Have you ever wondered at what age do cats stop growing? Like every other living being, cats reach their adulthood and then at a certain age, they stop growing, reaching their final shape and size. But why do they stop growing at that point of adulthood, and what factors are associated? Find answers to all these questions in this article, where we will discuss the different stages cats go through before becoming adults.
Stages in the Cat’s Life
Cats go through various stages before becoming adult cats. Although experts differ in their criteria to know what these stages are and especially when they begin and end precisely, we can differentiate six fundamental stages of growth of cats:
The neonatal period begins after birth and ends around nine days of life. The kitten is just a newborn. It has less weight and has not opened its eyes yet. It has a limited locomotor system and is entirely dependent on its parent for survival.
From 9 days to 14 or 15 days after birth, the transition period occurs, in which you will observe that the kitten begins to gain mobility and autonomy. At this time, the kitten opens its eyes and ear canals.
After two weeks, the kitten will begin to consume food in addition to the mother’s milk, becoming more independent, beginning to run around and play without rest with their little brothers, playing by chasing and biting each other. A fundamental stage also begins the socialization of the puppy cat. It is considered that at this age, it is essential for the animal to come into contact with other animals and with different people to get used to interacting with them and having a more pleasant and friendly character. It ends around 7 or 8 weeks of life.
In this period, the cat adopts its final size and shape, officially becoming a young adult. They usually begin to appear more relaxed, although they still stand out for their craving for play and activity. Thus, when in doubt at what age cats stop growing, we see that it is at this moment when their size begins to stabilize. Depending on the breed, it will take more or less for them to stop growing. At this time, sexual behaviors also appear, thus passing through puberty.
About 6 or 7 months, male cats reach puberty, while females do it between 5 and 8. This stage is very similar to the typical adolescence period in humans, typically a period of rebellion. It is very common for cats to be disobedient and do what they see fit in this age.
Once this critical period of rebellion has passed, our cat adopts its final character, being fully mature and normally more balanced and calm. After reviewing the different stages of the growth of cats, we see that a cat is physically adult from one year on; however, it is not until three years that its character and temperament are balanced.
Growth Markers (by weight)
The following cat weight markers can help you assess how well your kitten is growing.
- Kitten 3 months (12 weeks). It should weigh between 2 and 4 pounds, three to four times larger than at birth.
- Kitten 4 months (16 weeks). You should already weigh between 4 and 5 pounds.
- 5-month-old kitten (20 weeks): It should weigh approximately 5 to 6 pounds.
- 6-month-old cat (24 weeks): It should weigh between 6 and 8 pounds.
For many cat breeds, reaching the 6-month milestone means between half and three-quarters of their full height and length. Keep in mind that a cat can continue to gain weight, length, and height beyond the first year. Again, that depends on the breed, the diet, and the particular cat.
Many experts consider that weight, height, and length are not always reliable markers when assessing growth in cats. It is known that these measurements can vary enormously, not only between different breeds but also in cats of the same breed and even between kittens of the same litter.
Experts always recommend monitoring the growth of each cat individually, starting from weight, height and initial length.
Factors such as breed, gender, among others, can influence whether a kitten is at the low end or the high end of the growth spectrum. But if you suspect that your cat is growing too slowly, consult your vet without delay.
What Age Do Cats Stop Growing?
Although broadly speaking, a cat’s growth is similar regardless of the breeds, if you compare it with other species, it does differ if you compare some breeds with others.
For example, giant cats such as the Maine coon, take up to 4 years to reach their final size. Also, the British Shorthair cats are slow-growing, with an average of 3 years to reach adulthood. On the contrary, small breed cats are expected to finish their growth earlier, with medium breeds in the middle. In this way, Siamese and Persians end their growth around one year of life, while the common European cat can grow up to almost two years of age.
At What Age Do Cats Stop Playing?
Usually, kittens are more active and playful than adults, although this, like almost everything, depends mainly on the particular character of each cat and the tendencies of its breed.
If we talk in general, cats are more likely to spend their days playing non-stop from a month and a half or two months and up to 6-7 months of age, these being the periods of greatest activity. However, your cat will surely want to play continuously until about one year of age.
Although let’s say that over one year of age, they tend to play less, the truth is that most cats like to play for practically their entire lives. Thus, it is challenging to stipulate at what age cats stop playing because some play until old age. The important thing is to offer them different cat toys to keep them entertained, as well as scratchers with different heights.
Our Final Thoughts
Are you surprised to know at what age do cats stop growing? Understanding the phases gives you an advantage because you can establish the special care that your furball requires at each stage. This way, you will make it grow healthy and strong.