Nothing is more adorable than watching your young kitten discover the world around them. Pet owners tend to lump domesticated dogs and cats together into one group when it comes to development. However, kittens have their own unique timeline that represents their development into adulthood.
If you are thinking about getting a kitten and want to know how long they will stay small, you should be prepared for some quick changes. The thing about kittens is that they have a varied maturity timeline. Meaning simply that different parts of their physical body mature faster than others.
While you want to feed your kitten the proper diet, you will also want to make sure that you are switching to cat food when the time is right. Let’s take a closer look at a few ways you can tell when your adorable kitten has grown into an adult cat.
- Skeletal and muscular maturity comes around the age of one year. Your kitten may go through a gangly awkward stage as they move into adulthood.
- The most important part of socialization comes very early for kittens. Most interactional skills learning happens before they are 12 weeks old. However, they don’t reach full social maturity until around age three.
- Kittens can have their first litter by the age of six months before they are fully physically mature. For this reason, it is crucially important to have them spayed before they are at the age of their first litter.
When kittens are born, their fur is very soft, and as they grow, their fur becomes coarser. The more loose fur you brush away, the less fur your cat will have to swallow. The act of brushing your cat is an excellent way to bond and reduce the likelihood of hairballs, which can lead to vomiting and constipation.
Losing Their Baby Teeth
Tiny kitten teeth are needle sharp, but they don't last long. Around three to four weeks old, kittens' baby teeth start coming through the gums, but at about three or four months, they fall out. When your kitten's six months old, they’ll have all her adult teeth. Kittens usually swallow their baby teeth when they come out, but you may find a few stuck in their toys or around the house.
In general, cats like to feel in control of their own lives and territories as adults. A secure, comfortable, and entertaining environment is essential to your cat's physical and mental well-being. Depending on how much you spend time with your cat, you may find they want to play more independent games as they get older, but most cats have a high prey drive that you can usually lure into playing with a wand.
Changes in Energy Levels
An active, growing kitten requires a great deal of energy and food high in animal proteins. High-quality kitten foods provide the best nutrition for kittens. It is also recommended to feed tiny kittens multiple times throughout the day or to give them free access to dry food kibble. Your kitten will need less food when they reach physical maturity. As your cat grows older, it may become overweight, especially if you continue to give him free access to dry food. Consult your vet about the best means of feeding your cat.
Changes in Temperament
Approximately three years old is the age when cats become socially mature. Cats at this age are less likely to make new friends with unfamiliar cats, which is one of the biggest changes. Consider getting two kittens together or adopting another cat before the older one reaches three if you want more than one cat.
Understanding your kitten's development is one of the best ways to ensure that they get everything they need to be healthy and happy. Follow these tips to help determine when your adorable kitten moves into adulthood.