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A Cat Question I Couldn’t Answer From My Next Door Neighbor’s Kids

Some of the great questions come from unexpected sources, like kids.  My next door neighbor’s kids, Lilly and Rocco, saw me walking our dog. It spurred the following very inciteful question – about our CAT! 

Our cat is named Rascal.  He definitely fits the part too, and always follows me when I’m walking the dog, Spencer.

Spencer and Rascal
photo by Richie Phillips

Anyway, the kids asked me how old our dog was in “dog years”.  Since he’s about a year and a half old, using the old 7 times rule, we figured out that he would be about 10 years old, correct?  That was easy enough.

After that, I got stumped.  They asked me how old the cat was in “cat years”.  I don’t think I’ve ever had that question before!  I’ve never even considered that  as a matter of fact.

I took this question to a well known area veterinarian, Dr. Snyder at the River Road Animal Hospital. She basically told me that where a dog has the 7 times multiple, a cat uses the 4 times figure.  Now is that per life?  I was wondering, because a cat has nine of them.  (I didn’t have the heart to call Dr. Snyder back.  She’s a busy person)

But of course, I couldn’t let it go. I wanted to know more about this cat dog issue. First the dog part.    I went onto, and they basically said that the 7 times thing for them is a misnomer.

“A popular misconception is that dogs age 7 years for each calendar year. In fact, canine aging is much more rapid during the first 2 years of a dog’s life. After the first 2 years the ratio settles down to 5 to 1 for small and medium breeds. For large breeds the rate is 6 to 1, and for giant breeds the rate is 7 to 1.”

richie's dog spencer
photo by Richie Phillips

So maybe our little dog Spencer is a little more adult than we thought, because he’s a little over a year old in our years.

As far as the cat question,  I’m still trying to research it.  If you find anything about this subject, please leave your comments below.  But until then,  I will go with  the good doctor’s answer.

PS.   Thanks, kids for the question.  (Can you make them easier next time?)



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