of kittens from the shelter is most often determined with certain accuracy by the veterinarians and felinologists working there.
If you want to know the exact age of the kitten, then you can contact an experienced specialist in a veterinary clinic that has a good reputation. By comparing all of the above signs, you can approximately determine how many weeks, months or years a pet is.
Best of all, the baby’s memory works for remembering from two to seven weeks. This period is the best for socialization.
If a pet quickly overcame fear and willingly goes into his arms, then, most likely, he is no more than two months old.
It is necessary to actively accustom a kitten to his hands, gently talk to him, play a lot. But even if the pet is clearly bigger, and it continues to run wild, don’t despair, love and patience can break the stereotype of the cat’s behavior, no matter how old it is.
If the gender of the kitten is unknown, then to determine it is quite simple already from two weeks of age. In the male, the genitals resemble a colon, in the female, a question mark.
As they grow older, secondary sexual characteristics (size, weight, physique) become more pronounced.
Determination of age by condition of teeth
Determining the age of a pet by the condition of the teeth, this is perhaps the most common way to solve this issue. The teeth of cats of absolutely any breed are identical, for this reason, the way to assess the age of a cat by the general condition of the teeth, as well as their presence, is the most universal.
The age of kittens is determined by the number of teeth. One only needs to know whether the cat's age corresponds to the period of growth of primary teeth or the period of their change to permanent teeth.
Возрастной период котёнка и рост зубов:
- Период со второй по пятую неделю – появляются резцы.
- Период с третьей по восьмую неделю недель – появляются клыки.
- Период с пятой по двенадцатую неделю – появляются моляры.
- Starting from the third to fifth month - the change of milk teeth to permanent.
The condition of the oral cavity in adult pets partially depends on their image and living conditions, as well as on the diet. An important role is played by grooming, as well as features of cat breeds. Some breeders regularly brush their pets and limit their diet in favor of a healthy diet, which has a positive effect on the condition of the teeth and the entire cat's body.
If necessary, determine the age of the cat with already formed teeth, a set of age-related changes in tooth enamel (yellowness, plaque), the condition or presence of incisors, the presence of dental deposits, as well as a number of other signs from the list below, are added.
To determine the age of a cat's teeth, you can rely on the following signs:
- In one year, all teeth are in good condition, with the exception of damage to the integrity of the tooth during an injury.
- Starting from one and a half years - signs of yellowness on enamel appear.
- Upon reaching two years, the middle and central incisors located on the lower jaw are erased.
- Two and a half years are signs of dental plaque.
- At the age of four, the middle and central incisors located on the upper jaw begin to wear out.
- By the age of five, fangs appear on fangs.
- At the age of seven, the central and extreme incisors located on the lower jaw are erased.
- From eight to nine years old - the central and middle incisors located on the upper jaw, with obvious signs of erasure.
- Ten years - the beginning of the period of loss of incisors of the lower jaw
- Twelve years - the beginning of the period of loss of incisors of the upper jaw
- Thirteen to fourteen years old - lack of all incisors
- From the age of fifteen, a cat loses its fangs, teeth may be completely absent.
Judging by the above lists regarding age-related changes in cat's teeth, it is not difficult to find out how old a pet is. To date, this method is considered the most accurate, but still you need to consider it in conjunction with other signs of age-related changes in the animal.
Cat age by eyes
The age of the cat can be determined by its look. If for young cats the manifestation in the look of interest and curiosity is considered a sign of well-being, then for mature cats, a calm and attentive look becomes the norm.
Like humans, in cats, along with other age-related changes, the lens of the eye acquires characteristic features. With the return, it fades, which can be explained by the possible development of cataracts. It leaves its mark on the cat's eye and the iris, which also fades with age, sometimes spots or patterns appear on it.
Purulent discharge from the eyes is a common problem in cats of advanced age. The animal's immunity to infections weakens somewhat with age, so if you have secretions or increased lacrimation, you should consult your veterinarian. Of course, young cats can have an eye infection, but in old age, furry pets suffer from this ailment much more often.
Estimation of the age of the cat as fur
The fur of the animal has a different degree of density, not only depending on the season, but also on the number of years lived. Of course, cats are not prone to baldness, but standing hair can say a lot about the lifestyle and age of the pet. Using the following points, you can draw simple conclusions:
- In young cats, the fur is thick and smooth to the touch.
- In animals of a more respectable age, the wool coating becomes less frequent, and the fur is tougher
- Cats, like humans, may show signs of gray hair with age.
How to find out the date of birth in the teeth?
Determining the age of a cat by the teeth is the simplest and most reliable method for determining the approximate date of birth of the animal.
Table of the dependence of the state of the oral cavity on the life expectancy of the animal
|Animal age||The presence and condition of the teeth|
|2-5 weeks||the appearance of milk incisors|
|3-8 weeks||the appearance of milk fangs|
|5-12 weeks||the appearance of milk molars|
|3-5 months||permanent change of milk teeth|
|12 months||the presence of all molars (white enamel)|
|18 months||yellowing enamel|
|2 years||the appearance of defects on the middle and central incisors located on the jaw below|
|2.5 years||the appearance of tartar|
|4 years||the appearance of signs of defects on the middle and central incisors located on the jaw on top|
|5 years||defects on fangs|
|7 years||significant abrasion of the central and extreme incisors located on the lower jaw|
|8-9 years old||significant abrasion of the central and middle incisors located on the upper jaw|
|10 years||the beginning of the fall of the lower incisors|
|12 years||the beginning of the loss of upper incisors|
|13-14 years old||complete absence of incisors|
|15 years||start of fangs|
|over 15 years old||lack of most teeth|
What can they say about the age of the eye?
Determining the age of a cat by eyes is used, as a rule, to determine the date of birth of kittens.
Table of age iris color
|newborns||eyes tightly closed|
|10 - 60 days||blue eyes|
|2 months or more||green, yellow, orange, bright blue (in Siamese, Thai breeds and colorpoint colors) eyes|
Note. It is almost impossible to determine the age of adult cats by eye color. It is believed that in older pets, the iris becomes dimmer. However, tarnishing may also be a consequence of certain eye diseases.
What can wool and skeleton talk about?
The condition of the coat and musculoskeletal system allows you to determine the approximate age of both adult animals and kittens.
Kittens up to six years old have a pleasant to the touch, thick, shimmering in the light and well-colored coat. There is no gray hair.
In animals that have crossed the six-year milestone, the hair dulls, and the outline of the pattern is blurred. The fur coat becomes denser and smoother.
After seven years, the cats have their first gray hairs.
In addition to the coat, the appearance of animals changes with age. In adolescence, cats have huge, ridiculous ears, long legs, and irregular body proportions. Due to this, the "cottages" look funny and awkward.
As they grow older, the physique of the animals becomes proportional, and their movements are filled with grace and strength. Young animals easily cope with obstacles, make graceful jumps.
Upon reaching the age of eight, the cat's musculoskeletal system undergoes serious changes - their spine bends, the shoulder blades begin to bulge outward, and the muscles become flabby (their volume decreases significantly). Old people often lose weight very much.
Weight and Growing
The technique for determining the age of cats by weight allows you to find out the approximate age of the kittens.
Birth Time Weight Chart
|1 day||0.085-0.1 kg|
|1 Week||0.16-0.17 kg|
|2 weeks||0.2 kg|
|1 month||0.29-0.3 kg|
|2 months||1,0 kg|
|5 months||2.0-3.0 kg|
|6 months||3.0 kg|
It is possible to determine the approximate birth time of a cat by its behavioral characteristics. Kittens and young animals are constantly on the move, they are active, curious, prone to games and entertainment. As they grow older, the activity of animals gradually decreases (old people spend most of their time in a dream).
How to find out how old a cat is in terms of a person’s age?
It is believed that one year before the cat flies seven years of human life. However, this statement is true only for age animals. In kittens and young individuals, the age is recalculated a little differently.
Thus, a six-month-old kitten corresponds to a fourteen-year-old teenager, a one-year-old animal corresponds to an eighteen-year-old man, and a two-year-old to a twenty-four-year-old. That is why you should not treat a one-year-old cat as a baby.
Tip. The veterinarian is able to determine the age of the animal with minimal error.
Knowing the age of the cat allows you to choose the most suitable diet, provide proper care, prevent the development of age-related diseases and, accordingly, significantly improve the quality of life of the pet.
Have you ever encountered the need to determine the date of birth of an animal by one or another sign? Maybe you have your own way to find out the date of birth of the cat? If so, share it with our readers.
Cat body condition
Age-related changes affect the whole body. If at the initial stage of life the body of the animal is well developed, which is due to young age and constant physical activity, then in old age the body of the cat noticeably decrepit.
Assessing a cat’s body condition can tell a lot about its years.:
- Young cats are muscular and thin
- Middle-aged cats are not so active and usually well-fed, but the muscular corset is still well formed.
- Cats with a dozen years behind them can remain well fed. But their age is given by the bones of the shoulder girdle, which begin to bulge out strongly. In very old cats, the skin becomes flabby and begins to sag, forming wrinkles and folds.
You can find out the age of the cat by its activity. The influence of age affects not only the appearance of the pet, but also its habits. Young cats, who have just begun their career, are curious and playful, they are interested in everything new. Middle-aged cats already have life experience, they still show interest in everything new, but are very careful and have established habits. Older cats are also not without interest in the world around them, but they can no longer actively move and sleep more often than they are awake.
Cats with age often begin to show aggression to strangers, this is due to increased anxiety and timidity. Also, older cats often suffer from a number of chronic diseases, which worsens their well-being, and communication with a curious stranger does not seem to them a good idea amid a general malaise.
Toilet tray and cat age
If a young cat refuses to use the toilet tray, then this problem may have several constructive solutions, but what if an adult cat refuses to defecate in a place designated for these needs? There may be several reasons for this.:
- Stress. Older cats are very sensitive to a change of scenery. Even changing the usual filler to another can create discomfort
- The cat may begin to walk past the designated area for her needs due to vision or smell problems.
- Kidney and liver disease, inflammation of the genitourinary tract often lead to untimely bowel movements, in this case, the cat, in addition to health problems, may begin to feel guilty and afraid of punishment. It is better not to aggravate the situation and create the most comfortable conditions for the animal.
The ratio of the age of the cat and man
Although this item is not determining the age, many owners ask this question. Everyone knows that with age a person loses a number of abilities that are inherent in a young body. Unfortunately, the aging of a cat’s organism is inevitable and occurs much faster than in humans.
The most common way to compare the age of a cat and a person is to multiply the full years of the cat by seven. However, many felinologists disagree with this method and believe that to determine the age of the cat can be compared by the age of the pet and its owner according to the following principle:
- Cat at the age of one year - a person of fifteen years of age
- Two year old cat - twenty four year old man
- From three years to twelve - one year to four
- After twelve years - each subsequent year is three years
Thus, it turns out that the cat reaches middle age by about eight years of its life. But this indicator is by no means accurate, because proper care and a balanced diet largely determine the state of the cat's body and directly affect the life expectancy of a furry pet. Therefore, many cats live much longer than twelve to fifteen years, while remaining active and cheerful.