It is hard to find something in this world as cute as kittens are. They are so tiny and so cute. However, it seems that they overgrow their baby cuteness overnight. And boom – they are adult cats already. Then, you start noticing that some cats are light as 4 pounds, while others tip the scale at closer to 25! So, when do the cats stop growing?
Cats come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. And each one of them is unique and rather fantastic. So, why they go so fast from being a kitten to a fully grown up cat? You have probably wanted them to stay cute and kitten-ish as long as possible, but that’s just not how the cat’s nature works. Do you know when your cat is truly adult? Explore this guide and learn everything that you should know in order to understand how your feline grows.
Circle Of Life
Before we start on how and when cats grow, it’s crucial to understand the basic life stages of a cat. However, bear in mind that the exact dates vary from cat to cat, but some general lines are accurate. Therefore, the cat life cycle can be broken down into five different stages.
- Kitten (0-6 months old): This is the stage when your cat is the cutest. This is also the stage where your kitten grows over the night, as its the earliest stage of development.
- Junior (6 months old to 2 years old): In this stage cats continue their maturity and growth. It’s desirable to play a lot with your cat in this period, so your cat can develop self-confidence.
- Prime Adult (3-6 years old): This is the stage that’s known as their healthy prime. They feel the most confident and comfortable during this stage.
- Mature Adult (7-10 years old): In this stage they start to look more like humans – they become less active as they grow old. They are also more prone to obesity and developing health issues, like diabetes and kidney disease.
- Senior (11-14 years old): Lifespan may vary from cat to cat, but in most cases, they do reach the stage of becoming senior cats. This stage of their life is known as the stage where their health starts collapsing.
- Geriatric (15 years and over): This stage is reserved for the toughest ones. Next to the senior stage, this stage is known for showing behavioral changes that may include changes in vocalization, in litter box usage and can be full of underlying medical problems.
When Do Cats Stop Growing?
Most feline experts agree on one thing and that’s that cats reach their adulthood at 12 months old. This age basically means that cat’s personalities is matured. Moreover, this is the stage that will show you how your feline’s personality will look like until the rest of his furry life.
But, a cat doesn’t grow with the same consistency. Actually, cats reach their full size anywhere between 18 months to 4 years of age.
Kittens are known for growing the fastest. They grow so fast that the major difference is seen in their size in their first week of birth. They double their size in their first week. After their first week, kittens grow an ounce every three days. Bear in mind that kittens are usually born weighing about 3.5 ounces.
Around their third or fourth week, they will begin to stand firmly and toddle about. Around their 16 weeks, the growth will start to slow as they pass their fastest development and most adorable stage.
How Big Will My Cat Get?
The most common question about cats growth is ‘How big will my cat get?’ Shortly said, the average domestic feline is around 10 pounds. But, some larger breeds like males of Maine Coon, can weight around 20 pounds. Also, there are cats with bigger paws. That doesn’t mean that your cat will be big or bigger. Simply said, cats are not dogs. Additionally, a cat’s breed can affect its scale of growth. Logically, larger breeds take longer to stop growing. Simply, they’ve got further to go to reach maturity.
Therefore, there is no correlation between your cat’s paw size and his weight and height. Bigger paws don’t really mean a bigger cat. The only factor that affects your cat’s size is actually genetics. There are certain 19 pairs of chromosomes that are responsible for controlling everything in cats, from their length, size and even coat color.
Furthermore, the best indicator for your cat’s size is actually his parents. Also, a major factor can be sex. Traditionally, males are significantly larger than females and the duration of their growth outburst can last longer.
How To Tell When A Cat Has Reached Its Full Size
It’s true that cat can continue to grow after the first year, but their growth rate will significantly be slower after that period. Actually, if you’re not measuring your cat every single day, you might not even notice that they’re growing.
But, the best way to truly understand if your cat stopped growing is to measure and weigh it each month. If you measure your cat once a month you will notice that the measurements are changing constantly, from month to month.
You can tell the cat’s maturity level from the weight. Furthermore, you can even estimate your cat’s adult weight by weighing them when they’re 16 weeks old. You can expect that number to be doubled. And remember, no matter how big your cat gets he will always need an extra portion of love!
What Affects Cat’s Growth?
There is a number of factors that affects your’s cat growth. At first place, its always mostly affected by the breed. Secondly, by the diet. At each stage of life, your cat needs to intake a specific amount of food in order to reach its proper size.
Furthermore, if cats are not fed regularly and properly, their growth can be shrimp. That’s the main reason why a number of shelter kittens are mostly smaller in size than their re-home.
Feline growth isn’t only affected by breed, but also by diet. Kittens need to consume a massive amount of daily calories during their first stages of life to reach their proper size.
Your feline friend may stop growing or grow much slowly if his nutritional needs aren’t met properly. A small amount of sodium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron can lead to slow growth, bad bone structure, and slower-growing bones.
Therefore, veterinarians always suggest that you give your kitten the best food possible. High-quality commercial kitten food is created with certain standards and you can rest assured that your kitten will get the most out of it. Always look for a ‘complete and balanced’ label. Food that’s approved will boost your cat growth.
Also, next to breed and diet, age plays a big role. But not any age, but the age at when a cat is neutered or spayed, can extremely affect the growth rate.
According to the newest studies, a cat that is neutered or spayed early in life will grow larger than a cat that wasn’t neutered or spayed until adulthood. Next, certain medical conditions, like bone deformities and dwarfism can cause stunted growth.
The bottom line on, ‘When do cats stop growing?’ is that the best way to understand how fast your cat will go from being a kitten to being an adult cat is to know cats life circle. Kittens will stop growing at about 1 year old.
Make sure that you take a good look at your kitten when it’s 6 months old. That is exactly how your cat will look like as an adult cat. If you are thinking about adopting a cat make sure that you understand what cat meets your needs and how you can choose the right cat for you. Also, bear in mind that if you thinking about adopting a kitten, that a little fluff ball will keep that appearance for a short period of time – he will look an adult cat before he hits his first birthday.
If you want to keep your feline healthy in every life stage make sure that you always provide high-quality food, a healthy diet filled with a freshwater source and to provide a fun and interesting environment with space for exercises, places to climb and hide. Cats love the hide-n-seek type of games. These factors will only contribute to your cat becoming strong, big and healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Neutered Cats Grow Bigger?
This is a tricky question and there is no one-answer-fits-them-all. This mostly depends on the breed of the cat. For example, Tomcats that are unneutered may grow to be bigger.
Can You Tell How Big A Cat Will Get?
Overall, the weight that the cat has at 4 months of age will probably grow twice as much. Although there is no specific reason for you to know for sure how big your cat will be you can assume your cat’s side based on your cat’s parents.
At What Age Is A Cat Fully Grown?
Kittens will reach their full-grown size by 9 to 12 months of age. After one year they will grow much slower until they reach 18 months of age. However, larger breeds like Maine coon cats will take longer to grow to their full size.
How Big Should My Cat Be?
Perfect weight for most domestic cats should be around 10 pounds. However, it all depends on the breed at the end of the day. For example Siamese cats may weight 5 pounds, while exceptional Maine Coon can weight even 25 pounds and still be extraordinary healthy.
Does Paw Size Determine Cat Size?
The paw size doesn’t determine your cat’s size by any means. This rule is usually reserved for dogs, not cats. You can’t really be sure about your cat’s size until he reaches its full maturity.