Kittens are adorable, tiny balls of fluff, and come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Depending on the breed of a cat, the adult weight could be anywhere between 5 and 20 pounds. The average adult cat usually weighs in at about 10 pounds.
The size of a kitten’s parents can be a good indicator of how large the cat will be at adulthood. Males are usually larger than females, and their growth spurts may last longer. One question that new cat parents have is, “when do cats stop growing?” Most cats stop growing when they’re between six and 12 months old. At six months, most kittens have the appearance of adult cats even though they may not have finished growing.
Exceptions To The Rule
Some dog owners consider the size of their puppy’s paws when determining how big their dog will be at adulthood. However, it’s not the same as cats. The question of “when do cats stop growing?” can depend on the breed. Owners often want to know how big their cat will get. The determining factor is genetics that controls the cat’s color, length of the coat, and its size.
Munchkin or dwarf cats are the results of a mutation that may affect the rate at which the cats grow and can cause health problems. Cats with dwarfism may develop at a slower than average pace and be exceptionally small as adults.
Large Breed Cats
The largest cat breed is the Main Coon Cat. This breed continues to mature until it’s between three and five years old. At maturity, male Coon Cats can weigh 15 to 25 pounds, and females may weigh 10 to 15 pounds.
How To Ensure A Cat Is Growing Properly
Kittens grow rapidly from the time they’re born until they reach about six months old. The growth rate slows between six months and a year, but they’re still growing and maturing. Cat food should be formulated for the cat’s life stage and activity level. Learn more about feeding your cat with this cat feeding guide. Treats should be given in limited amounts due to the high-calorie intake. Regular visits to the vet will ensure your cat is growing at the proper rate.
The Growth Process Of Cats
Being a cat parent means that you provide everything your cat needs at every stage of their life. Understanding a cat’s growth process will help you understand her behavior, activity level, nutritional and health needs. Here are the developmental stages of growing cats.
From birth to six months is the kitten stage of development. Kittens are easy to interact with, curious, and playful. This initial stage is when kittens should gradually be introduced to adults, children, and other pets in the family.
When your kitten is comfortable around the family, it’s time to work on grooming, teeth cleaning, and trimming nails. Crate training should begin when your cat is a kitten to make trips to the vet less traumatic. Kittens need extra protein, minerals, fats, and calories for healthy development and should eat food formulated for kittens.
The junior stage of development in cats is equivalent to adolescence and is when a cat’s temperament and personality begin to manifest. Junior cats begin to develop sexually and are the stage when owners should consider spay/neuter. The kitten appearance is replaced by a more adult look.
The cat’s size and weight increase and they go through growth spurts. Like teenagers, junior cats will try to see what they can get away with. They may develop aggressive tendencies, and boundaries must be enforced. When a cat reaches six months, begin transitioning to adult cat food. The process should be gradual for 7 to 14 days.
Cats between the ages of three and six years old are similar to adults in their 20s and 30s and are at the peak of development. The cat is at the size it will be for the remainder of its life. Cats at this stage should be fed high-quality, adult cat food in the proper amounts to avoid excess weight gain. If there are any health issues like diabetes, digestive upsets, or pancreatitis, the vet may recommend a prescription cat food to ensure optimum health.
Cats between the ages of seven and ten years old are similar to adult humans in middle age. The cat’s overall size will stay the same. However, mature cats may be prone to more weight gain if they’re sedentary. Chronic disease is more likely in mature cats.
Nutrients like vitamin C and E are essential to mature cats to keep their immune systems healthy. Wet food that’s lower in calories is an excellent option for cats seven to 10 years old. Most veterinarians recommend wellness checkups every six months for mature cats.
Senior cats are between the ages of 11 and 14 years old and begin to show they’re aging. Their fur may start to turn white and not have as much luster. Senior cats may develop mobility problems but should get moderate exercise, if possible. Wet cat food is recommended most often for cats in their senior years. The food is more comfortable for them to chew and digest. Since wet cat food is comprised of meat, fats, and water, cats usually prefer it.
Cats that are 12-14 years or older are considered geriatric. Owners may notice significant changes in their cat’s behavior. A cat may become more vocal and have accidents with the litter box. Some of the issues with geriatric cats may include kidney, dental, or joint problems. Food formulated for geriatric cats contains more vitamins, minerals, taurine, and Omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin.
Animal specialists, veterinarians, and scientists consider the height, weight, and gender as determining factors in a cat’s growth rate. One factor with female cats is that when they’re able to reproduce, they stop growing. In most cases, cats stop growing between the ages of one and two years
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