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Discussion Starter #1
I have a foster, Bonney, who I was told is 5 years old, but I am strongly suspecting she is much older. I started thinking this when I noticed the way she eats, like her teeth hurt or she cant chew the food. I looked in her mouth to see how her teeth look and they are fairly beige/brown looking. I compared this to my 6 y/o cats teeth, and they are still mostly white. She also has a rickety walk and is very apprehensive about jumping. She just seems....old. If you showed me this cat and said how old?, just with my untrained eye I would say 10+.

BUT...she had kittens three months ago, that's a fact, so that could mean she's not old? Also could this just be from her poor condition at the moment or from a really rough life?

I have emailed the rescue for approval to take her to the vet for her teeth at least, so we'll see, but does anybody have any tips on guessing age?
 

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Even for vets it's a bit of a guess. Lottie was estimted by the shelter's vet as somewhere between 4 and 7 (based mainly on her teeth) which is quite a difference in cat terms When we first ha her, we thought that she was at the top end or even older (based on behaviour) but now we think she was at the bottom end or even a bit younger because she now behaves in a much more youthful way. The reality is we don't know exactly and neither does the vet.
 

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I think it's really impossible to guess when they're no longer kittens. Cat teeth all are all different, some get terrible teeth problems and are genetically predisposed to problems (especially some purebreds like Siamese), others don't have any issues at all, and being on the street can certainly have contributed to wearing down her body - and teeth - much faster.

A few years ago we asked the vet how old Blacky was, we'd had here for around 8 years at the time, her teeth were nothing to go by as they were always bad, even when we first started feeding her... we'd made the same assumption as you, thinking she was really old because of her teeth. But then, she'd already been with us 8 years since then...

I was expecting some really old age when I asked, like 20, but the vet felt around her stomach for a few seconds and came up with the estimate of 8-12 years. We'd already had her 8 years at the time, so erring on closer to 12 made sense. She hadn't been a kitten when we'd started feeding her on the street and for her teeth to get bad there should have probably been a few years of tooth problems, but that's still a large age approximation. Anyway, it would have put her at around 4 years old when we started feeding her, roughly the same age as your fosters current age estimate.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, from looking at those links, it sounds like her teeth are about what they say for a 3-5 year old and it sounds like my 6 y/o old cat has good teeth for her age. So maybe she is 5 and my other cat just has good teeth. It'll be interesting to see if she acts different/more youthful once her body condition gets better.
 
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