Your kitten is adorable, and you have no doubt that it will grow up and become an adult one day, just like you. But at what point does a kitten become fully mature? Or, more specifically, when does a cat stop growing?
Cats reach the point of no further growth at the age of 12 months. Keeping this in mind, the breed and gender of the animal have an impact on growth. Some bigger breeds, on the other hand, will continue to grow for several months later. For example, the Maine Coon cat can weigh up to 20 pounds at maturity and may not be fully developed until he/she is closer to five years of age. Depending on the breed, some cats attain their maximum size between 18 months and four years!
So we can conclude that cats’ growth depends on the breed, and almost all cats stop growing after 12-18 months.
Various Development Stages of Cat
Although certain breeds develop more quickly than others, a cat’s life phases may be divided into five categories in general.
These are the five stages to look out for:
- 0-6 months: Your cat is in the kitten stage between the ages of 0 and 6 months when he or she is born. It is the most fruitful and maybe the most beautiful period of his life at the moment. It is also when your cats will undergo the greatest amount of growth and development in a brief period.
- From six months to two years: Also known as the junior period, your cat is still developing and has not yet attained maturity at this point. While your cat is at this period, it will benefit from spending quality time with you to help him feel more confident in new circumstances. You may also train them and develop a close bond with them through taming techniques during this stage.
- 3 to 6 years: This is the beginning of adulthood. And that’s when your cat is in better health and is more energetic. At this point, your cat will be able to achieve its maximum development potential in terms of weight and height.
- 7 to 10 years: Your cat is in what is known as the completely mature period when she is between the ages of 7 and 10. Just as people grow less active as they become older, so do adult cats. It is the time of year when they gain excess weight and develop health problems such as diabetes or renal disease if they do not take proper care of themselves. As a result, pet parents must feed their cats a high-protein diet and visit a veterinarian immediately if they notice any strange changes in their cats.
- From 11 to 14 years of age, cats are considered to be in their senior years. They spend more time sleeping and doing nothing and less time exercising due to this. It was at this time that your cat’s health began to deteriorate.
What Factors Influence the Growth Rate of Cats?
Although it may come as a surprise to find that, in contrast to humans, male cats really develop at a slower rate than their female counterparts. Since female cats often have smaller frames than male cats of the same breed, they have less room to develop into their bodies. The typical domestic male cat weighs around seven pounds, and the average domestic female cat weighs roughly six pounds. It was discovered by using the same handbook that male cats are typically approximately 21 inches in length, while female cats are somewhat shorter at 19 inches in length.
Spaying and Neutering
Many cat owners believe that spaying or neutering your point-eared companion stymies or hinders their growth in some way, and this debate has raged for a long time. To be more specific, it was hypothesized that cats spayed or neutered grew bigger than their unmodified counterparts. Studies have shown some support for this notion to a certain extent. It is now possible to state confidently that, as long as the surgery is conducted before the cat reaches adulthood, their girth and length will be far greater than their virile counterparts. This is because pediatric spaying and neutering lead to a delayed fusion of a cat’s growth plates around its legs and limbs, allowing them extra time to develop due to the procedure.
The weaning off of milk occurs at roughly two months old, at which point the kitten becomes entirely dependant on its humans for nourishment. Maintaining focus on the objectives of good kitten nutrition is critical when bearing a big burden on your shoulders.
A balanced and optimal diet can help to ensure that your furry friend develops at the appropriate rate – neither too quickly nor too slowly. You should avoid feeding your kitty a diet that promotes rapid development at all costs since this might result in feline obesity. While the sort of food you give your kitten is unquestionably crucial, you should also consider how much food you’re feeding them and how often you’re feeding them as part of your decision.
Kittens should be fed smaller meals at least four times each day throughout the second and third months of their lives. This is because their small stomachs are incapable of storing the amount of food required for adequate nourishment. As they get older, between the ages of three and six months, you should feed them between 1⁄2 and one cup of food, measured in volume, at least three times every day.
Bone Defects or Deformities
It is also possible for certain cats’ development to be hampered by bone anomalies or malformations like dwarfism. While some of them are caused by heredity, nutrition also influences the creation or degeneration of bones.
Some Cat Breeds Develop at a Quicker Rate Than Others
The breed of cat has an impact on its growing rate as well. Some cat breeds might take up to four years to reach their full potential. The genetics and environment of each cat have a significant effect on the growth and weight of that cat.
Smaller kittens or young cats who are left outside are more likely to be neglected. The fact that they are malnourished has a lot to do with their diet. Their bodies will be shuttered and their growth will come to a halt if they do not receive the proper amount of food and water to ensure their survival as kittens.
How Can You Know If Your Cat Is Fully Grown?
When your kitty has reached the end of her growth cycle, she should cease gaining weight. Weighing your feline companion once or twice a month is recommended. It’s a solid indication that your cat has reached adulthood when his or her weight reaches a plateau and remains stable around 12 to 14 pounds—the healthy weight of an average domestic shorthair cat—for many months.
Does the Breed of a Cat Make a Difference?
Depending on the breed, some cat breeds are noticeably smaller or bigger than the usual housecat. For example, cats such as Siamese and Sphynx have a lower body weight than other breeds and may achieve their maximum size sooner than other breeds.
Maine coons, for example, are a large cat breed that may weigh up to 25 pounds or more. Because they’re so much larger than most other cat breeds, estimated that they’ll need at least two years to reach their full size.
Inquire with your veterinary doctor about the average mature weight of the breed of cat that you own. You’ll be able to tell when your cat has reached adulthood and when it’s time to transition from kitten to adult food.
When Do Tabby Cats Stop Growing?
Tabby cats are not considered to be a distinct breed. The name “tabby” refers to a pattern that cats may pass down through their families.
In reality, tabby patterning may be found in a variety of different breeds of dogs. Furthermore, each of them will develop at a distinct rate.
If you know the official breed of your tabby cat, you should look at the statistics for that breed to anticipate how large your kitten will grow.
When Do Domestic Shorthair Cats Stop Growing?
Domestic shorthair cats, like tabby cats, are not recognized as a distinct breed by the American Cat Association. Domestic shorthairs have always had a mixed lineage, regardless of where they came from.
As a result, their development rates and adult sizes can vary significantly from one individual to the next.
In reality, these cats’ only thing in common is that their fur is short and controllable.
When Do Bengal Cats Stop Growing?
The Bengal cat, a popular cat breed in the United States, has been described as a “small leopard.” Bengal cat size can vary from 16 pounds for a female to 22 pounds for a male, with the average weight being 16 pounds.
Most cat breeds, a fully mature male Bengal cat will weigh somewhat more than a fully grown female Bengal cat.
However, Bengals tend to stop growing between 18 months and two years, which means they are not as sluggish to develop as Maine Coons.
When Do Overweight Cats Stop Growing?
To establish where your kitten falls on the breed’s kitten growth chart, there are three alternative approaches:
- Height: She stands at her full height from paw to shoulder.
- Length: Her total length from snout to tail
- Weight: At maturity, she will have reached her maximum weight along a spectrum.
Regarding these three factors, weight is the least dependable regardless of whether your kitten is a purebred or a mixed breed cat.
There is one reason why the weight of a kitten or a cat is a poor indicator of development. It’s because veterinarians are reporting that they are witnessing an increasing number of cases of feline obesity.
Obesity and Overweight Cats
If you are overfeeding your cat, they may be becoming larger without actually growing. As a result, don’t confuse weight increase with improved health.
Symptoms of an Obese Cat
In certain cases, it’s difficult to discern whether cats are approaching or exceeding their optimal weight, particularly when you don’t know the cat’s breed.
However, if you’ve seen significant weight gain in your cat, which is frequently accompanied by a lack of interest in physical exercise, it’s possible that your cat is nearing harmful weight levels.
When you look at your cat, you should see a little waistline in their body shape. When you touch them, you should be able to feel the ribs in their body.
If you cannot perform one of these things or your cat has a low swinging stomach, you should consult your veterinarian about their weight loss options.
Due to their inability to twist and clean themselves as quickly as other cats, overweight cats may also develop oily or unclean areas of hair, knots, and flaking skin.
When Do Male Cats Stop Growing?
Male cats of the same breed will often grow to their full adult size slower than female cats of the same breed.
On the other hand, other circumstances will have an impact on their development. Because of this, the size of adult male cats belonging to tiny breeds will often be substantially larger than the size of adult male cats belonging to large breeds.
When Do Female Cats Stop Growing?
Female cats typically mature faster than male cats because they are generally smaller than male cats of the same breed when growing up.
However, as previously said, various additional factors might influence the time it takes for various female cats to achieve adult size.
Conclusion: When Do Kittens Stop Growing, and How Long Do They Take To Do So?
The majority of a cat’s development occurs within the first six months of its life. During this period, the growth curve is exponential. Kittens are acquiring weight and muscular mass at an alarming rate, and their bones are lengthening at an alarming rate as a result. The amount of food that kittens consume at this period is unlimited since they require the nutrients to develop a healthy bone and muscular structure.
However, it has been hypothesized that the age of 12 months is when virtually all cats cease to develop. Cats can reach maturity in as little as 12 months, although they are not considered completely matured at that time. When they get their full size, it might take anything from 18 months to 2 years.