How to Figure a Cat's Age

A cat's age can be deciphered by inspecting his features.
A cat's age can be deciphered by inspecting his features. (Image: Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

When a cat is adopted or taken off the street as a stray, determining its age can be a challenge.To a pet owner, however, knowing their cat’s age can be very important. There are a variety of factors and signs that can be evaluated to decipher a cat’s approximate age. By observing certain characteristics, you should be able to produce a fairly accurate estimate as to a cat’s age.

Evaluate the color of the teeth. If the teeth are a pure white, the cat is likely around 1 year old. If the cat’s teeth are slightly yellow, the cat is likely around 2 years old. If there is tarter apparent on the teeth, this indicates that the cat is probably between 3 and 5 years old. Look for missing teeth, as this can also indicate an older cat.

Check the cat’s eyes for cloudiness. If there is a film or cloudiness, the cat is likely around 12 years old, however, if the eyes are bright and clear, the cat is likely younger.

Examine the iris of the cat’s eye. If the iris has smooth edges, then the cat is likely younger. If the iris edges are not smooth then the cat is older.

Check to see if the cat has extra loose and hanging skin or is especially bony in build, as these characteristics are common in older cats. Pronounced muscles indicate a younger cat.

Inspect the coat and build of the cat. A smooth and soft coat indicates a younger cat. According to, a course, dull coat indicates an older cat.

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