When Does a Kitten Become a Cat?

As pet owners, we want to witness the milestones of our cats. Kittens grow fast in the first months of their life, but the question is: when does a kitten become a cat? A kitten is considered an adult cat once it reaches one year of age. Time goes by fast, and before you know it, you have an adult cat at home. Cats develop physically at a rapid pace, but it takes a lot of patience and care before your kitten becomes a full-fledge feline.

Steps before your kittens become a cat

Before your cat becomes an adult, it would go through the following steps:

  • First week

     In the first week of your kitten’s life, it would be small, weak, and dependent on its mother for survival. It would be suckling, and its eyes are slightly open. At this point, your kitten will be gaining 10 grams to 30 grams of weight per day, so it must keep nursing from its mother. If the mother of the kitten is not around for any reason, you’d be responsible for all the care required by it. 

  • First month

     By the time your kitten reaches one month’s age, it can play and walk. It would be best if you started socializing the kitten so it will grow as a happy and social cat.

  • First vaccines

    Your kitten will receive its first vaccines at the age of 8 to 10 weeks. Succeeding shots will be administered 2 to 4 weeks after the first ones. This is a crucial step to protect your kitten from infections and deadly health problems.

The moment your cat reaches one year old, it would leave the kitten stage. It would become an adult cat that has grown bigger and sassier as it enters the teenage period. Your newly adult cat would try to get its way and defy your rules. While your cat is not a baby anymore, it would still exhibit a kitten-like attitude from time to time.

As your kitten grows older and bigger, its nutritional needs will also change. You can always consult the vet about the dietary needs of your growing cat.

How to deal with kitten adolescence?

Once your kitten reaches a year old, it would enter the adolescent phase. Same with humans, this period can be challenging for pet parents. Adolescent cats will yowl, mark incessantly, scratch, and try to get things their way.

The once adorable kitten will become sassy and challenging to deal with. But before you give up, there’s always a workaround for such situations.

A kitten that has become a cat will have a spike of energy. They will try to explore everything, especially the outdoors. To make this phase more bearable, I recommend doing the following:

  • Consider spaying/neutering

    A cat can be desexed even before it reaches a year old. So instead of waiting for your kitten to become headstrong, it’s best to have it spayed or neutered to curb the harmful effects of being sexually active. Remember that females in heat are screaming and vocalizing, while males will often escape seeking a female.

  • Learn to channel the cat’s energy

    Most cats are born to be balls of energy. Instead of trying to limit your cat’s activities, you can channel their energy to less destructive habits. Get a scratch post, cat tree, puzzles, and other interactive toys that will keep your kitty busy.

  • Be firm with the rules

    Teenage cats will try to test your limits. If the kitty uses your skin as a plaything, make sure that there are consequences. It could be a spray of water or ending playtime. Use safe and non-violent methods to discipline your feline. Through this, it will not grow neurotic and aloof.

When does a kitten stop growing?

Kitten will have a fast-growing body from the day it’s born up to its first six months. After that, your cat’s growth will slow down. Most cats will reach their full size upon turning a year old, the same time they will become an adult. Still, it varies per breed and the health of the kitty.

Even if the cat reaches its full size, it doesn’t mean it will act like an adult. Most cats will be sassy and teenager-like in the first 8 to 12 months of their life.

Please take note that nutrition plays a significant role in your kitten’s reaching its full body size. You should provide a balanced meal to your kitten so it will grow strong and healthy. Still, it would be best if you watched over the kitten’s weight as some breeds have a high risk of being obese.

Obesity is very unhealthy, especially for cats, because they love climbing and jumping from surfaces. The excess weight will crush the kitty’s joints and increase their risk of developing orthopedic problems. 

When does a cat calm down?

Cats will become an adult once they reach a year’s age. However, it’s only after 14 months that it will start to calm down. Kittens and young cats are playful, and the teenage phase will make them restless and adventurous.

However, some cats take longer to tone down the kitten personality. Some breeds will only mature once they turn two years old. Still, this depends on your cat’s breed, as some remain energetic for most of their junior lives. If you are having trouble calming your cat down, you can read how to calm a cat.

Unlike dogs, cats won’t calm down because being energetic is in the nature of most felines. It’s their trait, and it will only subside once the cat reaches senior age. Still, some cat breeds are more adventurous than others, regardless of age.

How do you tell how big a kitten will get?

One of the common questions cat owners ask is how big their kitties are going to get. This is a common concern among those who adopted their felines. While it could be hard to tell, the veterinarian may help paint a better picture. You can have a better idea of how big will your kitten get in this article. 

Most cats will have a slowed-down body growth once they reach six months and achieve their full size in one year. However, big breeds like Ragdolls and Maine Coons will keep growing past their first 12 months of life.

To give you an idea about how big your kitten will get, most cats will weigh twice their initial body size once they reach four months. If your pet is a big kitten, it will likely become a larger cat than usual. The formula for the size would be this:

Your kitten’s weight at 16 weeks x 2 = adult/full-size weight

This computation will give you at least a margin of error of plus/minus 10% of your cat’s full-size weight.

When Does a Kitten Become a Cat and then a Senior?

Feline age has been redefined in the past years to give a brighter and more accurate assessment of their physical health. Nowadays, cats are considered elderly once they reach 11 years old. Meanwhile, those that are 12 to 14 years old are senior cats. If your cat manages to live past 14 years, it would be called a super-senior.

From a kitten, your cat will become an adult and then a senior. It’s much like the lifetime of a person, though at a faster pace.

Your cat’s first two years of life are equivalent to roughly 24 human years. After that, each cat year is equivalent to four human years. With this, a 16-year-old cat would be as old as an 80-year-old human.

As your cat ages, it would be less active due to the pains and aches associated with aging. Senior cats will also have a reduced ability to taste and smell food, which is why they will appear picky. Your cat’s nutritional needs will change as well, depending on their health condition.

Conclusion

When does a kitten become a cat? Well, your adorable kitty will become a full-fledged cat by the time it reaches one year old. It’s a milestone for your pet, but a lot of changes also accompany it. Your cat will be more adventurous, and it will try to test your limits. Despite that, you must remain firm and patient, so you and your cat will live harmoniously together.

This article covers many important aspects of a cat’s life’s milestones. Information from this article will help you get your cat vaccinated and spayed timely. In short, this information will help you take better care of your lovely cat. 

Thank you for your time and enjoy your time with your cat. 

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