Whether you’ve recently adopted a new kitten that doesn’t seem to stop growing, or you’re here simply to cure your curiosity, strap in as we walk you through the question: when do cats stop growing?
It’s a well-known fact that cats sleep most of their lives away. In fact, cats average around 17 to 18 hours of sleep each day. When you total that up across their average lifespan, they’re asleep for almost two-thirds of their entire life, which is around twice as much as most other mammals. With all this sleep, you’d be asking yourself when do cats stop growing?
Let’s have a look.
How Fast Do Cats Grow Up: 0 to 6 months
For anyone who’s raised kittens, or adopted one, you’ll have experienced how astonishingly quick they begin to mature into an adult cat.
It all happens so quickly.
One minute you’ll be adoring over your kitten’s soft, fluffy little pink paws, and the next minute you’ll be saying how much she’s grown!
You might even say will my cats stop growing?
Well, it is completely fair to say that a cats most rapid developmental stage is from birth until around 6 months old.
During this 6-month period, the fountains of the cat’s personality will also be set.
This is dependent upon certain factors such as socialization, exposure to people, involvement in active play and diet.
Since this is an intense period of growth, kittens require a large amount of nutritious food.
Without the right amount of nutrients, kittens will not be able to grow to their full potential.
Alternatively, if given too much food, kittens will begin to form bad eating habits and will likely grow to be obese.
It is recommended that you maintain a feeding schedule, offering around 3-4 portions of food per day (ideally wet food made for kittens)
During this 6-month period, your kitten will be very playful.
You’ll want to stimulate their curiosity by playing with them and carefully introducing them to various family members, friends and other cats so that they become use to company as they grow up.
As well as this, you’ll want to begin litter box training – the joy!
Nonetheless, you’ll definitely want to embrace them at this age, it’ll go by so quickly!
How Fast Do Cats Grow Up: 6 to 12 months
The intensity of development lessens from the ages of 6 to 12 months.
At around 8 months olds, the kitten’s bones will stop growing and you’ll be able to gauge their full adult size.
Your kitten will begin their sexual maturation in this time period.
Most domestic cats are neutered (male) or spayed (female) within this time period, usually closer to 6-months.
This is because most people don’t want to become breeder, but also because you’ll want to avoid your male kitten spraying urine everywhere as he becomes more territorial, or your female kitten going into heat (mating time).
It is generally acknowledged that once a cat reaches 12-months of age that they have transitioned into an adult cat.
Here, they’ll have reached physical maturity and will be fully ready to take on the world.
It’s not that cats stop growing after they past 12-months.
Of course, they’ll become wiser, more intelligent and more adapted to their environment, it’s just that their growth after 12-months is less physical.
Below, we’ll discuss the many factors that should also be considered when it comes to the development of cats.
When Do Cats Stop Growing: Important Factors to Consider
Breed Disposition: Different breeds take different amounts of time to reach physical maturity. For example, Maine Coon cats reach their full developmental potential around age 4. On the other hand, there are dwarf breeds of cats that’ll never reach what seems like physical maturity. Having said that, in general, most cats reach maturity within the first 2 years of their lives.
Environmental Disposition: Development in all animals is a complex process whereby biology interacts with the environment to produce unique developmental pathways (classic nature/nurture debate). While a cat may have the genes to grow to a certain length or weight, unless their environment provides them with the right ingredients for that to happen, e.g., physical enrichment and high-quality nutrients, they will not reach their full potential.
Sex Disposition: Males cats will most often always grow to be larger than female cats of the same breed.
Litter Size: The more kittens a mother gives birth to, the more competition there is over her milk. In larger litter sizes, there will often be a runt of the pack that hasn’t received as much nutrients as their siblings, and will generally be much smaller in size.
Genetic Disposition: Each offspring is born with a unique set of genotypes meaning that their overall development will differ from their siblings of the same litter. As well as this, chances of genetic mutations can occur which can completely disrupt developmental pathways.
Mothers Health Condition: A large, healthy mother will be more fit to nurture and raise her offspring. Conversely, a mother who is in a poor health condition will often have less success raising her offspring, as she is more likely to have passed on illnesses, or simply not be fit enough to raise and provide for her children.
When Do Cats Stop Growing: Summary
Having read all of the above, you should definitely be more clued up on the question of “when do cats stop growing?”
- Most cats stop growing after around 12-months.
- The fastest, and most critical, window of development occurs within the first 6-months of their lives.
- There are many factors that contribute to the development of a cat.