When we talk about size, we think of dogs. An adult dog can grow many times larger than its puppy size. Yet cats grow too! But when do cats reach full size? Let’s figure it out!
- 1 Getting Started
- 2 When Do Cats Reach Full Size?
- 3 How to Understand the Nutritional Needs of the Kitten?
- 4 The 6 Stages of a Cat’s Growth
- 5 How big and heavy do cats get?
- 6 The Period of Reproduction
- 7 Final Words
From weaning to seniority, your little feline friend will undergo a lot of physical and behavioral changes that will bring with it a change in his nutritional needs. One of the most important steps in your cat’s life will be body transformation. So, when do cats reach full size?
Transforming from an adorable and lively kitten to an equally adorable adult cat is not an easy stage. Another important step in the lives of many cats comes with castration that requires further dietary changes, including possibly reducing calories. With all these steps, it will be easier for you and your cat if you can understand the changes that await him. Being prepared will make you feel comfortable and confident. Your beloved companion will stay healthy and fit at every stage of their life.
When Do Cats Reach Full Size?
Nutritional Needs and Life Stages
Up to the age of six months, your kitten grows at a rapid rate. From six months onwards, its growth rate slows down considerably. At 12 months old, your curious friend probably still looks like a kitten to you. However, between 9 and 12 months, many kittens have almost reached their adult size. At one-year-old, your kitten is an adult cat 100%.
Nutritional Needs and Lifestyle Factors
As your kitten moves into adulthood, it is important to keep up with her developing needs. Besides its slower growth rate, its nutritional needs depend on some lifestyle factors. Among others, some growth factors can be the least physical activity, depending on whether your cat has access to an outdoor space or not.
If he has been neutered, it will keep him more energized than a single life. For example, as you might expect, a young adult cat who has access to an outdoor space or plays with another pet will have a higher caloric requirement than a companionless cat who lives indoors.
How to Understand the Nutritional Needs of the Kitten?
The growth of a cat is rapid in the early stages. A kitten can change from day to night in a few weeks. For about a week after birth, it weighs about 113 grams. Then, at 5 weeks, it can reach 450 grams. And at 16 weeks of age, it can grow to weigh a whopping 3.5 pounds. The scientists have approximated these numbers. Therefore, the advice is always to contact the veterinarian to verify the adequate development of the puppy.
Indicatively, the cat reaches its almost definitive tonnage between 6 and 12 months. At six months old, you have a good idea of what it will be like as an adult regarding the natural physical conformation. A moderate intake of food, combined with little exercise, can change it.
One exception to this axiom is the Maine Coons because of their exceptional size and can grow in tonnage even up to 5 years. It only partially answers the initial question that is until when and how much does a cat grow.
For example, it is questionable to predict the weight of the future adult cat. This factor depends primarily on genetics. It is possible to make an estimate based on the physical confirmation of the parents if we are aware of their identity. The most striking example is certainly the Maine Coon. What is certain is that the size of the legs is not a reliable element? Their final weight fluctuates between 4.5 and 9 kilograms.
The 6 Stages of a Cat’s Growth
First stage – The first week of life
After birth, kittens are still blind and weak. They direly need their mother’s milk. This substance, also known as colostrum, contains important nutrients and protective antibodies (i.e., protective proteins). These antibodies are critical to a kitten’s health after birth. The immune system is still incomplete and weak. With very little hair, kittens need the protective warmth of their mother that they orient themselves.
After about a week, the kittens open their eyes, and we witness the loss of their umbilical cord because of drying. To guarantee kittens a healthy start to life, we must pay great attention to the daily weighing. We can refer to the weight control tables drawn up by veterinarians to check that the kittens are developing correctly. We can intervene by changing their diet.
The second stage – Milk teeth appear
In the first few weeks of life, kittens still have little strength. It is why they spend most of their day sleeping. Usually, the first milk teeth emerge between their third and eighth week of life. The entire dairy teething of cats includes 26 teeth that are significantly smaller and more pointed, unlike permanent teeth.
Third stage – The first solid food
After four weeks, the kittens have already gained some weight. They can run and romp with their siblings. At this stage, they also receive solid foods. It is the right time to offer them soft food suitable for kittens.
However, this transition, from liquid to solid feeding, must be carried out gradually and patiently. The cat’s gastrointestinal tract initially used only for mother’s milk, must now adapt to the new type of food. Going too fast can cause the kitten to suffer from diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain.
In the overall growth process of the cat, proper nutrition in its first phase of life is a determining factor. Specific foods help meet your young cat’s high-energy needs.
Fourth stage – The kittens continue to grow
The kittens are now two months old and eat solid food for good. Of course, they continue to grow and have higher energy and nutritional needs than their adult conspecifics. So, it is vital to give them specific puppy foods, specially designed for this delicate phase of their life. It is up to you to decide freely whether to offer your kitty dry food or wet food.
It is also the right time for your kitty’s first visit to the vet. No one better than the vet can properly inform you about the main vaccinations. The proper nutrition is suitable for kittens.
They complete teething between the third and sixth months of the cat’s life. During this period, the kitten’s milk teeth are replaced by 30 permanent teeth. To make a comparison between us and our pets, adult humans have around 32 teeth, while cats have 42 permanent teeth.
Fifth stage – The kitten becomes a cat
After seven exciting months of life, the kitten is finally an adult. Cats are sexually mature and able to procreate. Males become sexually mature one month late that is around the eighth month. From this moment on, after having gathered the information and pondered the matter. It is possible to consider the possibility of one castration.
The sixth stage – Development completed
After reaching their first year of life, cats gradually become much calmer. In the following years, they will not grow. From around age 9, their hair in the mouth area will turn a little whiter. It is the first sign of the aging process. It is associated progressively with greater fatigue and reluctance to make movements.
How big and heavy do cats get?
There is no general answer to this question. On the one hand, the growth of a cat depends on its genes and the influence determined by factors such as its diet during the first months of life. Many cat breeds differ in size and physical structure. In our continent, the European short-haired cat is widespread and popular and is on average between 80 and 90 cm long.
Unlike the European breeds, an adult specimen of Maine Coon can reach up to 120 cm. Weight also varies by race and gender. The male Persian cats can weigh up to 8 kg.
The Period of Reproduction
Sexual maturity in cats takes a few months to arrive. The process usually begins when the kitten is between 6 and 9 months of age. As for cats, they can only become pregnant when they reach physical maturity and pregnancy. Male cats that have reached this age are ready to become dads. It is advisable to keep them away from cats to avoid this possibility.
When deciding to neuter your cat, it is best to get advice from your vet about the right time. Many vets prefer to spay or neuter cats before they reach full sexual maturity. It is because castrating cats before they are six months old can lead to unpleasant behavior.
When the animal turns six months, it grows and can become susceptible to the hormonal changes that its body imposes on it. As the cat matures, its nutritional needs change. The feline’s foods should be varied from 12 months of age when he needs to eat like an adult. At the end of the first year of life, the cat will eat less than it did before, especially if they neuter it.
If we notice the cat is gaining a little belly, we need to reduce the food rations that are given to it. Finally, if you have adopted a cat, it is always more difficult to get used to life with an adult cat than a kitten.