Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
Even though I’ve been in 4 kittens’ lives, it always shocks me how much growing they do. This is especially true when I think they are done growing, but surprisingly they’re not! So, why is it that cats grow at different speeds and when exactly are they done growing? Do cats ever stop growing? Do some cat breeds grow faster than others?
BEING AN ADULT DOESN’T MEAN YOUR CAT IS FULL GROWN
Similar to humans, being done puberty doesn’t necessarily mean that you are done growing. The average cat will become a full-fledged adult by 9 months, although some cats reach this maturity much earlier (as early as 6 months.)
That being said, the majority of cats stop growing at a rapid pace between 9 months to a year, however many will continue growing until they are 18-months old, albeit at a slower pace.
YOUR CAT’S BREED WILL EFFECT HOW FAST YOUR CAT GROWS
It might not be the first thing you think about, but your cat’s breed can be a very big influence on how long it takes your cat to grow. Larger cats, such as Maine Coons, can take up to 4 years to grow to their full size. That being said, larger breed cats are assumed to take between 2-4 years to grow to full size.
IS IT SAFE FOR A QUEEN TO HAVE BABIES BEFORE SHE IS FULL GROWN?
While it is safe for your female cat (or queen) to have babies before she is full grown, it is much more difficult for her to carry her kittens and care for them. That being said, if you are choosing to keep your female cat unspayed remember she can start producing kittens when she is between 6-9 months and you will want to keep her away from tomcats.
CAN SPAYING OR NEUTERING HARM MY CAT’S DEVELOPMENT
Yes and no. Spaying and neutering have to be done at a specific time to ensure that your cat has matured enough sexually. Most male cats are neutered before 6 months to prevent them from spraying, however, if neutered too early they may not develop a large enough urethra creating more problems down the line. This is what the vets assume happened to both Walker and Beau, causing Beau to have to get a PU Surgery due to being blocked. Make sure you consult a vet to see when would be the best time to spay or neuter your cat as again, this will vary from cat to cat, especially for larger breeds.
DO YOU RECOMMEND SPAYING OR NEUTERING YOUR CATS?
100%. I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t. Spaying and neutering can help reduce the risks of cancer and will make sure you don’t have extra kittens running around the neighbourhood. Remember, even though you’re a great pet parent, doesn’t mean your cat won’t escape. We lost Walker, our male cat, for about an hour one night because he darted out the front door. Luckily we found him, but if we didn’t we may have found his kittens a few months later. Spaying and Neutering can also make your cats less dominant or aggressive and ensure that they do not spray around the house.
ARE SPAYED OR NEUTERED CATS MORE AFFECTIONATE?
Similar to what is stated above, it is believed that cats are calmer and more docile when they are spayed or neutered. That being said, spayed or neutered pets usually become more attached to their pet parents and tend to stay playful through their adulthood.
DO KITTENS & ADULT CATS NEED DIFFERENT DIETS?
Absolutely, however, many higher quality brands are developing “all life stages food.” These foods are made to have all of the DHA, fats and taurine that both adults and kittens need. I know that I commonly hear the saying “a baby cat eats the same mouse as an adult cat” and while this is true, it doesn’t take into account the amount of that mouse the cat eats. It also doesn’t take into account the energy level change that happens when a housecat is between the ages of 1-2. At this age, many cats end up calming down or becoming “lazy” causing them to need less food as well as fat. The same can be said for Senior & Geriatric cats as they will need a specific diet to make sure that their kidneys and other vital organs are taken care of.
Note: Amount of food and what to feed also depends on what type of food you’re feeding whether it’s wet, dry, freeze-dried raw or raw. It is always best to speak to a vet about the type of food you’re feeding and to do some extra research to make sure your cat is getting the number of nutrients they need.
WHAT ARE MY CAT’S LIFE STAGES?
- Kitten (birth-6 months old)
- Junior (6 months – 2 years old)
- Prime Adult (3-6 years old)
- Mature Adult (7-10 years old)
- Senior (11-14 years old)
- Geriatric (15+ years old)
MY KITTEN SHOT UP IN SIZE SO FAST, IS THIS NORMAL?
Yes, it is! Kittens are very fast growers and can double in size from the week they are born. After the first week they are born, they grow by about an ounce every three days until they are full grown. Even our kitten Kalista, who we adopted when she was around 6 months old, has grown quite a lot since then. You can see how much she’s grown from our archive of her life here.
IF A CAT IS MALNOURISHED WILL THEY STILL GROW?
Yes, they will, however, their growth will be stunted. While cats may continue to grow when fed properly if they reach a certain age before being properly nourished, they may not grow to the full size they would have been.
ARE SPAYED OR UNSPAYED CATS LARGER?
Oddly enough, studies have shown that spayed and neutered cats are commonly larger as long as they are spayed or neutered before adulthood.
So as is with a number of cat-related questions answers vary on when cats stop growing. There are a lot of factors that cat growth depend on such as breed, whether or not they are spayed/neutered, their nutrition, etc. Although this is true, it can be safely said that smaller cats will finish growing by 18 months and larger cats between 2-months to 4-years. So I’m curious, when did your cat stop growing?