If you’re looking for a cute pet, then you might want to consider adopting a little kitten. These tiny creatures will quickly worm their way into your heart with their adorable antics.
But kittens grow out of their baby phase a lot quicker than other pets. So your little kitty will turn into a big cat in no time!
As a cat parent, you’ll want to prepare by studying the cat growth chart. Read up on all the different stages cats go through and their changing needs. This is essential to make sure your kitten is getting the best nutrition and is growing properly.
Cat Growth Chart – Life Cycle of A Cat
You can divide the cat growth life cycle into six distinct growth phases. During each of these phases, you’ll observe significant changes in your cat’s appearance and needs.
- Newborn Kitten
Newborn kittens will fit into the palm of your hand. At this stage, they are extremely delicate and weigh around 1.8 to 5.3 ounces. Other distinct features are their closed eyes and folded ears.
Your kitten’s eyes will continue to develop even after birth. So their closed eyes help them with their hypersensitivity to light and their eye development.
Their umbilical cord is still attached during this time, but it will fall in a few days. Other than that, they’ll be entirely dependent on their mothers for everything.
- One Week Old Kitten
At a week old, the kittens won’t be able to pee or poop themselves. However, their umbilical cord will fall off.
The ideal weight at this stage is between 5.3 to 8.8 ounces. Your kitten will need to feed on its mother’s milk every 2 to 3 hours. Slowly, it will open its eyes and start exploring the world.
- 2 Week Old Kitten
This is when your kitten should have completely unfolded ears and eyes. It should weigh around 8.8 to 2.3 ounces and will need its mother’s help using the litter.
At this stage, you need to clean up your kitten often because its immune system is still developing, and it will be at a greater risk of infection.
- 3 Week Old Kitten
At this point, your kitten will start teething. They’ll also become independent and start using the litter on their own. In addition, your cat’s ears will start to point upwards, and it will start developing sensitive hearing.
The ideal weight at this stage is 12.3 to 15.9 ounces. The 3-week old kitten is inquisitive and will start exploring its surroundings and even purring.
- 4 to 8 Week Old Kitten
During this phase, you’ll be noticing the complete development of your kitten’s teeth. It’s best if you invest in a chew toy for them so they can develop healthy chewing habits.
Its eyes will still be blue, but it will fully develop its eyesight and hearing during this phase.
Around the 7 week mark, the kitten will have fully weaned off, and their eye color will start transitioning from their baby blue eyes to yellow. On average, a kitten can weigh 1.4 to 1.7lbs at the beginning of this phase, and by the end of it, they can weigh as high as 2lbs.
- 9 to 12 Week Old Kitten
At this stage, your kitten will weigh around 3lbs, and you’ll soon notice that their fully developed baby teeth will start falling out.
Your cat will also have distinct yellow-colored eyes by now, which is the eye color of an adult cat. This is also the phase when you’ll feel your kitten will start forming a bond with you.
- 12 to 16 Week Old Kitten
Once you cross the year mark, your cat will enter an intense growth phase which will come with an increase in appetite.
You’ll have to feed your hungry kitten several times a day. Your male kitten should have fully developed testicles at this stage. If that’s not the case, your cat may have cryptorchidism.
- 16 to 20 Week Old Kitten
This is when your cat becomes an adult. Its behavior will be that of an adult, and it should weigh around 5 to 6lbs. You’ll also notice your cat becoming more social, exploring more freely, and enjoying cat toys.
- 5 Months to A Year
The final stage is six months. Disproportionate weight gain is a common occurrence at this point, so you shouldn’t be concerned.
It will resolve on its own as your cat grows longer legs. At six months, your cat weighs 6 to 8lbs, and it will reach sexual maturity at around nine months. By one year, your cat will be fully grown.
When Do Cats Stop Growing?
Generally, a cat will stop growing at around one year of its life. However, the specifics depend on several factors, including their breed, nutrition, gender, and mother’s health during pregnancy.
Since cats spend several months nursing in the early years of their development, their mother’s health will determine the nutrition they receive during their early growth years.
The rule of thumb is that the cats will grow double their birth weight in the first two weeks of their birth. From then on, your kitten will gain one pound every month up to the first year of its life.
But at the end of the day, every kitten is different, and you’ll see different patterns of growth.
Young cats are fragile and need special care. To ensure the good health of your furry friend, you need good knowledge of their growth stages. Use this information as a landmark to measure your kitten’s growth.
Even though every kitten is different and will grow at its own pace, there are a few standard hallmarks of healthy growth you should keep an eye out for.
So make sure you’re well aware of the milestones your cat should hit and monitor them carefully. That way, you can catch any growth-related issues as soon as they pop up and take suitable measures to rectify them.