Time to Review the Concept of Cat Years?


I was looking at my cat Pogo lately and thinking about his age. He is about 10 years old, and according to popular wisdom, he would be 10 x 7 ‘people-years’ to a cat year = 70 years old.

He really doesn’t act like a seventy year old. For one, I don’t know of any human 70 year old who can jump twice his body length off the ground, but I guess that isn’t fair since I don’t know a 20 year old human that can do that either.   Point is, he doesn’t move much slower (if at all) than he did 5 years ago.

I also heard that the cat lifespan has significantly increased over the past 10 years, largely due to improvements in cat food.  So I decided to do a bit of Googling and found this:

Cat Years in Expressed in Human Years

This is a plot of data, and rationale that I found an the French Property, Services and Information website.  I am not sure why the information is there, perhaps, like me, they are still searching for their unifying theme; but it does add some good detail on the suggested relationship between cat years and human years, like their much more rapid maturity.

You can see on the graph that there is a very steep climb from 0-2 years old where cats go from 0-25 human years old… a multiple of about 12.5 years for every one year.  After 2 years, the curve flattens out to approximately 4.2 human years per cat year.  This puts Pogo at about 57, which fits more intuitively with the way he behaves.

This new proposal does make it much harder to calculate the relationship in your head.  You replace this easy equation:

human_years = cat_years * 7

With a much more ornery one (which isn’t exact):

human_years = min(2, cat_years)*12.5 + max(0, (cat_years-2)*4.2)

So I don’t expect that is is really going to catch on, since the most complex equation I see most people remembering is the one that guides men (only?) on what is the minimum age of women they should date:

minimum_age = your_age/2 + 7

Which means, when Micheal Douglas started dating Catherine Zeta-Jones in 1999, he was ok, since, at 55 he would be ok with someone as young as 34.5!  Wait! she was 30.  It looks like that equation might need some help as well.

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One Response

  1. your point being that Pogo is fit now for Zeta-Jones ? 🙂

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