Cats mature faster than humans and have shorter lifespans.
According to recent CDC data, the life expectancy of an average American is about 76.4 years (73.5 years for men, and 79.3 years for women).
Depending on factors such as breed and living conditions, domestic cats have an average lifespan of 13 to 15 years, but some individuals may live up to 20.
People and cats have different maturation rates and life spans due to species-specific genetic factors that influence the duration of the stages of their life cycles.
Human vs. cat life cycles
People experience prolonged childhood compared with cats.
While cats reach full maturity at about three years old, humans start puberty between 10-13 years and reach full maturity in their late teens (18-20 yrs).
After reaching full maturity, humans progress through young adulthood, mature adulthood, and old age at a slower rate than cats.
The slower progression through the different life cycles explains why we live longer than cats.
Due to the differences between the life cycles of cats and people, many pet owners want to know how to convert their cat’s years to human.
If you’ve been wondering how to convert cat years to human, here is what you need to know.
How to convert cat years to human
Experts have proposed many formulas that purportedly allow pet owners to convert cat years to human.
A previously popular formula assumed a linear relationship between them.
Thus, based on the assumption that the average lifespan of cats was 10-12 yrs compared with 70-85 human years, pet owners simply multiplied their pet’s age by 7 to get a rough estimate in human years.
Thus, a 3-year-old moggie would be in the same life cycle stage as a 21-year-old person, while a 10-year-old would be equivalent to a 70-year-old person.
However, veterinarians later proposed a modified formula that is said to factor in the differences in aging rates between both species.
With the updated method, you can express your cat’s age in human years using the formula: 4x + 16, where x=your cat’s chronological age.
Thus, 3 cat years is equivalent to (4 x 3) + 16 = 28 human years;
10 cat years is equivalent to (4 x10) + 16 = 56 human years;
13 cat years is equivalent to (4 x 14) + 16 = 72 human years.
Thus, the formula offers a rough estimate of cat years in human years.
What stage of the life cycle is my cat?
Based on the formula 4x + 16, you can get an idea of the stage of the life cycle in which your cat falls by using the chart below:
0-6 months: Infancy and childhood (kitten)
7 months-2 yrs: Late childhood and adolescence (puberty)
2-3yrs: Young adulthood
>14: Advanced old age