A little kitten cannot remain “little” forever and you must come to terms with this fact before you plan to adopt one. As cats grow older, they start demanding change. With time, cats become more independent and prefer being left alone. But, when do cats stop growing? That’s one question that is popular among all cat owners.
So, if you are considering adopting a kitten or have recently added a little furry friend to your family, there are a few things you should keep in mind regarding their growth and development. Our team of experts has performed thorough research on the topic and put together a list of things that you should know when it comes to your furry friend’s growth. Continue reading to find all the information you need and the answer to the most important question “When do cats stop growing?”
The Early Weeks in a Cat’s Life
The former weeks of a kitten’s life are exhilarating and thrilling. You’ll notice quite a few changes in your cat during this time.
A kitten’s eyes and ear canals are closed at birth. The eyes begin opening by the end of the 2nd week after birth. Often, the kitten’s eyes are a beautiful blue. The color of its eyes will change over time. Keep in mind that kittens are loud during the early days after their birth. Therefore, be prepared to listen to constant cries and screams for food.
By the beginning of the 3rd week, your kitten will begin to move around – it’s a wonderful sight to see it wobble while taking their first few steps! Kittens become more playful and curious by this time since they are now familiar with their environment and surroundings. Toward the end of the 3rd week, the kitten will start teething. By this time, it is safe to start feeding your kitten solid food.
Within a month’s time, the kitten will become very playful. It will pounce and prance around with great ease and start running all around you. The kitten’s eyes will completely open by the fourth week, meaning that it will become more alert and have a better vision.
By the end of the 1st month, the ear canals will fully open and become more responsive to the surroundings. You will notice that your kitten will start responding to the slightest sounds.
At this point, you must make your kitten familiar with the litter box. It is important to toilet train your kitten at a young age. This is when they are most open and responsive to changes and are willing to learn new things. The habits you introduce during the early weeks will remain with your kitten for a long time. Also, ensure you set fixed times for your kitten’s meals and allow it to get used to the feeding schedule.
Toward the beginning of the 5th week, your kitten will have high energy levels. You will notice a vast difference between its size during birth and its size now. However, in the following weeks, your cat’s growth will not be as rapid. Hence, there won’t be any drastic changes in terms of mental or physical growth.
Your kitten will display a tendency to venture out and interact with not only other cats but also humans. This is the time when the kitten will become less dependent on its mother and will start taking care of itself. This period may vary from 8 to 12 weeks.
The Period Between 3 to 9 Months
Once your kitten is comfortable with its environment and surroundings, you should be ready to witness a relatively gradual growth spurt during the 3rd month.
This is the ideal time to vaccinate your kitten. Please keep in mind that this is a crucial step and at no cost should it be avoided or skipped. Just like humans, cats also need vaccines to fight off potential health issues and diseases. By the time your kitten turns three months old, it is ready to be neutered or spayed. Contact and keep in touch with your local vet to find out the ideal time to introduce your kitten to these processes.
During this period, an important factor to consider to ensure your cat’s healthy growth and development is the type of cat food you are feeding your cat.
Cats require a specific set of essential nutrients and the amounts of these nutrients can vary with the cats’ age. Cats are carnivores and require more proteins. Unlike dogs, cats cannot survive on a complete plant diet. Therefore, choose a cat food that is not only tasty but also comprises the right amount and type of nutrients for your cat’s growth.
The End of the First Year
There is no fixed indicator of the end of your cat’s growth and no definite answer to when do cats stop growing? In other words, there’s no proven way to determine if your cat is a fully grown adult. Each cat is considered fully grown depending upon its breed, gender and lifestyle. The cat food your furry friend consumes, as well as it’s quality and quantity will affect its growth rate.
However, depending on the size of the cat, you can guess its approximate age. While smaller breeds fully grow between 9 months to 1 year, larger cats may take up to 2 years to become full-grown adults.
Nevertheless, irrespective of the size of your cat, it is considered to be an adult by the time it turns 1-year old. Don’t expect the size of your cat to suddenly increase if you start feeding it with better quality food in larger amounts. The size and growth of your cat will depend on the type of nutrition you are providing during its initial months.