TODAY'S eTIP: Calculating Feline Age
A widely held belief for determining whether a cat is middle-aged
or old is that one year in a cat's life equals four in a human's.
In truth, the situation is not that neat, and if you think about
it, you can easily see why. Under a "one equals four" rule, a
1-year-old cat would be the equivalent in terms of mental and
physical maturity to a human 4-year-old, and that's clearly off.
A better equation is to count the first year of a cat's life as
being comparable to the time a human reaches the early stages of
adulthood - the age of 15 or so. Like a human adolescent, a
1-year-old cat looks fairly grown up and is physically capable of
becoming a parent but lacks emotional maturity.
The second year of a cat's life picks up some of that maturity
and takes a cat to the first stages of full adulthood in humans
-- a 2-year-old cat is roughly equivalent to a person in the
From there, the "four equals one" rule works pretty well. A cat
of 3 is still young, comparable to a person of 29. A 6-year-old
cat, similar to a 41-year-old person, is in the throes of middle
age; a 12-year-old cat, similar to a 65-year-old person, has
earned the right to slow down a little. A cat who lives to be 20
is the feline equivalent of nearly 100 in terms of human life