Typically, when a child actually reaches 18, they are deemed to be an adult. However, what about members of the family of cats? What is the age when cats are fully grown? How can one know when to begin feeding adult cat food to them?
A cat can reach some distinct milestones that mean that it is becoming an adult cat, but there is no magical age where a cat stops developing and maturing. There are general age ranges, but there is no absolute age, where most cats usually stop growing and enter adulthood. Here's what one can expect as the transformation is made by a cat.
Your cute cat, no matter what her technological age, may seem like your little baby forever. However, some say about 6 months when it comes to the endless question of exactly when a kitten becomes an adult animal, while others give it about a year or longer.
How Often Should Kittens be Fed?
Owing to their high energy needs, most kittens should be fed free-of-choice until they are around 6 months old. Dr. Jim Carlson, owner of the Riverside Animal Clinic outside of Chicago says "An owner is able to feed three times a day from 6 months to a year." It will work for most cats after a year, providing meals twice a day, however more regular, smaller meals will continue to be useful for others.
When do kittens stop growing?
The most common question arises when one pet a cat is “When do cats stop growing?” Kittens come into this world with one purpose that is to grow quickly. Newborn kittens need round the clock feeding and all that nutritious sustenance is evidenced by their increase in weight.
In just about eight weeks, kittens usually develop eight times their size. The weight of under one-week kitten is less than 4 ounces. As the kitten reaches 7 to 10 days its weight ranges from 4 to 6 ounces.
When a kitten is 10 to 14 days old it weighs 6 to 8 ounces. The weight reaches to 8 to 12 ounces when a kitten is 14 to 21 days of age. 4-5 weeks old: the kitten weighs between 12 ounces and 1 pound. Six to seven weeks old: the kitten is 1 pound to 1 pound and 8 ounces in weight. Eight weeks old: the kitten weighs between 1 and a half and 2 pounds. Twelve weeks of age: the kitten weighs 3 to 5 and a half pounds. Sixteen weeks old: the kitten weighs between five and a half to seven and a half pounds.
Although kittens stop growing at about 1 year of age, it's important to note that at 6 months of age, most kittens will look like adults. Perhaps a kitten is not the perfect match for their home for folks considering adoption. For a very short time, the cute little fluff ball can only boast a juvenile presence. Before he reaches his first birthday, he'll look like an adult cat.
Of course, feeding your cat a balanced diet, always having a source of fresh water, and enriching his environment with plenty of exercises, climbing places, and secret holes to explore will guarantee that he not only grows big and heavy but is the happiest and healthiest he could be!
Dr. Nicole Fulcher, assistant director of Mid-America's Animal Medically stop says kitten generally stops growing at approximately 12 months of ag," although they may still have to do some filling out. A 12-month-old kitten is equivalent to a 15-year-old person's. At 18 months of age, which is equal to a 21-year-old male, they are considered full-grown.
Despite the fact that many cats stop growing at 12 months, not all cats develop at this age. But if they are still rising, it's going to be at a much slower pace, normally 12-18 months, so at this stage, you can expect your cat to be very close to their full adult size. But there may be some cats to be fully grown that may take up to 2 years. Large breeds can take longer, in particular. For example, Maine Coons could not reach their full size until they are 2 years of age or so.
Milestones for Growing Cats
When they become adult cats, here are some significant milestones for them:
- Months 3-4: Baby teeth begin to fall out and are replaced by adult teeth; this process is typically complete by the age of 6 months.
- Months 4-9: Kittens are undergoing sexual maturation.
- Months 9-12: A kitten develops almost fully.
- 1 year+: Kittens only reach adulthood.
- 2 years+: Kittens are mature socially and behaviorally.
When should a kitten be given an adult food?
The best time for a cat to switch from kitten to adult food depends on several variables. About 10-12 months of age is acceptable for most cats. However, once they are 2 years old or even longer, a young Maine Coon who is struggling to keep weight on will possibly profit from staying on kitten food. On the other hand, at about 8 months of age, a kitten who matures rapidly and becomes overweight on kitten food might benefit from switching. A veteran should be consulted to know when a cat is ready to make sure its nutritional needs are met.
How big will a cat grow?
Another question that is frequently asked is “How big will my cat get?” Give or take a few pounds, the average domestic feline is around 10 pounds. The males of the largest breed of cat, the Maine Coon, weigh approximately 20 pounds. In certain ways, cats are not like dogs, and there is no link between the paw size of your cat and his height and weight. Bigger paws don't mean a bigger cat, actually. The genetics decide how big a cat can get. There are 19 chromosome pairs that regulate everything from hair length, color of the coa,t and the height.
Although the parents of the kitten are the best predictor of how big the cat will get, gender can be a factor as well. Males are normally larger than females, and their growth spurts may last longer in length.
Full-sized and miniature-sized outliers
There are exceptions to all, of course, including exceptions to the responses to' When do cats stop growing? According to the Maine Coon Fancy "This breed of cat takes up to five years to achieve full size." And their full size is worth mentioning: the Guinness Book of World Record record for the longest cat at 48.5 inches spread out was earned by a Maine Coon cat called Stewie. Unfortunately, in 2013, Stewie passed away, but his impact on the world remains.
Cats with dwarfism can be abnormally short on the other side of the scale. The Lilliputians of the feline universe are dwarf cats, there are two separate causes: genetic mutation and malfunctioning of the pituitary gland. The Guinness Book of World Record record for the shortest cat is held by a Munchkin cat called Lilieput. Kittens with dwarfism will grow more slowly than healthy cats.