Newborn to 6 months old: This is the most rapid growth stage. Your kitten will go from newborn (eyes closed, relying on Momma for everything), to feisty, curious kittens wreaking havoc in the house. 

Kittens will gain rapid weight during this time. A kitten will gain 0.25 – 0.5 lbs per week in those early weeks until they have doubled their birth weight by weeks 10-12.

This is also the time that socialization is important. To keep your kitten from becoming aloof, lots of interaction and love are key. Feral kittens don’t have any socialization with humans, and it explains why they prefer to avoid us.

Straight out of the womb, a kitten may weigh between a mere 3 and 5 ounces, according to Alley Cat Allies. This is assuming she’s healthy and thriving, however. The Feline Advisory Bureau notes that an underweight newborn may be suffering from malnutrition, whether due to a malnourished queen, infection, congenital disease or any other ailment that triggers placental blood deficiencies.

Features of Development in cats

The maximal growth rate means the kitten grows as fast as possible, usually the result of high fat foods, overfeeding and/ or free-choice feeding. A maximal growth rate can increase a kitten’s risk of becoming overweight or obese.

When kittens are first born, they are helpless—they cannot see, hear, keep themselves warm, or eliminate waste on their own. They fit in the palm of your hand and weigh 3-5 ounces. Kittens like Darling, and his siblings, are completely dependent on their mother (or you!) for protection, warmth, and nutrition. Even so, these kittens can purr and make distress calls. They spend 90 percent of their time sleeping and the other 10 percent eating.

Regular weigh-ins and body condition assessments are the most practical strategies to help keep a growing kitten on track at an optimal rate. Your veterinarian and veterinary healthcare team can explain how to assess your kitten at home.

How Much Should A Kitten Gain Per Week?

Kittens should gain about ½ ounce (14 grams) every day or 4 ounces (113 grams) per week. Weigh them at the same time every day with a kitchen or small postal scale.

What Does Normal Growth And Development Look Like?

Kittens grow quickly, maturing to adulthood by the time they are 10-12 months of age. Their growth rate slows as they approach 80% of adult size at about 30 weeks of age, and they reach adult body size at about 40 weeks of age.

Growth rates for kittens vary by breed and involve a complex process of interactions among genetics, nutrition, and the environment. Proper nutrition is critical to the health and development of kittens, regardless of breed, and it directly influences their immune system and body composition. The nutrient density of food and the amount of food fed can mean the difference between optimal growth and maximal growth.

Should I Aim For Optimal Growth Or Maximal Growth?

An optimal growth rate in kittens is ideal; it is a slow and steady growth rate that allows the kitten to achieve an ideal (optimal) adult body condition while avoiding excessive weight and obesity.

How Big Will My Cat Get?

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 sign of size when grown. But their toe beans are definitely adorable!

Breed, gender, and other factors determine how big your specific feline will get. Some breeds can grow very large, with some staying small and dainty. 

How Fast Does A Kitten Grow?

Growing kittens under 6 months of age will weigh approximately their age in months. So, a 2-month-old kitten should weigh approximately 2 pounds, a 3-month-old kitten should average 3 pounds, and so on. Don’t worry if your young kitten doesn’t follow this weight formula exactly, though. Each pet is unique. As long as your kitty has a clean bill of health from your veterinarian, your pet is on the right track. 

A kitten’s weight at 6 months of age and older is more variable between individual cats, since they are starting to get closer to their adult size and may grow at different rates.

When Exactly Do Cats Reach Their Full Size?

Most experts agree that cats reach adulthood at 12 months old, which means this is the age where their personalities have matured and solidified into how they’ll behave throughout their adult lives. However, a cat doesn’t grow with the same consistency. In fact, cats reach full size anywhere between 18 months to 4 years of age.

After kittens are born, they usually double their size in their first week. After their first week, kittens grow an ounce about every three days. Since they are usually born weighing about 3.5 ounces, their growth rate during their first year of life outpaces growth in any other stage in their life cycle. Sometime around the third or fourth week, kittens will begin to stand and toddle about. Around 16 weeks, kittens’ growth starts to slow as they pass their quickest development and most impressionable stage.

How To Tell When A Cat Has Reached Its Full Size

While it is true that cats can continue to grow after the first year, their growth rate will slow down significantly afterwards. In fact, if you’re not paying strict attention, you might not even notice that they’re growing! The best way to understand when your cat has stopped growing is to measure and weigh it each month. Cats continue to gain height (ground to top of shoulder) as well as length. If you measure your kitty once per month, you’ll notice when those measurements stop changing.

How Can I Prevent Maximal Growth And Obesity?

Growing kittens need higher amounts of all nutrients in comparison to adult cats, but excess energy calories and calcium can create serious problems. Preventing obesity must begin during the weaning stage and continue through to adulthood and old age. Being overweight or obese sets the stage for many complications and diseases, including:

  • hypertension
  • heart disease
  • diabetes mellitus
  • osteoarthritis
  • heat intolerance
  • decreased immune function

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