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At what age do cats become adults: the influence of breed

Yulia PoteriankoLife
In the first weeks, the mother cat can handle feeding and caring for the kittens

Knowing when your cat will transition from a playful kitten to an adult is important, as its feeding, care nuances, and the need for veterinary support depend on this stage.

OBOZREVATEL provides information on how to identify when a cat is reaching adulthood and how factors such as breed, health, and diet can influence this process.

A cat is considered fully grown when it reaches the age of 12-15 months, although sexual maturity may occur earlier, around 6 months in females. In general, feline experts distinguish four periods of kitten growth:

  • neonatal (0-3 weeks after birth);
  • weaning (4-8 weeks);
  • intensive growth (2-4 months);
  • steady growth (from 4 months).

When an animal begins to weigh 40-50 times more than at birth, it can be said to have reached adulthood. The development of a small cat can be influenced by such factors as:

  • breed
  • heredity (size of parents)
  • diet
  • past illnesses.

In general, kittens are born weighing between 60-200 grams. This depends, in particular, on the number of animals in the litter - the more there are, the lower the weight of the kittens.

According to this schedule, it is necessary to adjust the animal's diet. Neonatal kittens can be provided with a shallow bowl of water, as the mother cat will take care of the rest. During the weaning period, they will require easily digestible food, such as specialized kitten food. And during the period of intensive growth, it is important to ensure that the animal receives sufficient food without overeating.

How the breed affects the cat's maturation

In general, the pattern here is quite simple: the smaller the breed, the faster the kittens grow up. Thus, a Munchkin or Abyssinian cat can reach adulthood between 9 months and a year. Medium breeds - British, Siamese, Persian - mature around 10-12 months. However, their physical development does not stop after that, and they can fully develop by the age of 2 years. Meanwhile, a Maine Coon or Bengal cat can take up to 15 months to reach adulthood and fully develop up to 3 years.

How to feed a cat during the growth period

As soon as a kitten starts eating solid food, you need to start carefully monitoring its diet. First of all, it is important to choose the right diet for your kitten - give it kitten food or well-processed, easily digestible natural foods. Feeding recommendations at this stage are as follows:

  • divide the daily ration into two portions - morning and evening, they can be equal in volume, or the morning portion can be slightly larger;
  • make sure that kittens do not eat after each other and other cats;
  • do not give young animals food from your table;
  • periodically give them age-appropriate vitamins.

What else can affect a kitten's growth

In addition to an unregulated diet, kittens can experience stunted growth due to the presence of worms. This issue can be addressed by administering age-appropriate antiparasitic drugs in a timely manner—usually specific for kittens.

Moreover, developmental delays or advancements can be caused by hormonal disorders and other health problems. In such cases, it is advisable to have the kitten examined by a veterinarian.

Sterilization can impact the animal's appetite and weight gain. Therefore, it is preferable to carry out the procedure at the appropriate age when the cat is still forming its eating habits. Consult with your veterinary clinic regarding when and how this operation should be performed.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told you which cat breeds are long-lived.

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