How Old Is My Pet in People Years?

Your actions can influence your dog's aging process, by the way. In particular, dogs who spend their lives overweight or obese will experience chronic pain and illness earlier than active and healthy dogs of normal weight. So while you're taking precautions to keep yourself young, do the same for your dog, by watching his diet and encouraging him to get plenty of exercise.

How Old Is My Cat?

What about cats? We all love easy answers, so after the idea of "dog years" became popular, we started seeing the same methodology applied to cats: Take the lifespan of a cat, compare it to a person, then get your formula, which is why you may frequently hear that 1 cat year equals 4 human years.

You’re ahead of me already, I bet: A 1-year-old cat is far more mature than a 4-year-old child, and a 2-year-old cat is fully mature, which can never be said of a human 8-year-old.

Because cats have less size diversity than dogs do, however, in this case we actually can make the formula work, if we start calculating at a cat's second birthday. The first year takes a cat to late adolescence, and the second into young adulthood. You can then start counting in fours: Figure a 2-year-old cat at 24 "human years." and add four years for every one thereafter, making a 4-year-old cat the equivalent of a 32-year-old person. That makes a 9-year-old cat about 52 in human terms, and 16-year-old cat about 80.

But, as we love to say about ourselves, age is only a number. With cats and dogs (and people!), proactive, preventive wellness care with proper diet and exercise is the best way not only to achieve a longer life but also to have it be a happy, healthy one.

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