When do cats stop growing? Most small domestic cats will stop growing around 12 till 16 months of age, but the bigger ones, like Maine Coon cats or Ragdoll cats will continue growing until 4 or even 5 years of age! However every cat’s growth is different and may take one to four years. But there are indicators you can use to guess how big your floof will get and how long it will take to get there.
Here are some important milestones for kittens as they become adult cats:
- Months 3-4: Baby teeth start to fall out and are replaced by adult teeth; this process is usually complete by 6 months of age.
- Months 4-9 : Kittens go through sexual maturation.
- Months 9-12 : A kitten is almost fully grown.
- 1 year+: Kittens are just reaching adulthood.
- 2 years+: Kittens are socially and behaviorally mature.
Kittens will gain rapid weight during this time. A kitten will gain 0.25 – 0.5 lbs per week in those early weeks until they have doubled their birth weight by weeks 10-12.
This is also the time that socialization is important. To keep your kitten from becoming aloof, lots of interaction and love are key. Feral kittens don’t have any socialization with humans, and it explains why they prefer to avoid us.
In this stage, kittens are fluffy, with downy fur, round faces, big toe beans (paws too), and enormous eyes. They have sharp, tiny teeth, and small, delicate bones. They’re also very active and playful. They lose their baby teeth around 10 weeks. By 6 months they have their adult teeth. Their facial features will become more prominent and sleek around 3-6 months.
6 months to 12 months : A kitten’s growth rate slows down during this stage. Most veterinarians will consider a kitten full-grown by one year. They can also transition from kitten food to adult cat food during this stage. But depending on the breed, some cats are still growing and need to remain on kitten food until 2-years old.
You can see what your kitty will look like when it reaches adulthood in this stage. Many small domestic cats will stop growing around 12 – 16 months of age, but the larger ones, like Maine Coon cats or Ragdoll cats, will continue growing until 4 or even 5 years of age! But overall, the facial roundness will lengthen to become more prominent, like an adult cat.
This is your cat’s adolescent stage. They may be rebellious, rambunctious, and constantly on the go. They’ve grown into a lanky stage, and depending on the activity level, can look lean. Trust me, they will grow into their frame as they mature.
This is also when they reach sexual maturity. A male cat can impregnate another cat, and the female cat can get pregnant. During this stage, your veterinarian may recommend spaying or neutering your kitten, or keeping them away from other cats to avoid mating.
1 – 3 Years: Your cat is an adult at this stage. It may continue growing very slowly. Most stop growing completely around 18 months. Your cat may look like a lean adult during this time.
3 – 6 Years: This is the prime of your cat’s life. The larger breeds are still growing for a year or two, but the smaller breeds have bloomed into glorious adult cats by now. Both will spend their days hunting for that catnip mouse, eating their tasty morsels from the food dish, grooming themselves, and sleeping.
7-10 Years: This is a fully matured cat. They still play but are more laid back. There is no more growth except maybe around the tummy. Proper nutrition and plenty of exercise will ward off early aging health issues.
11-14 Years: These are the senior years. The age-related diseases can show up now, and your cat will begin to slow down.
15+ Years: These cats have reached the geriatric stage of life. They may show some weight loss from age-related issues, and their fur may lose some of its former luster. However, that regal, loving, floof is still there, waiting for the chance to cuddle and take a snooze in your lap.
|Under 1 week old:||kitten weighs less than 4 ounces|
|7 to 10 days old||kitten weighs 4 to 6 ounces|
|10 to 14 days old||kitten weighs 6 to 8 ounces|
|14 to 21 days old||kitten weighs 8 to 12 ounces|
|4 to 5 weeks old||kitten weighs 12 ounces to 1 pound|
|6 to 7 weeks old||kitten weighs 1 pound to 1 pound and 8 ounces|
|8 weeks old||kitten weighs 1 and a half to 2 pounds|
|12 weeks old||kitten weighs 3 pounds to 5 and a half pounds|
|16 weeks old||kitten weighs approximately 5 and a half pounds to 7 and a half pounds|
|6 months to 1-year-old||approximately 8 pounds to 15 pounds|
You may have looked at your kitten’s paws and wondered if your sweet little kitten will become a monster cat, but kittens differ from puppies. For cats, the paws aren’t a sign of size when grown. But their toe beans are definitely adorable!
Here are some factors that determine the size of your kitty :
Gender: Male cats grow slower and larger than their female counterparts. A male can grow up to 2 lbs. larger than his female sister.
Fixed or Intact: Neutering or spaying doesn’t affect how large your cat will become like scientists thought years ago, but it can change their metabolic rate, meaning they can gain weight if they prefer sleeping to playing.
Most veterinarians will recommend altering at 6 months, but shelters and rescues have been altering kittens earlier to decrease the possibility of accidental litters. The weight threshold for early neutering is 4 lbs.
Birth Order: We all have fallen in love with a run at some point, knowing it will grow up smaller than the others in the litter, and this is true for all the kittens in the litter. The farther down the birth line a kitten falls, the smaller they may be as an adult, especially if it’s a small momma cat and that gave birth too many kittens.
Number of siblings: The number of kittens in a litter matter. Too many kittens can stretch the amount of milk available from the momma to kitty too far. Kittens with poor nutrition grow slower and end up smaller.
Health of parents: Just like any other species, the health of the parents matter. If your kitten comes from a well-loved and pampered momma, chances are your floof will reach the full growth size genetics determined. If not, your furbaby can be smaller when completely grown.
Diet: Proper nutrition means proper growth. Your kitten should get a balanced, nutritional diet of kitten food for the first year of its life. Some can require kitten food longer (like the larger cats who are still growing), but most average 10 lb. cats can transition to adult food between 10-12 months of age. Your vet can advise what the right option for your cat is.
Genetics: There are some genetic factors that can signal if your cat will be small in adult size. They include dwarfism and any bone deformities. Your vet will find any abnormalities with your kitty during the routine check-ups.
Routine cat health check-ups are important for all cats, but especially kittens. Pumpkin offers a best-in-class insurance plan for kittens and cats.
The best way for you to make sure your cat reaches the full glory of cat hood is to make sure you feed them a nutritious, well-balanced diet, complete with the essential vitamins and minerals, provide plenty of exercise, and tons of love.
If you do that, you may have a big cat or a small cat, and it may take one year or four years; but in the end, you have a loving feline companion through all the growth stages.
The right time to transition your cat from kitten to adult food is dependent on many factors. For most cats, around 10-12 months of age is appropriate.
However, a young Maine Coon who is struggling to keep weight on could probably benefit from remaining on kitten food until they are 2 years old or even longer. On the other hand, a kitten who is maturing quickly and becoming overweight on kitten food might benefit from switching at around 8 months of age.
Ask your veterinarian when your cat is ready to make sure you are meeting her nutritional needs.
Most kittens should be fed free-choice until they are around 6 months old because of their high energy requirements.
“From 6 months to a year, an owner can feed three times a day,” says Dr. Jim Carlson, owner of the Riverside Animal Clinic, located outside of Chicago.
After a year, offering meals two times a day will work for most cats, but more frequent, smaller meals may continue to be beneficial for others.
Don’t mistake weight gain for growth. Kittens can become overweight, just like adult cats.
Look at cat breed charts for height and weight percentages. The charts offer breed-specific guidelines for your cat’s height, length, and weight.
During the kitten stage, your vet is the best resource for your cat’s weight and size. In adulthood, these measurements can show you where your cat lands on the spectrum for the breed.
Where to measure for breed-specific charts:
- Height: Paw to shoulder, minus the tail.
- Length: Nose to the base of the tail. They do tail measurements separately and it doesn’t determine how big your cat will be, or if it’s overweight.
- Weight: The charts offer an adult weight spectrum.
Just like humans, cats change as they get older. While kittens are often manic little balls of energy, rage and destruction, older cats are calmer and more content to lay in window sills and soak up the sun.
As cats mature from adulthood into senior status and beyond, they may exhibit some or all of these common behavioral indicators of aging.
- Unusual sleep-wake cycle
- More vocal
- Needy or demanding behavior
- Easily confused
With age, many cats will undergo a change in their sleep schedule. Kittens learn to mirror their humans’ activity patterns, and this sleep-wake cycle continues on through cats’ adult years. Older cats might start to stay up all night and sleep all day. If this happens, try coaxing your cat back toward a more tolerable schedule by wearing it out with play and attention just before bed.
Senior cats may also be more prone to aggression. This isn’t because they’re becoming meaner with age, necessarily. As cats enter their senior years, their eyesight and hearing deteriorate. Their senses simply do not perceive as much as they used to, and they’re easily caught off guard and react accordingly. Don’t take it personally, just try to make sure that you approach with caution and give your cat plenty of time to react to changes in its environment.
Unfortunately, older cats might also have more accidents in the house. As they age, cats can lose some of their ability to control their bowels and bladder, which can lead to more out-of-the-box bathroom breaks. If this starts to happen, consider investing in extra litter boxes to make sure that your cat is always close to an appropriate place to go if the urge strikes.
Feline cognitive dysfunction (FCD) is a condition that cat-owners should be aware of as their furry friend’s age. The condition affects more than 55 percent of cats 11-15 years old and more than 80 percent of cats who are 16-20 years old, according to the pets section of WebMD. Cats affected with FCD might experience a range of symptoms including memory loss, decreased cognitive abilities, and sight and hearing problems.
Other behavioral changes associated with FCD include confusion and disorientation, increased vocalization, and increased pacing. These side effects come along with the cognitive decline that cats experience during FCD. However, it’s worth noting that there are other potential causes of all of these symptoms and it’s important to talk to your vet to rule out other causes before your chalk changes up to old age or the onset or FCD.
As your cat passes each stage of life, expect signs of aging to increase, and energy levels to decrease.
Kitten (0-6 months ): Your cat is full kitten, not sexually mature, and trying to process the massive amounts of information he’s taking in about the world. It’s a lot to deal with. All your kitten seems to want to do is play.
Teen (6-12 months): The terrible “teens” of cat-hood. During this stage, your kitten is a full on nightmare, mouthing and grabbing at everything he can, challenging the humans in the house for dominance, and generally trying to show everyone he’s the boss of everything (an attitude he will probably maintain throughout his life, regardless of how dominant he proves to be).
Adult (1-2 years): By one, your cat is entering adulthood and developing all kinds of lifelong cat behaviors, like kneading, hissing, and hiding. He’s calming down a little from his full-on kitten stage, but he’s still got plenty of energy. He’s learning a lot right now and settling into his cat life.
Prime maturity (3-6 years): From ages 3-6, your cat is in his prime. He’s learned the basics of catting and he’s settled into the personality and energy level that feel right for him.
Middle age (7-10 years): At this point, your cat has entered the kitty equivalent of middle age. He’s still got energy, but not quite as much as he did in his prime. You may notice that your cat starts to become particularly set in his ways—he might be much more resistant to any changes and might experience anxiety more often than he did in the past.
Senior (11-14 years): Now, your cat is officially a senior citizen. He will likely start to experience a decline in health, including deteriorating vision and hearing and possible cognitive decline. Like older humans, your cat might be prone to “grumpiness,” and you might notice he gets irritated more easily than he used to.
Geriatric (15+ years): After 15, cats are categorized as geriatric and need a lot more attention. Any behavioral changes will warrant a vet trip at this point and you can expect extreme lethargy and lots of naps.
Around age 11, cats enter what is considered the senior stage of their lives. From 11-14, cats are comparable to humans in their 60s and 70s. Although cats become “old” at around 11 years old, they don’t become officially geriatric until the ripe old age of 15. At this point, they’re comparable to humans in their 80s. Many cats live to be geriatric and not all experience extreme health issues. It’s important to keep an eye out for changes and discuss them with your vet, especially with geriatric cats.
Old age impacts cat behavior in much the same way it impacts humans. Older cats are likely to have less energy (which translates to even more napping and lounging about than they did in their prime). They’re also typically more irritable and easily startled, thanks to declines in their vision, hearing, and cognitive ability.
Although cats can reach adulthood at 12 months, they are still not considered fully developed. It’s only around the 18 months to 2-year mark when they reach their full size. However, some of the larger breeds only stop growing between 4 and 5 years.
The basic rule of thumb is that the average-sized cat will gain about 1 pound a month, so at six months of age, your kitten should weigh about 6 pounds with a lanky torso and legs. It may seem a little disproportionate, but your kitten will soon grow into its long legs and body just like a human preteen does.
16 weeks old: kitten weighs approximately 5 and a half pounds to 7 and a half pounds. 6 months to 1-year-old: approximately 8 pounds to 15 pounds
Cats Recognize Their Own Names—Even If They Choose to Ignore Them. Cats are notorious for their indifference to humans: almost any owner will testify to how readily these animals ignore us when we call them. But a new study indicates domestic cats do recognize their own names—even if they walk away when they hear them.
“If a cat can maintain his weight, free choice feeding is okay,” says Dr. Kallfelz. Even dry food left out for your cat to free feed needs to be fresh, so be sure to provide new food each day. If free feeding doesn’t work, you need to control how much they eat.
Some animals can be free-fed and will stop eating when they are full, while others will gain weight with just the occasional table scrap.
But no your older cat will not kill the kitten. It will hiss at the baby and will teach it that he/she is older and therefore the boss. After awile the older cat will get will get used to the kitten and they will become friends.
Using body weight as a guide, cats are considered to be overweight when they weigh 10-20% above their ideal body weight. They are considered obese when they weigh 20% or more above their ideal body weight.
The best premium dry cat food for adult felines is Royal Canin Indoor Dry. Recommended by Dr. Singleton, it’s formulated with a blend of fiber for digestion and weight maintenance. This cat food contains optimal portions of chicken meal, animal fat, vegetable fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
With no water or food, it is unlikely that a cat would survive longer than three days. It is important to emphasise that when it comes to cat health, a cat that has had no food for as little as two days can become malnourished and unwell and may even need urgent veterinary care.
Kittens grow rapidly until 6 months old. Between 6 months to 12 months is when kittens stop growing in size. Most experts agree that cats reach adulthood at 12 months old but they may not reach full size until anywhere in 18 months to 4 years of age.