Welcoming a new kitten into your home is an exciting time full of playing and exploring. Whether or not this is your first time owning a kitten, you’re wondering “when will my little fur ball reach her full-grown size?” Read on to understand the important milestones of your kitty’s growth.
Up to 6 months: Most of a kitten’s growth occurs between the time they are born to about 6 months of age. After 6 months, they will continue to grow, but at a slower pace until they reach their adult size.
Tip: Wondering how big your kitten is going to get? The general rule of thumb is to weigh your kitten when she’s 16 weeks old (about 4 months) and double that number to get an estimate of your cat’s adult weight.
These first few months are very important when it comes to socialization. Be sure to expose your kitty to all kinds of sights, sounds, and people to set her up to be a confident cat.
6 to 9 months: Somewhere in this time frame, your cat will begin to sexually mature. To reach full sexual maturity takes about two months. Many veterinarians prefer to spay or neuter kittens before they reach full reproductive maturity, and neutering a male cat before this time can help prevent spraying behavior.
Some kittens will lose all of their baby teeth by the time they are six months old, but your vet may recommend extracting any remaining baby teeth during the spay/neuter procedure.
9 to 12 months: During this time, your cat’s body is close to its full-grown size, but may appear lanky, like an awkward teenager, as she continues to put on weight and completely fill out. As she approaches the 1-year mark, you can begin transitioning from kitten food to adult food.
A cat is considered an adult and is generally full grown at 1 year of age. Depending on your cat’s breed, she may continue to slowly grow until about 18 months of age. Large breeds like the Maine Coon can even continue to grow until they are 2 to 4 years old! Cats are considered socially mature by the time they are 2 years old.
Just be sure not to confuse your cat’s unhealthy weight gain with growth. It’s important to feed your cat an appropriate amount for her size and activity level (taking into account those extra calories from treats!) to prevent obesity. Regular vet checks can help, but you can also weigh your kitty at home to ensure she isn’t gaining too much weight. Carrying extra weight puts your cat at an increased risk of certain health conditions like diabetes, arthritis, and hepatic lipidosis (or fatty liver disease).
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