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Video:Find a Cat's Age

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It can be difficult to determine the age of your cat but there are certain signs to look out for. Find out what to look for to determine how old your cat is.See Transcript

Transcript:Find a Cat's Age

Hi, Dr. Richard Meadows here for the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. I've been asked to speak to you today about finding your cat's age.

Can you Determine a Cat's Age?

Unfortunately that is not a cut and dried and easy answer. Unless you happen to know the birthdate of that cat, which is quite often not the case particularly with cats, you have to do some guesswork. There are some hints that we can get along the way.

Teeth can be Indicator of Age

One is, particularly when they're young, we can reasonably, accurately measure their age by looking at their teeth - which baby teeth are there, which adult teeth have come in, if we can see the adult teeth coming in. We have pretty good estimates of what that age is. But that's still just in the first six to seven months of age.

When they become young adults and they are young adults by say seven months of age, then it becomes harder to judge. We can still look at their teeth to see how much wear they have on their teeth and how dirty their teeth are.

Cat's Bodies

Also you can look at their overall body and see how their entire hair coat looks, how their muscle tone is, but it is at best an educated guess.

In general, as cats get older, they lose some of the elasticity to their skin, their hair coat gets a little less shiny, they're more likely to get a little creaky and crackly in the joints as they get older.

Ask a Veterinarian

I would bet that you could show most any veterinarian a cat that's 1 year of age and a cat that's twelve years of age and they can tell you relatively closely the young cat and the old cat's age but it just comes with time and experience of judging that.

Feline Habits

There are habits that you can generalize about. For instance, cats, when they're young, and this is probably through the first year/year and a half of age, instinct is telling them to be a hunter and so they are going to stalk and hunt each other, your feet.

On the other end of the spectrum an 18-year-old cat is rarely going to care when you move. They've been there, they've done that and they're just going to look up at you like “oh, you're moving again.”

Younger Cats Are More Playful

So those are kind of generalities. Many cats are quite playful until they pass perhaps the age of ten. So they quit a lot of their hunting instincts by the age of a year-and-a-half in my mind but between a year-and-a-half and eight-to-ten, they are still more prone to having these little bouts of energy.

Past ten, they may still have plenty of energy and may still have their moments but they tend to be more sedate.

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