As pet owners, we want to witness the milestones of our cats. Kittens grow fast in the first months of its life, but the question is this: when does a kitten become a cat? A kitten is considered an adult cat once it reaches a year old. 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-fledged feline.
Steps before your kitten 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.
- First month. By the time your kitten reaches one month old, 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 pawrents. 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 them spayed or neutered to curb the harmful effects of being sexually active. Remember that females in heat love 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 such 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?
Kittens will have a fast-growing body on 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 on the first 8 to 12 months of their life.
Please take note that nutrition plays a significant role in your kitten to reach its full body size. You should provide a balanced meal for your kitten so it will grow strong and healthy. Still, it would be best if you watched out 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 it reaches a year old. 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 it turns two years old. Still, this depends on your cat’s breed, as some remain energetic for most of its junior life.
Unlike dogs, cats won’t calm down because being energetic is the nature most felines. It’s their trait, and it will only subside once the cat reaches the senior age. Still, some cats 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.
Most cats will have a slowed-down body growth once it reaches six months and achieves its full size at 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 its initial body size once it reaches four months. If your cat 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 cat become 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 it reaches 11 years old. Meanwhile, those that are 12 to 14 years old are seniors cats. If your cat managed 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 is 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.
When does a kitten become a cat? 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 accompanies 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.