Feeling like your furball isn’t so little any more?
Here we discuss when cats stop growing. We talk about the life cycle of a cat and how big cats can get.
Let’s get started.
When Do Cats Stop Growing?
Most cats will stop growing after they’re about a year old. Smaller breeds may stop sooner (at 9-12 months) and larger breeds may take longer (up to 18 months).
Although cats continue to grow even after reaching the age of one-year-old, their rate of growth will be significantly slower at this point.
In fact, if you’re not paying close attention to your cat, you might not notice at all that they are growing.
The best way to determine if your cat has stopped growing is to take a measurement of its weight and height every month and make sure you keep a record of it. That way, you’ll notice if there are any changes in its height or weight.
In order to further understand when cats stop growing, it’s a good idea to learn the life cycle of cats. The life cycle of a feline consists of five stages:
- Kitten: the first six months of the cat’s lives that they will grow the fastest
- Junior: Your cat is between 6 months and a year old. There’s still some development that you can notice, but it’s a little slower at this point
- Prime adult: Your cat is at least a year old and has reached his or her maximum size. Your cat is in the prime of his or her health and is as energetic as he or she will ever be
- Mature adult: You can think of this phase like middle age. The body starts to slow down a bit. Your cat will be a little bit lazier and may require an extra trip to the vet every now and again
- Senior adult: Your cat has had a lot of experience. Now he or she is a bit lazier and might be a bit more ornery. Sometimes your cat makes you think of a feisty old grandfather who spends his days shouting at children
You can expect your cat to stop growing in the prime adult stage. The human equivalent would be 18-20, give or take. This is the age when your cat reaches maturity and is at his or her best.
Cats reach the prime adult stage in about a year. There’s some slow growth after, but not too much.
How Big Can My Cat Become?
When it comes to knowing when cats stop growing, it’s also worth knowing how big can a cat become. According to experts, the average weight of a domestic feline is around 10 pounds. Males are often the larger breeds with the Maine Coon reaching up to 20 pounds.
Check your cat’s size and breed to see if he or she is at a healthy weight. If your cat is past the prime adult stage and still growing… well, it might not be a healthy growth. It might be the “too much kibble and not enough exercise” kind of growth. Your cat might be needing some cat food for weight loss.
Interesting fact: cats are totally different from dogs and the size of a cat’s paw has nothing to do with its weight and height. Contrary to what many people believe, bigger paws in cats don’t really mean they have bigger body sizes too! The body size of your cat will mainly depend on its genetics.
Although the parents of the kittens are the best indicator of how big your cat can become, gender may also play a part. Most of the time, male cats are bigger than female cats.
Miniature-Sized and Full-Sized Outliers
Sure, there are also exceptions when it comes to how big the cat can grow and when cats stop growing.
According to experts, the Maine Coon Fancy is a breed of cat that could take up to 5 years before it achieves its full body size. As recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest cat was a Maine Coon breed named Stewie, with a height of 48.5 inches.
That puts Stewie at about the size of a small lion.
On the other hand, there are also cats that suffer from the dwarfism condition and are abnormally small in size. The smallest cat in history was a cat named Lilieput. She is a Munchkin cat that was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for being the shortest cat in the world.
Kittens that suffer from dwarfism develop more slowly compared to cats with normal body size.
Factors That Affect How Fast a Cat Grows
The growth of a feline is not only affected by its breed, but by its diet as well. Cats must consume an abundant number of calories on their first few stages in life in order to achieve their ideal body size.
But if the cat is not fed well enough, their growth and development could become restricted. It’s for this reason why most of those kittens in animal shelters tend to have smaller sizes compared to their domesticated counterparts.
Recent studies show that cats that have been neutered or spayed at an early age can grow bigger than cats that were neutered or spayed during adulthood.
Although kittens will stop growing when reaching about one year old, it’s important to keep in mind that most cats will look like an adult in as early as 6 months.
If your cat keeps growing after he or she is about a year old, it’s worth weighing him or her and making sure that it’s not a weight gain issue.
Tell me in the comments below: how big is your kitty?