Cat Chat: How Old is My Cat?

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It can be difficult to tell how old your cat is if you haven’t had him since birth.  I adopted a cat and was told he was 3 years old, but after spending about a year with him, I think he was closer to 8 years old.  His age was not a determining factor in his adoption luckily! It is helpful to know roughly how old your kitty is so you can provide better age appropriate care. Your veterinarian can approximate your cat’s age based on tests of his blood and organs, but here is a little guide for the rest of us!

Let’s begin with kittens. In the early Summertime, kittens are found all over the place (like little Greywind who was found in a bush). It is easiest to tell the age of young kittens based on early developmental signs:

1 Day Old: Ears folded and eyes are closed. Kittens won’t be able to stand up.

3 Days Old: Ears will start to unfold.

6 Days Old: Eyes will start to open a tiny bit. Ears will open, but kittens will not be able to hear anything. Kittens will start crawling.

10 – 15 Days Old: Eyes will be fully open, but pupils will not dilate.

2 Weeks Old: Kittens will start walking, they will be very wobbly and uncoordinated.

3 Weeks Old: Kittens will now respond to sound because their ear canals are open. They will be walking better, able to use the litterbox and their baby teeth will start coming in.

4 – 5 Weeks Old: Playing, pouncing, rough housing and self grooming begins.

6 Weeks Old: Kittens eyes will change from blue to their permanent color.

8 Weeks Old: Kittens should weigh 2 lbs and are big enough to be spayed or neutered. They will look like mini versions of full grown cats. Just like puppies, you can tell more about age when the animal is young.

5 week old tabby kitten annie mclaughlin

E.T at 5 weeks old.

8 week old tabby kitten annie mclaughlin

E.T at 8 weeks.

Let’s talk about Cat Teeth:

At 8 weeks of age, your kitten will have all their baby teeth; Incisors, Canines and Molars. At 3.5 to 4 months of age, the permanent adult teeth will start coming in over the baby teeth. By 6 months, your cat will have all of their shiny white adult teeth. Teeth may start to dull around the 2 year mark. Between the ages of 3 and 5 years, the teeth may start building up a little tartar around the gum line (especially the molars) and tooth wear may be visible.

Most kittens will reach their full size at 1 year of age. Certain breeds of cats like the Maine Coon can continue to “fill out” up to the age of 4. If your cat still has that “teenager” look, he is most likely under the age of 1.

teenage cat

7 months old – Valerie in teenage phase.

adult torbie cat

1.5 years old – Valerie has filled out and reached full adult size.

As a cat ages, he or she may develop a paunch that hangs down. Valerie developed her paunch around 2 years old. As cats age, changes in their muscle tone and fur occur. A cat is considered a senior between 8 and 10 years of age.

Changes in Fur:

When a kitten is born, it has thick short fur. As they age, their fur becomes softer and finer.  When a cat reaches senior age, the fur becomes thick and coarse again and may turn grey in certain places.

Changes in Muscle Tone:

Younger cats will have better muscle tone because they are more active. Older cats may be saggier skinned and bonier on the rump or shoulder blades.

It is said that a cat who lives outdoors ages nearly twice as fast as an indoor cat.

At 14 cat years old, an indoor only cat would be 72 human years old, an outdoor cat would be 120 years.

This rate of aging kicks in around the 3 year mark.

Whether indoor or outdoor, a cat ages a lot the first 2 years.

When a cat is nearly 1 year old, they are approximately 15 human years old.

When the cat reaches 2 years old, he is approximately 24 years old.

An indoor cat will age approximately 4 human years for every 1 cat year and an outdoor cat will age approximately 8 cat years for every 1 human year.

This may be another good argument for keeping your cat indoors (or screening in your porch or balcony!) Not only will you keep them safe from all the outdoor dangers, but they will probably live a lot longer and be easier to care for in the long run.

Anything I left out? Leave a comment below.

77 Responses

  1. Talia says:

    When I got my kitty from the shelter…they said she was four months old but I thought she was about 1-1 1/2 years old. Now she is ’2′ and she will be 3 in September. She hasn’t been to the vet since we got her…what should I do?

    • Estelle W. says:

      Take her to the vet.

    • leo alvaerz says:

      I have a big orange tabby cat I’m thinking his 14 yrs old,he will use the kitty litter box but at times he will potty in the middle of the floor.So I bought a bigger potty house cuz he is a big big cat.why dose he potty in the middle of the floor

    • Estelle W. says:

      Hi Leo: If you are keeping the litter box spotlessly clean and he still goes potty on the floor, you should take him to the vet. There may be a health issue behind it, such as a urinary tract infection.

  2. Ariel says:

    My cat is going on three years of age, but is still considerably the size of a (large) kitten. His meals are portioned as you would with an adult cat and he eats well but he remains the same size. I am aware that cats grow in their sleep and that his lack of sleep may have stunted his growth, but his sleeping has improved and his growth rate has not. He also continues to sqeak like a kitten and can’t yet fully meow. As cute as this is, should I be concerned?

    • Estelle W. says:

      Hi Ariel: Any questions you have on your cat’s growth rate or nutritional needs should be discussed with your vet.

  3. Asha says:

    We have just adopted a cat from the shelter. They aged him at 1 year but my husband thinks he between 6-9 months because of his kitten like meow and his young face. I think he’s very small too and by the looks of things has abit of skin to grow into. I was hoping to find out for sure what age he is but after readin some if the comments, aging a cat can be subjective. Thanks for the article anyway, good to know.

  4. Rob V says:

    Brilliant Annie! Its refreshing to see how many people respond to your Catspertise. Okay, my cat is an all black tom. He adopted me two years ago when i moved into a house; Remember: dogs have masters, cats have staff members. I took him to the vet to make sure his shots were good. The doc guesstimated his age (then) @about 7, making him nine now. He is both indoor (too hot in AZ ) & outdoor, depends on his mood. He isnt neutered, no point in that, because he doesnt spray. Really, my friends cant even tell he lives here, because my house doesnt have that “marked” smell! My question is: will these factors, the indoor/outdoor, non-neutered; affect his longevity? I understand the outdoor dangers (dogs, coyotes, cars, & mean humans) play into this…but i cant deny him his neighborhood adventures by keeping him cooped inside. He is really smart too. He knows which button to press on my radio if he wants to jam out. Thanks for your catspertise. Oh one more thing! He recently lost a claw from his front paw, i found it lodged in his fur. Will it regrow? Or are theirs like ours, when we lose a nail at the quick, its gone for ever. Thank you Annie. Rob

  5. rose says:

    Hye…good info here..
    but i really cant tell what my cat age is…?
    i found her in middle of busy road…i don’t know how to examine her…
    but her fur is bit thick, but soft n smooth paw..small teeth..but long whisker & eye brow..
    i dont have enuff money o bring to vet…

    hope there some easy way to know at lease closed age…so i can treat her better..

  6. Gordon says:

    Hi folks, I’ve had a much-loved ginger and white ‘recue’ cat since 2011 and his age wasn’t really known way back then. A while back though at a local pet shop the (very-knowledgeable-about-cats) owner told me that a cats age can be fairly-roughly estimated according to it’s claws. As she talked I was impressed by her detail but unfortunately can’t quite remember the order. (I’ve been a gamekeeper in the past and know a fair bit about UK wildlife. I know that, for instance, a foxes age can be determined by it’s claws…as can a pheasants).
    So, it went something like this I believe – a cat upto about12yrs or so would generally have totally white/thicker claws and a cat with some white/and some opaque slimmer claws would perhaps be aged around 12-14. The 14yr+ more-senior members of our furry friends would have virtually totally opaque and much thinner/narrower claws. It went something like that as best I can remember anyway .
    Any views or or has anyone heard of this technique before?
    I can see the basic rationale behind it with my past experience but would like to hear anyone else’s opinion, perhaps from a professional such as a veterinarian maybe.
    Of course a great deal may have to do with the cat’s diet throughout it’s life perhaps or mineral/vitamin deficiencies, whether or not it’s mainly been an indoor or outdoor cat all it’s life and it’s general lifestyle overall but I can certainly see a principle behind the reasoning and theory.

  7. Seb says:

    Second to last paragraph you have a typo. You switched cat and human, basically saying that cats age 4x slower than us rather than faster.

  8. alannah says:


  9. Marci says:

    I have a tortie who is 5 months old. she has a very silky coat and no undercoat, no shedding. when do kittens develope an undercoat and begin to shed? This is the sweetest cat I have ever had and I had the perfect cat for 18 years! Love this baby!

  10. Makyla says:

    On fathers day a cat came into our house, we dont know the cat but it felt comfortable with us, so it slept in my moms bed. The cat is really sleepy. It likes to sleep in closets and under bed side tables. I dont know how old he is. He doesnt look young though….

  11. Ali says:

    This article helped me determine the age of a near dead kitten as about 3 weeks which I found abandoned and brought him home.We have been feeding him infant formula milk (lactogen)since a week but he doesn’t seem to gain weight rather seems thin.Should I start giving him some baby food to help him gain weight.

    • Estelle W. says:

      Hi Ali: We recommend KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer) as it has all of the essential nutrients your kitten will need and is especially formulated for cats. We also highly recommend checking out the following site for resources on ALL things kitten, including what to feed and how to feed. There are a ton of amazing instructional videos.
      Additionally, it’s always a good idea to visit your veterinarian to find out exactly what’s going on with the kitten and to get recommendations on any vaccines, supplements or care he might require. Thanks for writing in!

  12. samantha says:

    thank you this helped me a lot. we found a pregnant cat in a dumpster and were wondering how old she was and by your info it looks like she is about a year or so. thank you very much

  13. Lynn says:

    very helpful info. Thanks!

  14. Edith says:

    My Cat Subrise is quiet old ( about 25 years old). His sister ( Sunset passed away last year of a heart attack, it was very sad, we manage to make it to the hospital to say goodbye). I got this cat through a friend that I no longer see and I wonder if there is a way to find out the real age of my cat, anyone?. I contacted the vet where I took the cats when they were babies and they told me they no longer have the records. Can someone help me?
    Thank you.

  15. Fallon says:

    Thank you so much! We adopted a cat from a local shelter a few years back. They didn’t know his backround or his age, just that he was an adult. He is very large but his fur is still soft and his eyes are bright. But his fur is thinner between his eyes and ears… Is that normal?

  16. WAFFLEZ says:

    OMG thank you so much!!

  17. Claire says:

    we have just adopted a female cat from a shelter, she was an owner surrender. The shelter said the owner claimed she was 19, but we are having a hard time figuring out her age. Our vet says her teeth are in way too good a shape (they are a little discolored, but all present, no decay). She was never spayed, and probably had never had vet care until now. She was in horrible shape when we got her, she’s Maine Coon, should probably weigh around 16 lbs (she is very big-framed) but only weighed 8 lbs. Her first week she was fighting for her life with a shelter URI, and she was so weak we were feeding her every two hours around the clock, giving her meds and resp. treatments, and carrying her to the litter box. She has gained almost a lb in three weeks, is over her URI, and getting stronger, less wobbly. She uses pet steps to get up on the bed and sofa. We’ve also discovered that she is deaf. Her labs are all WNL except for BUN and creatinine, which are very slightly elevated. Any suggestions or thoughts on age? Her eyes are very clear, although there are few spots in the iris (but they don’t look like my 21 year-old indoor-only female, whose irises lost their pigment with advancing age)

    • Annie M says:

      Hi Claire, There is really know way to tell for sure, it gets more difficult the older they are. She is probably around the 19-year-old range, but could be much younger (which would still be pretty old) She could be 19 and just have great genetics or a very good diet all her life. Glad to hear she is putting on weight and over her UTI and glad you adopted a senior, we know they have a harder time getting adopted! Take care!

  18. Brooke says:

    Though it’s true that indoor cats typically live longer, its important to remember that this is not always the case. We had a Siamese female that was put to sleep just a couple of days ago due to complications of old age. She had lived outdoors her whole life but was very well loved and taken care of, and she was over 20 years old! She was completely deaf but still had great eyesight and was a happy healthy cat until just a few weeks before she died :)

  19. Lilly Reed says:

    Hello. About a month and a half ago I got a kitten. The lady I got him from told us he was 6 weeks but he wasn’t playful or anything until a week later and we don’t know how old he is. He has fleas and we don’t have the money right now to take him to a vet. How can we tell if he’s old enough to give him a flea and tick collar. His name is Bandit and he’s pitch black. He’s my baby and I love him to death so I don’t want to do anything that would put him in harms way. Please reply ASAP as I’m scared and don’t know what to do.

  20. jess says:

    Hi, about a week ago when I would return from work there was a black kitten in my back yard she ran away quickly but I bought some kitten food at the store and started putting it out for her, yesterday was the first time she approached me after I fed her n let me and my children pet her ( I think its a her) she seems to be about maybe 3 or 4 months about the size of two hands put together touching fingertips toghether . I’m trying to figure out how old she is so I can get her some treatments for fleas or supplements before I bring her in. I do not have anything for a kitty so I can bring her in until Monday. And poor thing is very boney so that’s another reason I’m having troupe determining her age. Shes very loving just gets a little crazy when u pull out lunch meat or anything but I guess that’s expected poor thing was starving. :( any suggestions on litter training for a cat that’s used to going outside? She fallows me around everywhere outside like I don’t want this lady outtakes my sight its the cutest and she wants to coke in the house but do u think it will be a hard adjustment for her. I know she wants to come in but what happens when they are in? Will they freak if u don’t let them back out? I set up a dog car crate with blankets food n water but she chooses to sleep under my husbands van. Anybody have any tips for me?? Sorry so long of story

    • Annie M says:

      Hi Jess, Cats instinctively use a litter box so you won’t need to train her. If she’s friendly (and it sounds like she is) keep feeding her, treat her for fleas and let her in. If she wants to come in and you don’t mind her coming in, that’s great. As far as her freaking out about being indoors, every cat is different but she’ll probably adjust quickly to having a nice home. Just take it one day at a time. Good Luck!

  21. Ky says:

    hey if i can figure out how to post a pic on here, can u tell me how old my kitty is?

  22. Kiara says:

    I just got a kitten for my birthday. She was born on April 1st, 2014. there were 3 other kitties in her litter and they all had short hair. My kitty is black with green eyes, but she has long hair. The shelter said she was a domestic shorthair mix. I am wondering if she will loose her long hair and get short hair when she grows up. Or if she will keep her long hair…

  23. John and AJ says:

    Thank you so much for your most excellent article describing the life events of a tiny kitten growing up!

    We adopted two cats out of the same litter from the shelter in Lancaster, CA. I thought they were between two and three weeks; the shelter thought they were between six and eight weeks. Your photos and verbal descriptions would suggest I was right; two to three weeks. They are now just four years old! Both are spayed and in fantastic health; they take such great care of me it is a privilege and honor to do the best I can for them. They lived indoors only for the first two full years as we traveled and lived in our beautiful truck camper full-time. We now live out in the country in Washington State in a huge meadow in the forest a quarter miles up the driveway from a quiet road.

    Wadi (Wah dee — it means “hello” in Thai) Rose and her sister Tiger Lilly both like to go out to the Christmas tree farm about 40 feet from the house. The pine of the trees means we have no fleas! The Christmas tree farm is their private little forest and hunting ground; they have learned to hunt and bring home mice and moles, a snake last year and a frog that they chased into the house but never caught and some little birds. They are much more indoor cats than outdoors cats preferring to be inside and in our bed at night and much of the day; they like their box better than the outdoor facilities. In the winter rain and snow they have no desire to go outside but now get cabin fever a bit.

    They seem to have remained kittens in the way that they play, run and jump, they are so happy and have few, if any worries. They have never been chased by other animals, hit or hurt by anyone or anything…

    Thanks again for your information.

    John and AJ

  24. Phyllis Lecoq says:

    We got a kitten from SPCA at 4 months old. He’ll be a year old in April and we are crazy about him. Thanks for answering questions about how cats age. Great article.

  25. Sherry Anderson says:

    I have two cats who live in my attached insulated garage with doggie door and have free run of my country place in Colorado (40 acres, but they stay within the yard and path to the barn). They both came from a barn on a neighboring place that the owner had deserted. One I know for a fact is 9 years old because I gave him as a kitten to that person. The other one was old when that I gave the kitten to her, or certainly appeared so. He has to be at least 15, probably closer to 20. He has lost his hearing and he meows very loudly now. He doesn’t keep weight on well, his coat gets matted because he no longer grooms himself, and he rarely leaves the garage. Otherwise he is alert, lively and communicative. The other cat looks and acts young at 9 years old, still hunts and catches small animals, follows me to the barn and back, climbs up into the barn roof trusses, loves to climb, roll in the dirt, he’s fat, fit and pretty.. I don’t think it’s correct to say that indoor cats age less quickly than outdoor cats. That’s a generalization that probably can’t be backed up. It’s probably based on information coming from indoor cat owners who take them to vets, whereas the outdoor cat owners don’t so no one know the facts on them. My two are proof. I’d say my 9 year old is good for another 6-10 years and part of the reason is all the exercise, fresh air, fresh greens, the occasional live caught meal, and overall great emotional health from the freedom he has. He is a very happy cat. My elderly cat will live until he dies a natural death, and that may be forever. In my job as a realtor I see so many indoor cats who are obese, sour, unhappy, and looking to escape out any door left open. Cat obesity appears to be a partner to the current human obesity problem. Maybe people keep these indoor cats alive longer by keeping them on drugs and vet care, but I’d bet my two with no vet care and no drugs ever against most house cats. I guess some cats do alright inside, but they sure seem better off outdoors.

  26. KRYSTALROSE says:


  27. Rhonda S,, says:

    Thank you Susan P for being “real” about the ability to place an age on a cat-kitten. I adopted my Serena about 13 years ago and was told she was 2…she died last year from old age after a wonderful decade+….Adopted a kitten in December…the shelter vet placed his age at a year….when he has the mannerisms of a much younger cat. Either way, I’ve learned just love the heck outta ‘em for as long as you are blessed with the opportunity. :D

  28. Susan P says:

    There is absolutely NO way to accurately age an adult cat even with blood work. A 16 year old cat and a 4 year old can have identical results. Some vets and shelters are good at estimating age and others just plain suck at it. I’m a vet. When clients would ask me to age a cat, I would give my best stab at it but told them in reality probably somewhere between 2 and 12 years. People don’t like this answer they want an actual number but there is no way to know. I have taken care of 18-20 year old (owners owned since kitten hood)cats that didn’t look a day over 8-10. My own cat looked like a decrepit old lady from about the age of 8. I work at a shelter and people get extremely pissed off when their vet estimates a different age than we give the animal (even if just a year or two different) I mean IRATE. It just can’t be done and I wish people would understand that.

  29. Marienne Litolff says:

    I have just aquired a new cat and she’s 16 months old (d.o.b. 18.8.12 ) How old is she in human years?
    Marienne Litolff

    • Emily says:

      I have just worked this out (using a simple website!)
      Your cat (I think) is about 18.3 human years old.
      I may be wrong! I am not sure :)

  30. margaret Lee says:

    I have had my cat almost 12 years. When I got her, she had three weaned kittens. I had her “fixed”. (Don’t know the correct term). My previous cat—same kind—livef to be 23. Now Smokey has almost all whiskers that are gray.Is there any way to approximate her age?

    • Annie M says:

      Hi Margaret, there isn’t really a way to tell unless you have blood tests done at the vet and even then, it’s only an approximate, educate guess. It’s easier when they are newborns. The term for fixing a female cat is a “spay” and a male is a “neuter”. Thanks for stopping by!

  31. Shannon says:

    I adopted a buff male kitten in early October. His age was estimated at 8 weeks then. I can’t determine his age and I think he may have a genetic abnormality. He is almost the size of my 10 lb adult cat and I would estimate he weighs in the ballpark of 6 lbs. is very lean and well built though. He has no whiskers/eyebrows, is super energetic and likes to rough house more than cuddle, has faint blue yet greenish eyes. He looks all of nearly a year old. He was the biggest kitten in the group and the only buff one, the others were all dark grey tabbys (supposedly same liter though). Anyway his fur is like super thin and short kitten fuzz and he gets cold easy and cuddles under pillows and blankets with no whiskers (not even stubs). Also he hasn’t been shedding since we’ve had him either. I’ve been around lots of kittens but I’ve never encountered one with his unusual features. Any ideas?

    • Annie M says:

      Hi Shannon,
      Kittens born in the same litter can have different fathers so it is possible that you got a mixed breed cat, maybe mixed with a devon rex or one of the short and curly coated types. I sent your question to our cat programs director and she suggests you visit with your veterinarian to rule out any genetic abnormalities. As long as he is eating and his energy levels are good, I wouldn’t worry, hope that helps!

  32. Izzy says:

    I meant I heard my orange tabby should weigh 3 pounds to get him neutered is this true?

  33. Izzy says:

    I have an orange tabby and he’s about 2 pounds but I heard I need to wait until he is 3 pounds. He is very attached to me and he loves running,jumping and hiding all over the place. He is very gentle and I am very pleased with him. Thanks for the info. I really needed it :)

  34. Regina says:

    Great article with good info! While I agree most cats’ eyes change from blue to the permanent, adult eye color as you stated, many do not. I have owned cats all of my life, and currently own four sweet furballs. Two of my opted cats had their permanent color before the age of 2 months, while the other two kept their blue eyes until well past the 6 month mark. One of these two (who are littermates), even had a beautiful mix of blue and green until he was nearly 2 yrs old. All of my furkids are neutered/spayed, and I sincerely hope all who read your comments will look into the weblinks you provided (thank you!). My heart breaks for all of the kittens I see advertised in the paper and online.

  35. Ashleigh says:

    About a month ago our landlords dog found a cat in their yard. We were able to keep the kitten because at the time she couldn’t jump the fence and was abandoned by her mother. At the time we found her she still had a bit of kitten fur around her stomach but about of week ago that disappeared and she’s now a bit of a handful with her jumping, climbing, playing, etc. (but I love her) Well my question is this, how can I determine a good time to get her spayed? My landlord wants to wait til she’s 6 months, but I don’t even know how old she is. I want it done as soon as possible and have a vet appointment lined up tomorrow around 8 AM…if she’s under 6 months (which I doubt honestly) I will wait, however I don’t want a kitten in heat when I wake up in the morning.

    • Annie M says:

      Hi Ashleigh, So glad you wrote in because a kitten can go into heat as early as 4 months old. If you wait until 6 months and the kitty goes outside it will probably be too late. You can safely spay and neuter as soon as the kitten weighs 2 pounds, which they usually reach by 2 months of age. Here is a link for low-cost spay and neuter services – In Los Angeles and in the rest of the U.S.A. Very happy this lucky kitten has a home with you, thanks!

  36. Wouter says:

    We live in Thailand and we got a kitten that would not stop following us. We did bring him back several times but he kept following us. So now, after a youth full of farm animals and pets I finally have a pet again, after 25 years without.
    We went on holidays and our neighbors kept him for 2 weeks. He looks good, shinny and healthy fur. But I feel he gained too much weight. Or is that normal?
    12 Aug: 850 gr. (1.9 lbs) Vet thought he was 2 month old
    18 Aug: 1100 gr. (2.4 lbs)
    28 Aug: 1360 gr. (3 lbs)
    24 Sep: 2120 gr. (4.7 lbs) Is this not too much? About 750 gr. (1.7 lbs) in 4 weeks? He should be around 3.5 month old by now.
    Thank you for letting me know and great website.

    • Annie M says:

      Hi Wouter, It is typical for kittens to almost double their weight at 4 months old and then again at a 1 year. Every cat is different so the way I would judge is according to the kittens’ body score. Kittens under 9 months old should eat as much as they want. At 9 months to 1 year you can replace their kitten food with adult cat food and then you can regulate his portions if he tends to over-eat (Cats eat several small meals during the day.) Check out this body score and condition chart which is a great way to check and see if your cat is overweight later down the line, for now, I think he is right on track! Thanks for stopping by :)

  37. Whitney says:

    I have a 4 year old rescue, 3 year rescue … recently got another who is a year in October and someone dumped out a new one. She is identical to your cat Valerie and now I am even more certain she is around 7 months. My 11 month old already has his pouch. I have tiny cats which I believe is probably from malnutrition as kittens before a shelter took them in.

  38. Suzan Rashid says:

    My 11/12 week old male ginger kitten still has blue eyes,
    will his eyes possible change colour later on ?
    (most of our island kittens in Greece do not have blue eyes !)

    • Annie M says:

      Hi Suzan, It’s possible his eyes will darken and change but by 12 weeks or so they should be set. Orange with blue eyes sounds like a very handsome cat!

  39. Claudia says:

    I.have found this kitten and I cannot determine the age. At first when I found it three days ago her eyes were not dilated but the eyes and ears were fully open but it could not stand without wobbling and only crawled the next day the eyes dilated. The day after that the kitten was walking better and climbing and being more curious about her surroundings playing around and rough playing.

  40. bmblb says:

    I live out in the country on a large property with my own 2 cats (one indoor/outdoor and one indoor only). I’m curious about two things. Does this info apply to my indoor/outdoor cat as an outdoor cat? He spends more time indoors these days since we moved from the suburbs. Also, my landlord lives on the property and has 4-5 “barn” cats running around so someone dropped off a kitten at the end of our driveway about a week ago. We fed him right away, but kept him isolated from the other cats because they are so territorial and we didn’t know if he was sick. After only a few days he became ill and in 2 days after that he passed away. :( There are no vets open on the weekend out here and I looked online, it said it was most likely genetic or something the mother gave him from her stool, or a spider bite. Folks, be careful when kittens are dropped off or you find them and you have other cats at home. They can be contagious and cause problems for your current family members, human and feline. Thanks for the article I was curious how old the kitten was and how old one of these barn cats might be.

  41. I have 4 cats, and one is expecting kittens this august. the father of the kittens I didn’t really know how old he was so this was very helpful.

  42. Mary says:

    So glad I found this, thank you! We found what we believe to be a 3-4 week old runt earlier this week. This article helped us determine the level of care she needed. When they are runts it is harder to determine how old they are.

  43. Heather says:

    Thank you Annie!! Your article is much more helpful than most, and I’ve been looking!! Early last week my brother brought us a kitten found abandoned at an empty house. She is very tiny and looks like a kitten, however, she surprised us with kittens on Saturday. Everything about her looks like a kitten except her length. The vet says she’s not a year yet. She doesn’t look like a year old cat. Reading your article and seeing Valerie’s pics; given her size, kitten features, and her birthing experience I’m thinking she’s about 8 months old. Thanks again for your article I really appreciate it!!

    • Annie M says:

      Thank you Heather, I’m so glad it was helpful, good luck with the kittens! I’m glad mama cat found you guys to take care of her!

  44. Bailey says:

    Very helpfull! I just found two baby kittens outside the momma had been killed by dogs. They are 3 weeks old from this.It describes them perfectly!

  45. wincy says:

    I found a kitten under my bed. I wasn’t sure about the age and I think the mother left it . The left eye cannot be open while the right one is widely open . Is it sick or it just normal ? From your article I think it’s about 10 days. Thanks annie. This article is being so helpful

    • Annie M says:

      Hi Wincy, It is very common for kittens to have little colds which manifest in weepy eyes, sneezing, runny noses etc. The best thing you can do is gently apply a warm compress to the eye several times a day. If it doesn’t improve in a few days you may need to get special drops from the veterinarian or perhaps your local animal shelter could help. Are you bottle feeding the little one? At 10 days old they are very fragile and vulnerable. Good luck to you! Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  46. John C says:

    GOD bless you Jamie. Feel great about yourself…you are a winner!

  47. Jamie says:

    This was very helpful for me. Today an emaciated kitten approached us meowing. I brought it inside and prepared it some kitten formula. I placed a bit on my finger and brought it to the kitten’s mouth and the cat began frantically chewing on me. Judging by the info on here, I would guess it is between 4-6 weeks old. Definitely needed info so that we know when to get him neutered.

    • Annie M says:

      That is one lucky kitten to have found you Jamie! Glad the article was helpful, the animal shelters here will spay or neuter as soon as a kitten weighs over 2 pounds too. Thanks for reading!

  48. RICK says:


    • Annie M says:

      Hi Rick,
      Indoor cats live an average of 12 to 15 years. However some cats live longer than that. The oldest cat ever reported was a 38 year old female Tuxedo cat. I hope your cats are comfortable, sorry to hear they are throwing up :( Take Care.

  49. Chelsea says:

    This helped me. I recently received a cat from a friends dads friend because his cat had kittens and needed a home for the runt and no one wanted him, being the runt, but he said he just turned 7 Weeks so he would be 8 Weeks spoon, well w didn’t think he looked or acted quite 8 Weeks old, think he j
    Is returning 7 (maybe) not 8 based off this information. His eyes are olive colored but still has very kitten looking features and is still short a tooth or so

  50. Amber H says:

    When we adopted our dog we felt the same way. The shelter told us he was 2 to 2 and a half years old. We didn’t know any better. We had only had him a few weeks and we were telling people, when asked, what the shelter had told us about his age. Several people from the dog parks we went to and other places told us that shelters and pounds always tell people around 2 years old when they don’t know themselves. Well we have had our dog for 8 plus months now and we think he is more like 4 or 5 years old. We have to do some more research. Thanks for the post Annie – if we adopt a cat or kitten, which we are considering, we will have more insight into their age.