How Big Will My Cat Get?
You may have heard this phrase or have even uttered those words yourself when it comes to someone's new puppy, but most likely, you have no idea how big that kitten is going to get. Even if you've had a good look at the kitten's parents, genetics can be a finicky fellow, so you will have to use other means to determine just how big your cat will get.
But wait! Before you dash over to Amazon and order an extra large cat bed (just in case) we are going to look at the general rule-of-paw to help you determine how big that sweet little kitten of yours will actually get.
Don't Pause for the Paws
Unlike dogs, the size of a kitten's paws is not a good indicator of his adult size. In fact, your kitten's paws could look big because he is just physically big boned, he has extra toes or really furry toes, or that he's underweight. My Tabby came home with huge paws but is now just an average 12-pound (a tad chubby) indoor fur baby. Don't be fooled by those paws, most of the time, your kitten will "grow into them."
Breed and Genetics
A good indicator of your cat's adult size is his breed. Maine Coons and Ragdolls are just two of the purebred felines that can topple the scales upwards of 20 pounds! As well, with purebred felines, the parents are usually onsite to help you get a better idea of the full grown size; however, as we mentioned before, genetics can play an important factor in determining the size of any animal.
Felines of mixed lineage, or Moggies, can have many different breeds mixed into their genetic makeup, so even if mom was petite, that doesn't mean Fluffy will follow suit.
Nutrition is Important!
Adult cats that had little or poor nutrition as kittens will tend to be on the smaller side of the scale. This is simply because they were deprived of the proper nutrients to physically mature and grow as they should have done. This is also why it is vitally important to feed kittens (and adult cats) a well-balanced, protein-rich diet, which can be found in your higher-end kibbles and wet formulated foods.
The average, well taken care of adult feline should weigh twice as much and be twice as big as it was when it was 4 to 5 months old. Generally, a cat will grow very quickly in the first 6 months of its life. After this time, the kitten will continue to grow until about one year-of-age (depending on breed) but it will be much slower. Unless you have one of those bigger breeds we mentioned earlier; Maine Coons will actually continue to grow until they are around 18 months old.
The Human Factor
Obviously, the human-factor can also determine your cat's adult size. Underfeeding, lack of proper nutrients and spaying/neutering at a very young age will also suppress a cat's growth rate.
Other factors that can have an effect on your cat's adult size is an underlying illness, extreme stress, overfeeding and choosing the wrong type of food for your particular feline.
If your kitten does not seem to be growing well in the first few months of its life, take him to the vet for a check up and to test for internal parasites or other ailments that could be affecting his well-being and stunting his growth-rate.
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