Most people love cats and especially when they are kittens. But If you have ever raised an adult cat from a kitten you may have thought to yourself – When Do Cats Stop Growing? Well, not too many people can actually answer this question themselves. But just like human beings or any other living things, cats too have life growth stages. They transition from being a kitten to cat adulthood, which in many cases is when their growth and development stops.
Nevertheless, we all love our cats and need to understand them as they age so that we can provide them with proper care. When your cat is growing, it changes in height, weight, and length. However, these are all specific to each breed of cat. Different breeds of cats and their growth rates and patterns vary. This is why most people may not know exactly what stage their cat is in and when they have already matured. There are a number of factors that influence the growth rate of a cat.
- 1 The Development and Transformation of a Kitten to a Cat
- 2 The Life Cycle of a Cat: From a Kitten to Senior
- 3 Factors That Influence Growth Rate in Cats
- 4 When Are Cats Considered To Be Sexually Mature?
- 5 Does Spaying or Neutering Affect Growth?
- 6 When Do Cats Stop Growing?
- 7 Tips on How to Take Care of Your Cat
- 8 Conclusion
The Development and Transformation of a Kitten to a Cat
Cats age at much faster rates than we humans do. Just like any other animal cats have stages of their lives in which we can expect their bodies to develop certain traits. The first stage is about 2 months the second growth stage of a kittens life comes at around 4 months.
0 to 2 Months
This is the first stage of a cat’s life. During its first weeks of life, a kitten’s eyes are closed and ears folded. They cannot hear or see, but they can smell which helps them navigate. At this stage, a typical kitten weighs 1.8 to 5.3 ounces. After a few weeks, they are able to open their eyes however at this time they have extremely poor vision. Kittens will slowly progress through this period and by the 8th week, their ears and eyes should have fully developed. By this stage, they are now able to move around and consume wet foods.
At three months, a kitten has fully developed majority of its organs including its eyes and ears. During this stage, the kitten weighs between 2 to 4 pounds. It is almost four times larger than its initial size immediately after birth. This is the stage kittens are most known for, they are very playful and you can start to notice their personality.
4 – 5 Months old
The kitten at 16-20 weeks weighs 4 to 6 pounds. At this stage, a kitten can be spayed or neutered.
6 Month old
At this age, a kitten is already half or three quarters fully matured. Typically, it will weigh between 6 to 8 pounds. At this time a kitten now enters puberty and is considered to be a teenager. If not spayed or neutered a cat will begin to be sexually active if it is able.
After six months to one year, a cat will continue to grow in length, height and increase weight. However, the growth rate will be much slower than before.
The Life Cycle of a Cat: From a Kitten to Senior
Cats have a rapid growth rate especially in the first year of their life. According to professionals, a cat has six growth cycles which are discussed here:
The Kitten Stage
This is the first stage of a cat and it lasts from 0-6 months. When the kitten is born, it weighs around 4 ounces and it is not able to see or hear well. This stage is important, as it is the stage where a cat’s most crucial growth and personality development occurs. Also, it is in this stage, where a cat owner can easily build a bond with a cat.
The Junior Stage
A cat starts to show signs of adolescence. Most cats will shed their baby teeth and appearance. They start to become more aggressive and to develop sexually especially in males. This stage occurs between 6-12 months of a cat’s life. The junior stage can last until a cat is two years of age. At this time, you will get to see the kittens true personality and temperament. In this stage, the average cat will begin to show signs of maturity, although not in all breeds. This answers the question – what age do cats stop growing.
The Prime Stage
This stage takes place when a cat is 3-6 years old, which is the equivalent of us going aging from 20 to 30. As a cat owner, you need to feed your cat properly according to its age. All cats require regular health checkups and constant exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If your cat has any medical complications be sure to reach out to your vet as it may require some type of special treatment.
The Mature Stage
At this time a cat is 7 to 10 years old. The length and the height do not change, although, your cat may increase in weight. At this stage, a cat is likened to human beings in their middle life. Your cat may still be active and playful, although it may be more at risk for health complications such as obesity. During this time, you should provide your cat with more nutrients and vitamins to boost its immune system.
The Senior Stage
In this stage, a cat is 11-15 years old, equivalent to human beings in their 60s and 70s. The signs of aging become more pronounced. Its fur will start turning gray and the luster of its coat will start to disappear. A cat will more frequent health checkup as it is predisposed to illnesses more often.
The Geriatric Stage
This is the stage where a cat has attained 15 years of age and above. At this stage, a cat will require specialized medical care. There will be significant changes in how it uses its litter box.
Factors That Influence Growth Rate in Cats
A Cats growth and development are determined by a number of factors. These may be external and internal factors. The internal factors are breed, gender, and individual genetics. While external factors are nutrition or the environment a cat is actually raised in.
In some cat breeds such as Maine Coon, newborns are much bigger and heavier than other breeds.
A cat’s maternal and paternal genotypes influence its development like bone and muscle formation as compared to its siblings.
The gender of a cat plays an important role in the growth rate of a cat. Male cats grow faster and heavier than their female siblings between 6 to 12 months.
A hygienic and calm environment is essential for the smooth growth and development of a cat. Poor hygienic conditions can weaken kittens, thus slowing down the health and growth process certain cats.
Feeding your cat a healthy diet and clean water will ensure that a cat grows well. Make sure that you feed your cat the correct amount according to its size and which growth stage it is in. It is important to understand the quantity required for feeding your cat so that you don’t overfeed or underfeed it.
When Are Cats Considered To Be Sexually Mature?
A cat will stop growing when it reaches adulthood which is most likely at its first year of life. At 8 months, most cats are sexually mature and their bones stop growing. From birth to around 12 months, cats grow rapidly. A cat will typically reach sexual maturity, at 9 to 12 months depending on the breed and other factors. A male cat will spray urine all over the wall as a way of marking its territory. It will start engaging in fights with other male cats and will grow flesh pads on the cheeks that protect him when fighting.
A sexually mature female cat will start acting up to notify its owner and male cats she is in heat. This means she is ready to mate. She will begin positioning her body in a mating position, exhibit excessive meowing, and restless calling.
Does Spaying or Neutering Affect Growth?
Spaying or neutering is an important procedure for pet owners as it helps reduce overpopulation and homelessness of pets. Spaying is the removal of the uterus and ovaries from the female cat. While neutering is the removal of testicles from the male cat. A recent scientific study about cats shows that cats that have been spayed or neutered tend to grow in size faster, compared to the ones that have not undergone the procedure. If your cat has been spayed or neutered you should be conscious of this and be sure not to overfeed it.
Additionally, Spaying and neutering can reduce urine spraying in males, the howling of female cats in heat stops, roaming and it eliminates aggressive sexual behaviors. Spaying helps reduce certain illnesses as well. In female cats, it helps minimize instances of cancerous breast tumors and uterine infections. In male cats, neutering helps avoid prostate problems and testicular cancer. Cats can be neutered or spayed when they as young as eight weeks old. Study shows, cats that have undergone the procedure when they are less than six months old, have reduced behavioral and physical problems.
When Do Cats Stop Growing?
The bones of most cats will stop growing at approximately 12 to 18 months. It is not very clear exactly when a cat will stop growing, but we can approximate it to be around 1.5 years to two years of age depending on the breed. Unlike other animals, cats can very grow quickly. For instance, a 10-year-old cat is the age equivalent of a 56 years old human person. It should be noted that not all cats stop growing at the same time. Some cat breeds will continue to grow and develop until they are even five years of age.
Tips on How to Take Care of Your Cat
Now that you understand the growth pattern of your cat. Let’s take a look at how you can take proper care of your cat to keep him happy and healthy.
A Cat’s Diet
A cat requires proper nutrition to remain healthy. As a cat parent, you need to understand what to feed a cat during every stage of its life. Normally, a cat should eat three times a day. Also, ensure that you give your cat clean drinking water daily. Do not overfeed your cat as it may result in obesity.
Take your cat to the vet regularly for checkups and vaccinations. Let a professional vet advice you on how to properly take care of your cat as every animal required specific attention. If possible have your vet neuter or spay your cat, if you do not intend on it breeding.
Exercise and Entertainment
You can buy your cat toys that can keep him active and engaged. It is a good idea to make a habit out of playing with your cat while it is still a kitten. This is also a great time to set limit and boundaries during playtime with your cat. This a great way of bonding with your pet.
Generally, cats groom themselves on a daily basis. However, if your cat is too obese it may need you to help with grooming as it is more prone to infection. Cats do not need regular baths, but you should, however, brush and comb them regularly. Brushing helps them stay clean and minimize shedding off and remove any excess fur that can develop into a hairball
For cats to be happy and healthy, they require proper care. Feed your cat with food that is specific to his or her needs. Be sure to switch your cat’s diet as he grows older. Knowing the age and the growth pattern should only give you insights on how to handle your cat on different phases of his life. To monitor your cat’s development and growth, you can have a professional evaluate the length, weight, and height of your feline occasionally.