Our feline friends come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. While some cats can manage to weigh around 5 pounds, others can tip the scale and weigh nearly 20 pounds. And regardless of whether you have a supersized Maine Coon or Ragdoll to more average-sized cats like the Svelte Sphynx or Siamese, rest assured that all kittens with proper nutrition will eventually grow into their full size soon enough.
So, at what age do cats really stop growing? Read on to find all the details.
When do kittens stop growing?
According to Dr. Nicole, an assistant director at the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America, Kittens pretty much stop growing when they are 12 months of age. At 12-month-old, a cat is almost as old as a 15-year-old person. And when they are 18 months of age, they are considered to be fully grown.
While most cats stop growing at 12 months of age, some cats still manage to continue growing even at this age. However, they only grow at a much slower rate. So, between 12-18 months, you can expect your cat to reach its full size.
Also, some cat breeds can take up to 2 years to grow to their full size. Larger species like the Maine Coon take much longer to reach their full size. For some Maine Coons, it takes approximately two years to reach their full possibilities in terms of size.
How big can your cat get?
This is another question that is closely associated with the question, when do cats stop growing? To bring you up to speed, the average domestic cat can manage to weigh around 10 pounds. That said, larger breeds like the Main Coon can weigh nearly 20 pounds.
And just so you know, cats are a lot different from dogs in many ways. More so, there isn’t any correlation between their paw size, weight, or height. What we mean here is that having bigger paws doesn’t mean big size.
At the end of the day, your cat’s size is essentially determined by genetics. In cats, 19 pairs of chromosomes play a considerable role in coat color, hair length, and of course, size. Besides genetic factors, your kitten’s parents are usually the best indicators of how big your cat can get. That said, keep in mind that males tend to grow a lot bigger than females.
What are the milestones for growing cats?
When raising cats, it’s essential to know some crucial kittens’ milestones as they grow into adult cats. Here, check out some critical milestones you should know:
- 3-4 months: At this stage, kittens are expected to start losing some of their baby teeth. Adult teeth quickly replace this. The process usually completes when they are six months old.
- 4-9 months: Kittens at this age usually go through sexual maturation. For breeders, this is the best time to look out for.
- 9-12 Months: Most cats are expected to have fully grown and matured at this stage.
- 1 years+: When kittens clock 1 year or more, they are considered to have reached adulthood.
- 2 years+: At two years plus, kittens are thought to be socially and behaviorally matured.
When kittens don’t grow as big as you expected
Like we earlier mentioned, cats vary in length, weight, and height, so don’t panic if your furry friend has a small frame or is lightweight. As long as your cat is healthy and happy, you have nothing to worry about.
It is believed that kittens that are neutered or spayed at an early age tend to grow larger than cats that a neutered when they have advanced into adulthood. That said, there are some cases where kittens suffer dwarfism and may not grow as large as expected. Sometimes, bone conditions can stunt growth in some cats.
Factors that affect how fast a cat grows
While a cat’s breed plays a significant role in how big it gets, other factors like nutrition help a cat reach its full potential and size. To reach their proper size, it is recommended that kittens be fed a massive amount of daily calories, especially during the first stages of life.
On the contrary, if kittens aren’t fed correctly, then they may be stunted. This explains why shelter cats are a lot smaller in size, especially compared to their re-homed counterparts. And besides diet and breed, the age at which a kitten is neutered or spayed plays a significant role in growth rate. According to stats, a kitten neutered early tends to grow a lot bigger than cats neutered in their adulthood. More so, bone deformities and dwarfism can also affect the growth rate of some cats.
How to tell if your cat has reached its full size
While it is true that our feline friends can continue to grow even after the first year, you’ll notice that their growth rate isn’t quite pronounced afterwards. As a matter of fact, if you aren’t paying rapt attention, you might not even notice that they are growing. The best way to know if your cat has stopped growing is to weigh it each month. While cats continue to gain height and length, measuring your kitty once a month will allow you to know when those measurement stops changing.
Frequently asked questions
What age is a cat fully grown?
According to experts, some cats reach their full maturity between 10 to 12 months. That said, some breeds like the Maine Coon can take almost two years to reach their full size.
Is my cat overweight?
If you can still feel its ribs along with the covering of fat, then you can rest assured that your cat is healthy. On the flip side, if you can’t feel the ribs along with the little covering of fat, it is a tell-tale sign that your cat is overweight.
Are neutered cats bigger in size?
Neutering does a lot to a cat, and that includes its size. Neutered or spayed cats appear a lot bigger than cats that aren’t neutered.
It’s quite tricky to say for sure when a cat will stop growing, and that’s because it varies from breed to breed. That said, many cats are fully grown at 18 months of age. For larger breeds like the Maine Coon, they can take almost two years to fully mature.