If you’re like me, then you can still remember the day you got your kitten. The little bundle of joy that could fit in the palm of your hand. Like human babies, they grow up so fast. So, when do cats stop growing you wonder?
Cats go through several stages of life. From their quirky kitten ways, all the way up to being a bit of a boring old senior.
In this article, I will cover the stages of a cat’s life, how to tell when your cat is fully grown and I’ll even touch on the sizes of some different cat breeds.
Well, in general terms most cats are considered to be fully grown between the 8 – 16 month mark. The best way to look at it however, are the milestones reached by your cat. They are the best indicator of the maturity of your cat. More on these milestones later.
Most cats will continue to grow at a much slower rate after the 1 year mark, typically they’ll stop growing at the 18 month mark. Some larger cat breeds, such as the Maine Coon, won’t stop growing until the 2 – 4 year mark.
Typically cats will hit what we’d call puberty at the 6 – 9 month mark. Meaning they are continuing to grow at a rapid rate, but they can now fall pregnant. You’ll want to watch your kitty closely as a pregnancy in this stage can be hard on cats through this growth period.
Most vets will suggest having your cat spayed or neutered before they reach this stage. Neutering male cats before they reach this stage may help to prevent spraying behavior. Likewise, if you don’t want your cat to have kittens, you should consider desexing her.
Social maturity in cats typically starts to happen around the 6 month mark also. You will notice a change in their behaviour as their hormones are in top gear. This will of course settle down over time, and by the 2 year mark, they would have fully settled into their adult cat life. If you have desexed your cat you’ll likely see a softer, calmer side to your kitty at an early age.
Kitten – 0- 6 months:
This phase is where your kitten will be going through rapid growth. It’s also going to learn its characteristic traits and be very impressionable.
Junior Cat – 6 months to 2 Years:
Your kitten is continuing to grow, reaching maturity in this phase. Remember to constantly play with your kitten through this stage as it builds an unbreakable bond.
Prime Adult – 3 – 6 Years:
This is the prime of their lives, your cat should be feeling very comfortable, social and playful when they want to be of course.
Mature Adult – 7 – 10 Years:
You’ll start to notice play time won’t be as often. Keep an eye out that your cat is staying healthy and eating right. They are prone to gaining weight in this period of their life. Illness can start to creep in, regular vet check ups are recommended.
Senior Cat – 11 – 14 Years:
The lifespan of cats vary, if they’ve reached this stage they are considered a senior. Give them as much comfort as possible, make food and water easily accessible and have regular checkups with the vet.
15 Years and over:
They would now be considered a geriatric cat. Comfort and quality of life are key here. Continue regular vet checkups, and cherish every moment you have with your beloved kitty. Make sure they are still eating regularly and getting good water intake.
The best way to know when your cat has stopped growing is to measure and weigh them every month. To measure your cat properly, measure from the ground to the top of their shoulder, and from chest to rump. Eventually, you’ll notice that they would have stopped growing.
When weighing your kitty, if you take their weight from 16 weeks old and double it, that can be a great indicator of the maximum weight they’ll reach in adulthood.
While it is now common knowledge that your cat will reach full size around 1 year of age, some breeds such as the Maine Coon will continue to grow until they reach 2 years old.
This question comes up a lot, and it’s not really a one size fits all type of answer. It’s very breed specific, and so to best answer the question, let’s take a look at some big cat breeds and just how big you can expect them to grow to.
Considered as a hybrid breed the amazingly beautiful Savannah cat is a cross between an African Serval and a domestic cat. It has been said they look like a baby cheetah and at times their behaviour will mimic that.
There are different classes of Savannah breeds, they are categorized as F1 through to F5 classes. Sizes for both male and female cats vary. On average a Male F1 Savannah Cat will weigh between 17 – 25 pounds, compared to the female that can weigh in at 13 – 19 pounds.
The height of a male Savannah Cat on average is going to be 16 – 18 inches, while the female should reach 14 – 17 inches in height. Typically, males are the bigger of the two in the cat world. A male can grow to lengths of 22 – 24 inches, while the female is slightly smaller at 20 -22 inches. You might find the odd female growing to 24 inches in length.
Savannah Cats will take on average about 2 – 3 years to reach full adulthood and can live between 17 – 20 years.
Big! In fact, it’s considered to be the largest domestic cat breed in the world, and yes they are huge. The biggest ever recorded was 48.5 inches long, absolutely insane. Other breeds that get this big can be the Norwegian Forest Cat and even some Ragdolls.
When first born they aren’t abnormally large and look almost like a regular kitten. It is during the first 6 months and then later on over the next two years that they really continue to grow into the large cats they are known to be.
On average a male Maine Coon will weigh between 13 – 18 pounds, females typically will be between 8 – 12 pounds. They will stand between 10 – 16 inches in height and grow to 40 inches in length from the nose to the tip of the tail. Yep, they are huge! You should expect an average lifespan to be around 11 – 13 years.
Bengals are known for their Leopard like looks. This is for good reason as they originated from a cross between an Asian Leopard and a domestic cat of an unknown breed.
Like most cat species the male cat is the larger of the two and can reach up to 22 pounds. Average height for Bengal Cats will be 8 – 11 inches to the shoulder. They’ll grow to a length of 13 – 16 inches long. Bengal Cats can be expected to live anywhere between 14 – 16 years on average.
These adorable cats get their name from how they typically flop in your arms when holding them. Originating from the United States in the 1960’s, they are one of the most popular cat breeds to this day.
While not a huge cat by any means they can still grow to be quite a large household cat. Growing up to 15 – 26 inches in length, and weighing in anywhere between 8 – 20 pounds. Standing 9 – 11 inches at the shoulder in height, a typical Ragdoll can be expected to live around 13 – 16 years.
The British Shorthair is known to be one of the oldest cat breeds to date. Undeniably one of the cutest domestic cat breeds, the British Shorthair can be quite a large cat breed.
Your average shorthair is going to weigh around 7 – 18 pounds, the males again being the larger of the two. With an average height of 14 – 20 inches, and growing to a length of 16 – 22 inches. A British Shorthair is expected to have a lifespan of 17 – 20 years.
So when do cats stop growing? Well, as you can see each breed is going to grow at different rates. Remember, the best way to tell when you cat has stopped growing is by taking their measurements monthly.
If you want the best chance of being a long term pet owner, make sure they are growing up on a healthy diet and regular play. Give them a loving environment to thrive in, and as they age, keep them comfortable to ensure they live as long as possible.