How to Determine the Age of Cats
Cats are among the most popular pets that humans raise at home, and as a result, people are also interested in determining their age. Although there are several methods through which we can estimate the age of cats, there is no 100% accurate way to determine a cat's exact age. Some of the important methods for determining a cat's age are as follows:
First: Determining a Cat's Age by Teeth
Determining a cat's age through teeth is one of the most accurate methods. Before using this method, you need to familiarize yourself with the structure of a cat's teeth, which can be summarized as follows:
Deciduous teeth: These consist of the upper and lower jaws, each with three pairs of incisors, a pair of canines, and three pairs of premolars.
Permanent teeth: Also consisting of upper and lower jaws, each with three pairs of incisors, a pair of canines, two pairs of premolars, and a pair of molars.
The method for determining a cat's age through teeth is as follows:
The first and second pair of deciduous incisors appear at two to three weeks of age.
The third pair of deciduous incisors and deciduous canines appear at one month of age.
The three pairs of upper deciduous premolars appear at two months of age.
The three pairs of lower deciduous premolars appear between four to five weeks of age.
At four months of age, the deciduous incisors are replaced by permanent incisors.
At five months of age, the deciduous canines are replaced by permanent canines, and the first pair of upper deciduous premolars is replaced by permanent premolars, while the lower deciduous premolars are replaced between five to six months of age.
At six months of age, the development of permanent teeth is completed. The second and third pairs of upper deciduous premolars are replaced by permanent premolars, and the permanent molars appear in both the upper and lower jaws.
After this period, a cat's age can be estimated based on the condition of their teeth, such as the accumulation of tartar and the degree of tooth yellowing, as follows:
At one year of age, the color of the teeth starts to yellow.
Between 3 to 5 years of age, teeth start to calcify and sometimes deteriorate.
At ten years of age, noticeable tooth decay and wear appear, heavy tartar layers form, and the gums seem worn.
At 15 years of age, the rate of decay increases, and some teeth might be missing.
Second: Determining Age by Cat Fur
Another method used to help determine a cat's age is observing its fur, where:
Cats younger than 9 months usually have soft, light-colored fur with some fluffiness.
Cats between 1 to 10 years of age have coarser fur with darker coloration.
Cats older than 10 years start to show signs of graying, and their fur appears less well-kept.
Third: Determining Age by Activity Level
Sexual maturity and mating behavior usually begin at around a year of age, with cats generally reaching maturity between 7 to 8 months. Like other living beings, as cats age, their overall activity level decreases, including their appetite for food. They also tend to sleep for longer periods.
Fourth: Determining Age by Claws
As cats age, their claws tend to become longer and coarser. As they enter their senior years, their claws may become weaker and more prone to breakage.