Updated - Nov 14th, 2022
If you just got a new kitten, you may be wondering: How long can I enjoy this cute little fluff ball? When will they be an adult? And just how big will they get?
The quick answer is: it depends!
When do cats stop growing?
It can take anywhere from one to four years for a cat to reach their full size. Many small domestic cats will stop growing around 12 – 16 months of age, but it can vary by breed. For example, Tabby cats and Siamese cats can grow to adult size in one to two years, while bigger cats like Maine Coons may take three to four years. And your cat’s breed is just one factor out of many!
Let’s get into what those other factors are to help you guess when your cat will stop growing.
Common cat breeds and when they stop growing
Tabby cats, Siamese cats and Domestic Shorthair cats will typically stop growing at 12 – 19 months. Their average adult size is 13-16 inches long, 11 inches tall, and 10-22 lbs.
Ragdoll cats will typically stop growing at four years old. Their average adult size is 15-26 inches long, 9-11 inches tall, and 8-20 lbs.
Savannah cats will typically stop growing at two years old. Their average adult size is 20-25 inches long, 10-19 inches tall, and 12-20 lbs.
Maine Coon cats will typically stop growing at four years old. Their average adult size is 48 inches long, 8-16 inches tall, and 25 lbs.
Bengal cats will typically stop growing at two years old. Their average adult size is 13-16 inches long, 11-13 inches tall, and 10-22 lbs.
Tip: You may have looked at your kitten’s paws and wondered if your sweet little kitten will become a monster cat, but kittens differ from puppies. For cats, the paws aren’t a foreshadowing of adult size – but their toe beans are definitely adorable!
Factors that determine the size of your kitty
Sex: Male cats grow slower and larger than their female counterparts. In fact, a male can grow up to 2 lbs. larger than his female sister.
Fixed or Intact: Contrary to popular belief, spaying or neutering your cat generally won’t affect their growth. Most veterinarians will recommend altering anywhere from 6-12 months, but shelters and rescues typically alter kittens earlier to decrease the possibility of accidental litters.
It is important to note that sterilizing a kitten too young may predispose them to an orthopedic condition called capital physeal fracture. This is typically seen in overweight male cats or larger cat breeds. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to consult with your vet and even get a second opinion if you’re still unsure.
Birth order: If you’ve fallen in love with the runt of the litter, they may grow to be smaller than their adult counterparts. The farther down the birth line a kitten falls, the smaller they may be as an adult, especially if their mom was on the smaller side.
Number of siblings: The number of kittens in a litter matter. Too many kittens can stretch the amount of milk available from the mother cat to kitty too far. Kittens with poor nutrition grow slower and can end up smaller.
Diet: Proper nutrition means proper growth. Your kitten should get a balanced, nutritional diet of kitten food for the first year of its life. Some can require kitten food longer (like the larger cats who are still growing), but most average 10 lb. cats can transition to adult cat food between 10-12 months of age. If you’re not sure how much to feed your kitten, your vet can advise you on the proper amount and the best cat food for your cat.
Genetics: There are some genetic factors that can cause your cat to be smaller than usual! They include dwarfism and any bone deformities. Your vet should be able to detect any abnormalities during routine check-ups.
Tip: Routine cat health check-ups are important for all cats, but especially kittens. Pumpkin offers a best-in-class pet insurance plan for kittens and cats.
What to expect during each feline life stage
While what’s considered a ‘normal’ height and weight can vary for each cat, here’s what you can typically expect during each stage of a feline friend’s life.
Newborn to six months old
This is the most rapid growth stage. Your kitten will go from newborn (eyes closed, relying on mom for everything), to a feisty, curious kitten. Kittens will also gain weight quickly putting on 0.25 – 0.5 lbs per week.
Tip: Socialization is also key during this time. To keep your kitten from becoming aloof, be sure to introduce your kitten to your current cat, dog, children, or other members of your household.
Six months to 12 months
You can see what your kitty will look like when it reaches adulthood in this stage. Many small domestic cats will stop growing around 12 – 18 months of age, but the larger ones, like Ragdoll cats, may continue growing until 4 or even 5 years of age!
This is your cat’s adolescent stage. They may be rebellious, rambunctious, and constantly on the go. This is also when they reach sexual maturity. During this stage, your veterinarian may recommend spaying or neutering your kitten, or keeping them away from other cats to avoid mating.
1 – 3 Years: Your cat is considered an adult at this stage. It may continue growing very slowly, and typically stop completely around 18 months.
3 – 6 Years: Most smaller breeds have blossomed into glorious adult cats by now, however, large breeds may still be growing.
7-10 Years: A cat is fully matured at this age. There is no more growth except maybe around the tummy! Proper nutrition and plenty of exercise can help ward off obesity and the health issues that come with it.
11-14 Years: These are your cat’s senior years – they will likely begin to slow down.
15+ Years: These cats have reached the geriatric stage of life. They may show some weight gain or loss from age-related issues, and their fur may lose some of its former luster. However, that regal, loving, floof is still there, waiting for the chance to cuddle and take a snooze in your lap.
My kitten is chubby. Will she be big?
It’s not uncommon for cat parents to mistake weight gain for growth. Don’t forget – kittens can become overweight just like adult cats. Your vet should be able to tell you how well your kitten is progressing and it may not be indicative of their full-grown size. You can also look at breed-specific charts for height and weight percentages to get a good idea of where your cat stands.
How big is the average cat?
It’s hard to identify an average height and weight for cats because what’s “average” can vary by breed, sex, nutrition, and more. Generally speaking, male cats are larger than female cats, and a fully grown cat can weigh anywhere from 6 pounds to 25 pounds and be anywhere from 13 to 40 inches long nose to tail!
When do kittens stop growing?
Most kittens stop growing between 12-18 months old, but again, this will depend on their breed. It takes some cats an additional 2-3 years until they’ve reached their full size.
Remember, while there are indicators you can use to guess how big your floof will get, they aren’t foolproof. Your best bet is to keep up with regular checkups so your vet can track your cat’s progress and ensure they’re a healthy weight and height. The most important thing is that you provide them with a well-balanced diet, plenty of exercise, and tons of love to help them get there.