If you’re looking for a direct answer to when do cats stop growing, then we can provide you with one – once they reach adulthood. But when is adulthood? It’s usually once they reach 1 year old. But why do they stop growing once they reach adulthood? To explain further, check these important details.
Things to bear in mind about cat maturity
As mentioned earlier, cats stop growing once they reach adulthood. But why do they stop growing till then? What are the factors involved? To name a few, check out the following:
- Skin and bones
Upon birth, kittens have rapid growth. You won’t see them as small and cute as they were a month ago. Cat breeds have an amazing growth curve compared to other types of animals. In their first 6 months, you will notice a considerable change in their size, skin and bone structure. You will also notice their increased appetite as they grow which contributes to their fattening and rapid increase in height. Once the maximum potential of their bones are met, they already cease to grow. General breeds of cats have a maturity of 6 to 9 months while others may have a sooner or may also have a later adulthood.
- Achieving nutritional requirements prior to maturity
Cats also tend to grow slowly until it totally stops when their nutritional requirements are not sustained. You may have noticed a few cats much smaller than others while others may seem bigger despite belonging to the same breed of cats. This is because some cats may be fed with better quality of food than others.
Bigger and healthier cats may have been fed with a good amount of sodium, magnesium and zinc with their food. This enables them to fully develop their bones and muscles which help achieve full maturity or adulthood.
- Free feeding
Compared to other animals, cats actually have a much higher nutritional requirement however have much smaller stomachs. A good way to initiate frequent eating to cats for fast growth is through free feeding. As kittens grow, they may have trouble eating which can cause malnutrition and even obesity if not guided accordingly. It is advisable to use a measuring cup when feeding cats to closely monitor the amount of food intake. Preferably, cats should have at least ¾ cup of food for 3 to 4 times a day as they grow and convert to daily feedings as they reach 6 months.
Cat adulthood and care
As soon as a cat reaches its first birthday, it immediately becomes an adult. This age of the cat is comparable to the 21 year old person. At this age, the cat can still fill in its nutritional requirements from its diet however can no longer grow. The only possible growth after this is through expansion or when the cat builds up muscles or fats.
To ensure that your cat reaches a healthy adulthood you need to be careful with what you feed them. Cats have the tendency to munch on anything that is given to them by their owners. They will eat anything from fresh meat, to cereals, stew and can even drink anything such as coffee and tea. While most food substances are healthy to the human body, it may not be the same to cats. Caffeine in particular is not a very healthy drink for cats as this can cause liver damage and can cause indigestion.
Another food that you need to avoid feeding to felines is fruits with seeds. Fruits with seeds particularly apple can cause choking to cats. Also, the seeds that can be stuck on their teeth can cause dental problems and can infect their gums. Before feeding any fruit to your cats, make sure that they are free from seeds, core and other parts that could initiate choking.
Whenever your cat feels thirsty, it would be best to opt for clean drinking water instead of milk. Some milk may cause digestive problems to cat as they are intolerant of milk. When feeding cats with milk, make sure it is cat milk which is normally sold on pet stores.
Cats stop growing at the first year of age however this does not mean they permanently cease growing. Some breeds of felines have tendency to grow until their first 18 months while others can cease to grow even before reaching 1 year. Whatever time they reach adulthood, it is best to give them proper nutrition and care to maximize their growth.