Pet parents of kittens may be surprised to find out how short the kitten phase lasts! Unlike humans, kittens reach adulthood over a short time period, experiencing rapid growth during their first couple of months.
Are you curious about how long it will take for your kitten to grow? We've put together this handy guide so you can discover all about the different factors that affect a kitten's growth stages, how long it takes for a kitten to grow, and how to properly feed a growing kitten.
- Kittens reach adulthood between 6 and 12 months, with some continuing to grow up to 18 months, although at a slower rate.
- Factors affecting a kitten's growth include exercise level and nutrition.
- Regular checkups, vaccinations, and good nutrition are essential for a kitten's growth and development.
When Does a Kitten Stop Growing?
In general, the answer to the question "when does a kitten stop growing?" is between 6 and 12 months. Some kittens may continue to grow after one year, sometimes up to 18 months. However, the growth rate after one year will occur at a much slower rate.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that cats over a year old will stop growing altogether. A cat who is mostly sedentary and on a poor diet, or has access to too much food throughout the day, will continue to gain weight. Obesity can be a very unhealthy condition for any feline, and should be discussed with your veterinarian.
Factors Affecting Growth in Kittens
There are a number of factors that will affect your kitten's development, such as level of exercise and nutrition. As a pet parent, it's essential to make sure your kitten has everything they need to thrive, including regular checkups, kitten vaccinations, good nutrition, and more.
Scheduling kitten wellness checkups with a BetterVet veterinary doctor is one easy way to ensure you're doing your part as a pet parent. During a wellness checkup (either in-home or through a telemedicine consult), your BetterVet veterinary doctor can help answer any questions you may have about your kitten's growth and development.
Kitten Growth Calculator
Use our growth calculator to estimate your kitten's weight once they finish growing.
Kitten's Growing Stages
One of the most exciting parts of being a kitten parent is watching your furry friend thrive and grow! The following kitten growth stages can give you an idea of what to expect:
- Weeks 1 through 3: Kittens open their eyes and ears.
- Weeks 3 through 5: Kittens begin to take their first steps and begin trying to use the litter box. Kittens can be introduced to solid food at the end of this growing stage.
- Weeks 6 through 8: Kittens begin playing often. Make sure to bring your cat for kitten vaccinations!
- Month 2 through 6: Kitten experiences rapid development, and lots of playtime.
- Month 6 through 12: Kitten growth continues but may begin to occur at a slower rate.
- After month 12: Your kitten is now an adult!
How to Feed a Growing Kitten
Growing kittens need a well-rounded diet that is high in protein in order to support their high energy levels. It's important to feed your kitten a diet that is specific for kittens, to ensure he or she receives proper levels of protein, vitamins, and other nutrients. Ensuring proper nutrition is a vital component in caring for your kitten, so it's important to consult with your veterinary doctor with any questions about feeding your growing kitten.
Kittens should eat kitten food for the first 10 to 12 months of their life. When your cat reaches this age, it's recommended to transition from kitten to adult food. Once your cat reaches adulthood, their need for daily calories will decrease. For this reason, adult cat food is formulated with fewer calories than kitten food. During kitten wellness checkups, your veterinary doctor can help you determine your cat's individual nutritional needs.
How to Exercise a Growing Kitten Safely
Exercise is a vital component to keep your kitten healthy during their development. Luckily, there are lots of ways you can get your kitten involved in regular exercise. For younger kittens (ages three to four months), interactive activities like hide-and-seek or bouncy balls are a great idea. As kittens age, they may prefer to work on their prey-hunting instincts with games using cat toys like a laser pointer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How fast does a kitten grow?
Kittens usually double their size in their first week of life. After that, kittens generally grow one ounce every three days of life.
When will my kitten stop growing?
By 30 weeks, kittens are generally around 80% of their final adult size, reaching their full-grown size at 40 weeks. Of course, every kitten is different and this is just a general guideline to follow.
Why is my kitten not growing?
It is recommended to schedule a vet visit for kittens that are not growing properly. Poor nutrition or certain medical conditions may interfere with your kitten's growth and development. If you suspect your cat may be experiencing delays in their development, speak with a BetterVet veterinary doctor. If nutritional deficiencies are suspected, we'll be happy to help you with proper kitten nutrition planning.
How can you tell how big a kitten will get?
Using the kitten growth calculator is one way to estimate how big your kitten will be when they become a full-grown adult cat. Another method is to use your cat's weight at 16 weeks and multiply this weight by 2. This is an excellent way to estimate their final size as an adult.
What month do kittens grow the most?
Kittens will experience the fastest growth and most change in the first six months of life. During this period, you'll notice your kitten's size changes rapidly!
Schedule Regular Checkups for your Kitten with BetterVet
Regularly scheduled wellness checkups can help ensure your kitten develops and grows properly. Book an appointment today to connect with a BetterVet online or schedule an in-home mobile vet visit.