Adopting a small, fluffy kitten that loves cuddling and playing can be an exciting experience. Like your first love, you just want to spend as much time as you can with them.
Though you might want them to remain small little kittens forever, the fact is that, just like babies, cats grow and mature into adulthood.
Once you come to grips with this fact, the question might become: when do cats stop growing? How do you know your cat is fully grown?
This guide will address this question and help you understand how a cat develops over time.
Life Cycle Of A Cat
Before we try to understand when and how cats grow, it will be wise to learn about the life cycle of cats.
It definitely can vary from breed to breed. A feline life cycle can be divided into the following stages:
1. 0-6 months (kitten)
It is during this stage that cats grow the quickest and undergo the most radical changes. It’s also the most impressionable stage for them.
2. 6 months – 2 years (junior)
During this stage, cats keep growing and become mature.
Try to spend time and play with your cats during this stage, as it will help them become more confident and comfortable.
3. 3-6 years (prime adult)
Cats, by now, have settled with their human families and have reached their healthy prime.
4. 7-10 years (mature adult)
5. 11-14 years (senior)
Though the lifespan of different cats are different, as they reach the senior stage, their health generally starts deteriorating.
When exactly do cats attain their full size?
According to experts, most cats are adults by the time they are 12 months old. By this time, their personalities have solidified, which means that this is how they are likely to behave for the rest of their life.
However, different cats grow differently, and some can reach their full size within 4 months or even at the 4 year mark.
After kittens are born, they generally grow to double their size in the first week. Once the first week is complete, they continue growing at about an ounce every three days.
It is during the first year that cats grow the most. At about the 3-4 week mark, kittens begin standing and toddling. Once they are about 16 weeks old, their growth will gradually get slower.
Different Breeds Grow At Different Rates
Different types of cats like tuxedo (Felix), tabby, Persian, Domestic Shorthair and others grow to different heights, different weights, and reach their full adult size in different time frames.
Certain breeds grow faster or slower compared to others. Cats of some breeds may stop growing by the time they are 18 months old, and some keep growing until 3 years of age.
The Maine Coon is the largest domesticated cat in the world and weighs up to 25 pounds. It stops growing when it is about 3 to 5 years old.
Bengal cats are also pretty big, weighing from 10-22 pounds. They reach their full size at about 1-2 years old.
These cats grow persistently and slowly. By the time they reach their adult size (in 3 to 5 years) they weigh 7 to 18 pounds.
Siamese cats weigh around 8 to 12 pounds at full size. They don’t stop growing until they are about 2 years of age.
How To Know If Your Cat Has Stopped Growing
Cats can keep growing after their first year, but the growth is typically very slow. In fact, if you don’t pay close enough attention, you might not even know that they’re still growing.
A good way to understand if your cat has stopped growing is to weigh and measure them every month.
A cat will keep gaining height from the ground to the top of its shoulders, and it will also gain length. If you keep a track of these measurements every month, you’ll be able to note when the measurements stop changing.
Even a cat’s weight can help you guess its approximate age or maturity level.
Weigh your cat when it is 16 weeks old and then just double that number. This is the figure that will likely be the weight of your cat when it is a fully-grown adult. It may not be exact, but it’s a good estimate.
Ensure that you maximize the potential growth of your cat by feeding it the right foods and doing your best to keep it healthy.
No matter what the height or weight of your cat is, or where your cat is in its life cycle, one thing is for sure: they bring love, affection, and joy into people’s lives.
It will be your friend like no one else can, so enjoy its companionship and be sure to give it lots of attention!
Thanks for reading this article. What stage is your cat at in its growth? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.