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To help you understand when your kitten will become a cat, we have highlighted some important information about kitten development. We will go over some general age ranges where most cats reach physical milestones that signify the beginning of adulthood.
We will go over the various life stages of a cat and explain when most cats reach their full adult size. We will also explain some of the many factors that determine how quickly your cat will grow.
To help you make sure that your kitten has a healthy transition into adulthood, we will also provide some useful information for how you can prepare your furry friend for a happy and healthy life! If you have questions, talk to a Hello Ralphie vet online today.
Developmental Stages Of Kitten Behavior
Well-socialized cats are more likely to have well-socialized kittens. Kittens respond to their mothers calm or fearful attitude toward people. Although feeding time is important, its also vital to include petting, talking and playing in order to build good people-skills in your kitten.
Kittens are usually weaned at six or seven weeks, but may continue to suckle for comfort as their mother gradually leaves them more and more. Orphaned kittens, or those weaned too soon, are more likely to exhibit inappropriate suckling behaviors later in life. Ideally, kittens should stay with their littermates for at least 12 weeks.
Kittens orphaned or separated from their mother and/or littermates too early often fail to develop appropriate social skills, such as learning how to send and receive signals, what an inhibited bite means, how far to go in play-wrestling and so forth. Play is important for kittens because it increases their physical coordination, social skills and learning limits. By interacting with their mother and littermates kittens learn how to be a cat, as well as explore the ranking process .
The following chart provides general guidelines for the stages of development.
Do Cats Mellow Out With Age
Yes, cats tend to become more mellow with age, and often more affectionate. Many people note a change in personality around age 5, so you are right on schedule. As they head into their senior years and have less energy, many come to appreciate quietly curling up with their person more than when thet were young.
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Kitten Care: Things To Do To Before You Get Your Kitten
Register with a vet Buy a cat carrier Buy a bed, food and water bowls , litter tray, toys, brushes / combs. Buy a break-safe collar and have an identity disc made with your cats address details on it Prepare your home: Secure any trailing wires Ensure all toxic plants, human foods, medicines, cleaning chemicals are out of the kittens reach Create a scratching post or an area that it is ok for the kitten to fulfil its natural instinct to scratch Set aside a private area for the kitten to feel safe using a litter tray Place food and water bowls in separate locations, cats dont naturally like to eat and drink from the same area Create an area where your kitten can have peace and quiet and feel safe, such as a cardboard on its side, to the cat this is a safe haven, like a cave to retreat to. Litter tray: In the wild, big cats are careful about keeping clean. Thats why they dont eat and go to the toilet in the same place. Kittens are no different, please keep the litter tray well away from the places where the cat eats and drinks.
Nutrition Tips For Kittens
As we briefly discussed above, proper kitten nutrition includes modifying the diet to ensure you are feeding kittens what they need during each stage of growth.
- The mother cat should be feeding kittens during the first 4 weeks of life, or you should use a special commercial milk-replacer formula every 2-4 hours if the kitten has been separated from its mother.
- From 3-5 weeks of age, feeding kittens involves offering the milk-replacer formula in a shallow dish to encourage weaning from a bottle. You can also add a moist, easily chewable diet consisting of a mixture of warm milk-replacer and high quality canned or dried kitten food 4-6 times a day.
- After 6 months of age, kittens should be fed 2-3 times per day.
Feeding kittens the right food in the right amounts, and at the right times throughout the day is essential for happy, healthy and growing cats. Our veterinary staff would be happy to discuss the proper feeding schedule for your kitten at your next veterinary appointment.
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Nutrients Your Cat Needs
Nutrients are substances obtained from food and used by an animal as a source of energy and as part of the metabolic machinery necessary for maintenance and growth. Barring any special needs, illness-related deficiencies or instructions from your vet, your pets should be able to get all the nutrients they need from high-quality commercial pet foods, which are formulated with these special standards in mind. Here are the six essential classes of nutrients fundamental for healthy living.
How Does The Cat Age Calculator Work
You simply need to enter the age of your cat into the Cat Age Calculator. Once you press the calculate button, you´ll see your cat´s age in human years straight away!
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Month : Your Kitten Will Sleep More
Still very much a baby, but growing into a young adolescent, your kitten will start to sleep more during the day just like an adult cat does. Expect more than half the day to be filled with cat naps, so try to have a comfy cat bed in your kitten’s favorite spot.
When your kitten isn’t sleeping, it will still be exploring and playing, but its confidence level will be higher than when it was just a toddler. It will also be more coordinated as a young adolescent and will demonstrate just how social it wants to be with you. Socialization and bonding time has always been important to your growing kitten, but at this age, your hard work will have finally paid off and you may see your kitten starting to snuggle with you voluntarily.
If you have not already had your female kitten spayed and it has spent time with an intact male cat, then there is a chance that your kitten is pregnant. Cats can get pregnant as young as six months of age so it’s very important to get your female kitten spayed if you don’t want more kittens.
How Will Getting Older Impact The Health Of My Cat
Just like people, everything slows down a little bit as cats age. As they get older, they might want to play less. Their nutritional needs will change. Arthritis tends to develop, and many people dont realize that even kitty cats can develop arthritis. So, getting older is like people, as cats can also have vision problems or hearing problems, so care as they age becomes more necessary.
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Schedule For Kitten Vaccinations
Vaccinations are very important to your new kittens health and wellbeing! Here at Cat Care Center, we follow the AAFP guidelines for vaccinations. This means that your kitten will receive the following booster vaccinations during 3 visits, each 3-4 weeks apart.
- 3 to 4 FVRCP vaccinations, which protect your cat from Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia , until at least 16-20 weeks of age
- 2 FeLV vaccinations, which protect your cat from Feline Leukemia Virus
- 1 Rabies vaccination
Newborn Kittens The First Week
Newborn kittens are born blind and deaf. Their ability to move is limited and they can only maneuver towards their mothers body to suckle and be warm. They cannot regulate their body heat on their own and rely on the mother for warmth, nourishment and protection. Kittens weigh between 80 and 170 grams at birth and they can double their body weight during the first week.
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Month : Transition Your Kitten To Adult Cat Food
Making the switch from kitten to adult food can occur at any time now. This transition should be a slow one though, and careful thought should go into which adult food you want to feed your kitten.
Be sure to choose a high-quality, meat-based adult cat food for your kitten. Your veterinarian may have specific brand recommendations for you but otherwise, look for a major brand that is formulated for adult cats and has the AAFCO seal on the package. These things all indicate that the food is a good choice. Major food brands have quality control, customer service, veterinarians on staff, and high-quality ingredients. Generic or store-brand foods may have lower quality ingredients and do not provide proper nutrition to your kitten. The food you choose should also list meat as the first ingredient since cats are carnivores.
Slowly mix the remaining kitten food you have with the new adult cat food. Allow there to eventually be more adult cat food then there is kitten food. This transition should take at least a week to decrease the likelihood of dietary-induced diarrhea and during this time, you should also monitor your kitten’s appetite to ensure it’s still eating the adult food and not just picking out the kitten food.
Fact Checked By Dr Antoinette Martin Dvm
If you have ever owned a kitten before, you have probably noticed how quickly they grow. In fact, by just six months of age, most kittens have already reached puberty and are nearing their full adult size. While you may assume that this rapid growth cycle means kittens become adults as soon as they reach half a year of age, nailing down a specific age is not so simple.
In cats, adulthood is signified by physical milestones rather than reaching a specific age. Since kittens and adult cats have different dietary needs, many cat owners wonder when they can begin treating their kitten as an adult cat, which is why you must know when your cat can be considered an adult.
While many veterinarians subscribe to the belief that a kitten is an adult cat after it has reached one year of age, this is more of a general guideline rather than an exact age where your cat will stop growing and maturing.
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The Final Stages Of Your Kitten Becoming A Cat
After one year, your kitten will have become an adultcat. In this young adult stage they will be playful and fully socialized, healthy with a glossy coat, a strong skeleton and muscles, and excellent hunting reflexes.
Understanding the process by which your kitten develops into an adult cat means youll be able to give them the right support their need in their diet, behavior and home life. If you have any concerns that your kitten isnt progressing in the right way, consult your veterinarian.
At What Age Do Kittens Teeth
Teeth take their time s Incisors usually show up at three or four weeks. The lower molars begin to come in at four to five weeks while upper molars show up at about eight weeks. Kittens can eat solid food as early as five weeks. If hes looking for the food bowl vs. the human putting soft food near his face, its a clue that hes a bit older.
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What Do Cats Usually Die From
Hormonal disorders, kidney disease, arthritis, congestive heart failure, liver disorders, and renal disease are a few of the most-oft diagnosed diseases in older cats, most of which can be managed but not cured. Any one of these conditions can hasten your cats death, although in most cases your cat can be made more
Some Kittens May Reach Their Full Size In 12 Months
How quickly your kitten reaches his full size depends on how big he is going to get. The bigger his breed, the longer it will take him to be fully grown. Kittens typically stop growing by the age of 12 months.1 However, larger breeds like Maine Coons can take up to two years to reach their full size. Growth typically slows significantly after 12 months, with a fast growth spurt occurring in the first eight weeks.2
Its worth noting that most cats will reach sexual maturity before they are fully grown. This is similar to a teenager going through puberty, which happens when a kitten is six to nine months of age.3 Around this time, you might consider spaying or neutering your cat. A male cat can father kittens before hes fully grown, and a female cat can get pregnant before shes fully grown as well.
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When To Switch From Kitten Food To Cat Food
Most cats are considered kittens until around 12 months of age. Large breeds, like the Maine Coon, can take 18 months to 2 years to reach maturity, though.
During this period of growth and development, kittens need a complete and balanced kitten food. Once theyve reached adulthood , its time to transition to an adult cat food.
When Does My Kitten Become A Cat
During their early months, your kitten will grow and change very quicklybut how do you know when they’ve become a cat, and what can you do to help support their growth?
From the very first few days of their life, your kitten will be developing at a rapid pace. But when do they become a cat, rather than a kitten, and what are the steps they go through to get there?
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Eight Week Old Kitten
- Cloe loves a combo of Wellness Complete Health Grain Free dry food for kittens and wet food. Photo via @trucking_tzus
- Feed small meals three times a day. Reference the feeding guidelines.However, if they seem hungry increase the amount. Its difficult to overfeed a kitten at this age since they are growing so rapidly.
- Socialize your kitten. Get them used to being around people, but start slow. Not too many people at once.
- Introduce a grooming routine. By stroking them and playing very gently with their feet you are also priming them for a grooming routine when they are older.
Adult Cat What Changes For Its Owner
Throughout a cats life, it is essential to take its age into account by providing it with an appropriate diet. By becoming an adult, the cat becomes sedentary. He exercises less and his physical activity is generally declining. He, therefore, needs fewer calories.
This observation must of course be qualified according to the individuals and their way of life. Do they have access to the outside or not? Are they sterilized and do they tend to be overweight?
In any case, it is time to adopt food for junior, adult, or sterilized cats from their 12 months. Recalls of vaccines and antiparasitics are also in order.
Your cats transition to adulthood is an opportunity to take stock with your veterinarian as part of an annual health check-up.
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Managing Your Kittens Rough Play
Play-motivated aggressive behaviors are common in young, active cats less than two years of age, and in cats that live in one-cat households. When cats play, they incorporate a variety of behaviors into their play, such as exploratory, investigative and predatory behaviors. Play provides young cats with opportunities to practice skills they would normally need for survival. Kittens like to explore new areas and investigate anything that moves, and may bat at, pounce on and bite objects that resemble prey.
Kittens learn how to inhibit their bite from their littermates and their mother. A kitten who is separated from her family too early may play more roughly than a kitten who has had more valuable family time. In addition, if humans play with a young kitten using their hands and/or feet instead of toys, the kitten is liable to learn that rough play with people is okay. In most cases, its possible to teach your kitten or young adult cat that rough play isnt acceptable behavior.
Why Is Understanding My Cats Age Important
Now that you know how to properly calculate your cats age into human years, you might be wondering: How long do cats live? What is the life expectancy of my cat?
Generally, cats are known to live longer than dogs they can live anywhere from 20 to 25 years. In fact, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest cat ever lived to be 38 years and 3 days old, which is 168 in human years!
Like dogs, however, once cats reach seven to 10 years old, they start to transition into their mature years. Knowing that theyve entered this life stage is important, so you can know how best to care for them. During this time from seven to 10 years old youll want to keep a closer eye on your cat for signs of aging, especially since older cats are more likely to develop diseases like cancer, arthritis, and heart, kidney, and liver disease.
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Caring For Your Golden Girl
You can also take some easy steps at home to improve your cats quality of life in her senior years:
- Choose a high-quality food made for senior cats:Youthful Vitality 7+ Cat Food, for instance, is specially formulated to support brain function, energy and vitality, healthy kidneys and bladder, healthy digestive system and luxiurious fur.
- Give her a warm place to rest: Especially if she suffers from arthritis, shell appreciate you moving her bed from a drafty area.
- Think easy access: Give her a litter box, water bowl, and food bowl on every floor of your house. If she seems to be having trouble climbing into the litter box, find one with lower sides or even try an old cookie sheet.
- Help her groom: Many people rarely brush their cats because they are such good self-groomers. But as your cat ages, brushing your cat serves a dual-purpose of acting as a bonding activity and keeping her coat healthy when she can no longer do it alone.
- Continue to Exercise Her: Here are some easy ways to keep your senior cat moving.