How To Determine Your Cat’s Age

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In some cases, the cats we adopt have an anonymous history. The shelter you get your cat from may not know all her medical details. Unfortunately, without any medical records, determining the age of your cat is also next to impossible. However, there are quite a few methods that you and your vet could use make an educated guess about her age. Pinpointing your cat’s birthday after she reaches adulthood can become more and more difficult. Although her exact birth date is impossible to figure out, some of these techniques can help give you a general idea.

  1. Examine her teeth
    It can be very difficult to use this method to determine a cat’s age once all his adult teeth have erupted. Although it is difficult, it is not entirely impossible. The tar build up and the wear and tear of the teeth can also be used to successfully determine a cat’s age. Examine the teeth that are situated along the sides of her mouth. These teeth are also known as the cheek teeth. If you see a bit of tar buildup on these teeth, your cat is 1 to 2 years old. The more the tar build up, the older your cat.
  2. Look into her eyes.
    Just like how humans develop thicker lenses and cataracts around the age of 40, cats also develop denser lenses around the age of 6 or 7. A cat who is around 120 years old might have more cloudy eyes that can be easily noticed by her owners. This is something that only a vet should do. Only a vet has the proper tools to determine a cat’s age by looking at her eyes.
  3. Look at her grooming habits.
    Cats are meticulous creatures. They love to keep themselves clean and groom themselves almost all the time. The younger cats are the ones that do this regularly and make this a priority. As a cat gets older, she may lose some of her grooming abilities. This can be due to some dental problem that she may have that makes it painful for her to groom herself. It could also be because your cat might be suffering from arthritis. Another common reason is that sometimes, as your cat grows older, she may have gotten a little fat, which would make it difficult for her to reach certain places on her body.
  4. Look at her overall health.
    Older cats usually experience some or other kind of problems that can be easily discerned by vets. The chances of a younger cat suffering from diseases like kidney failure is slim in comparison to older cats. Older cats also sometimes lose their ability to process certain nutrients like proteins which leads to weight loss.

You can do all these things, get blood work, and even measure her fat and muscle. But through all this, there is nothing you can do to be exactly sure about her age. All you and your vet can really do, is make an educated guess.

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