Cats are the little furry friends who you likely keep as your companion and even as your child. So it is of great concern to know when cats stop growing. Like every living thing, cats are also creatures born as kittens and evolve into fully grown cats.
Knowing when your cats stop growing is a rising concern because, as we all know, cats usually have a life expectancy of not more than 15 years. In such cases, you would be anxious to know what diet changes need to be made and how to prolong your cat’s life expectancy based on when they stop growing.
When Do Cats Stop Growing?
According to the consensus, cats stop growing a year after their birth. However, this numerical figure can vary depending on the cat’s environment, diet, and breed. The reason is that some cats appear to be only slightly bigger than kittens, even though they are adult cats. This scenario occurs due to malnutrition, where their bodies do not fully develop, and what you see is a skinny bony structure on them.
Interestingly, in the first few weeks after birth, kittens are growing at a rapid rate, but 2 to 3 months later, their growth starts slowing down. So, as a cat owner, it isn’t easy to see a visible difference in your cat’s body weight unless you specifically look out for it. The second way is if you happen to scroll back to old pictures from a few months back to track your cat’s growth progress.
Ways to Know When Cats Are Fully Grown
Usually, most cats reach adulthood after a year of birth that defines their personalities and behavior for the rest of their lives. However, not all cats are growing at the same pace. It can take a cat between 1.5 to 4 years to develop, with its rate of progress slowing down after the first year.
When kittens are born, they are tiny, fragile, and unable to walk, weighing around 3.5 ounces. Check back on them a week later, and they have doubled in size; 7 ounces. After the first week, kittens will grow 28.3 grams every three days, making it between 2 ounces every week. At the start of the third week, you will begin noticing that kittens are starting to toddle and stand up on their feet. However, four months later, the growth of kittens will start slowing down. It will still occur but not at a noticeable pace.
Here are some factors that do impact when your cats stop growing.
1) Difference of Breed
Some cat breeds tend to grow much faster than others which means they will stop growing sooner than other cat species. On the other hand, some cats will take their sweet time to grow up and can take up to 4 years, which is one-third of their life expectancy to reach adulthood. An example of cats that take the most extended amount of time to stop growing is Maine coon cats. The reason is that the larger cat breeds will take more amount of time to stop growing is because they have got to reach further to reach their adulthood stage.
Your cat’s growth can be lengthened or short based on the type of diet they are getting. For example, kittens require a considerable amount of calories to be consumed in a shorter period to reach their proper size. This is why newborn kittens are double their size a week later. Nonetheless, if cats are malnourished or not provided with a balanced diet, their growth can be stunted. That is why stray cats or shelter cats appear smaller in size than their re-homed cat counterparts.
This is reason enough to give your indoor kittens dry cat food with chicken and brown rice to help them get the right nutrients for their proper growth.
3) The Age at Which a Cat is Neutered or Spayed
Apart from just the diet and a cat breed, another factor that plays a crucial role in stopping cats from growing is when they got neutered or spayed. Most research studies have depicted that cats that are neutered or spayed in their early life cycle will tend to grow into a larger size and for a longer time than a cat that was not neutered. Through the process of spaying or neutering your cat, you are improving the quality of life that your cat lives make it grow larger and have an extended growth period.
Some diseases are also the causes behind why cats might stop growing. Such conditions include dwarfism, where a cat may not extend beyond a certain body mass and height. That means even though they have fully matured, they will look smaller than others.
The other type of disease is related to bone deformities that impact the growth rate of your cat in such a way that they might either keep growing or not growing, depending upon the severity of the issue.
Our Final Thoughts
Since the growth of cats slows down after a couple of months of their birth, you may think that they have stopped growing, when that is not true. You see, cats continue to grow but at a significantly reduced rate such that you won’t be able to pick it out unless you are specifically looking out for it. Hence, some cat owners tend to measure the weight and height of their cats each month to keep track of when their cats stop growing.
Knowing when your cat has stopped growing can tell you a lot about their maturity and their approximate age. An adult’s cat weight can be estimated by knowing your cat’s weight when they are 16 weeks old and then doubling that number to arrive at your result. But, be warned that is not the exact figure; it will be an excellent estimate to help you use as a reference point.