Cats come in all sizes, colors, shapes and weigh differently – depending on their breeds. Some of these feline companions weigh as light as 5 pounds while others can weigh as much as 20 pounds. From the Siamese and the Sphynx, to the surprisingly supersized Ragdoll and the Maine Coon, who eventually grow up to fit their big personalities with proper nutrition. If you’ve ever owned a cat, have one currently or are simply curious to know when cats eventually stop growing, then this piece will help you determine when your furry companion becomes a fully-fledged adult.
When is your kitten no longer a kitten?
Wasn’t it just yesterday when you saw your kitten looking all cute and cuddly and playful and all of a sudden you can’t account as to how fast he or she’s grown? Kittens grow rapidly but you need not be fooled by appearances. Spaying your cat actually makes up a big aspect of how your cat grows and how fast it does. Generally, cats are considered adults once they reach one year of age. This, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that your cat is fully grown as some aspects of a cat’s maturity can occur more rapidly than others. Most, if not all kittens tend to grow quite fast until they get to 6 months of age. Between this period and 12 months, your kitten will stop growing in size. A cat who is on a good diet or one who has access to a lot of food entirely can continue to grow in size and pack on most of the fat.
Most people tend to find obese cats to be cute and sweet but according to Catster, obesity in cats is actually a very unhealthy condition for your kitten. Moist kittens tend to grow into their full sizes and weights by 9 months of age. After they pass the one year mark though, most cats tend to grow much slower until 18 months. However large breeds such as the Maine Coon typically take longer to grow fully into their actual sizes. The Maine Coon cats may take a maximum of 2 to even 4 years of age to fully grown into their size. According to Pet MD, a 12-month-old cat is equivalent to a 15-year-old human being while an 18-month-old cat is equivalent to a 21-year-old human. At 18 months of age, most kittens are said to be fully grown.
So how big will your cat get?
Most new cat parents always ask how big their pet will get. Give or take, the average feline weighs about 10 pounds. The male Maine Coon cats that are always very large tend to tip the scale to around 20 pounds. Cats and dogs differ and unlike dogs whom you can determine their size by relating it with their paws, cats are much different. This is because, your cat having a bigger paw doesn’t necessarily mean that it will get large. Genetics play a major role in how big your cat grows. A cat has 19 chromosomes that control its coat color, its hair length and for this case, its size. Your kitten’s parents can also be a factor in considering whether your cat will be a large one or smaller. Gender plays a role as well as male cats are always bigger and their growth durations last longer.
Here is a timeline for your growing cat
- Under a week old: your kitten weighs under 5 pounds
- 3-4 months: his or her baby teeth begin to fall out and they are replaced by adult teeth. Shedding is usually complete by the time it gets to 6 months of age.
- 5-9 months: your kitten becomes sexually mature and a male cat can now father his own kittens.
- 10-12 months: your cat is almost fully grown
- 1+ years: your kitten is now an adult
- 2+ years: your cat is behaviorally and socially mature and s/he is now calmer as they settle into adulthood.
How to find out if your cat has stopped growing
The following three factors can help you determine whether your cat is fully grown or is still growing.
- Height: this is measured from its paw to its shoulder
- Length: measure your cat’s full length starting from its nose to the tail. This usually depends on who does the measuring as others measure the tail separately
- Weight: this varies and is usually dependant on how well the cat is fed and taken care of.
Weight is, however, the least reliable measure of growth among the three and should only be used as a backup source of information because there are various types of cat breeds.
Feeding program for your kitten
It is always wise to seek advice from your vet regarding the best time to switch between meals for your growing kitten, to be able to sufficiently meet your kitten’s nutritional needs. There are a lot of factors that can determine when your cat is ready for the transition but generally around 10-12 months of age renders your cat ready. A breed such as the Maine Coon struggles to pack on the weight and could benefit wholly on remaining on kitten food for longer, probably until they are 2 years old. As for other kittens that mature quickly and are becoming obese from kitten food, it is advisable to switch their meals at around 8 months of age. Due to the high energy requirements of growing kittens, they should always be fed free-choice until they get to around 6 months of age. From 6 months to a year, a cat parent may feed their cat three times a day. After one year, it is beneficial to offer the cat meals twice a day but for others, it is helpful to serve your cat its food in smaller portions at frequent intervals. This guarantees your cat remains healthy.