When does a boy become a man? When does a girl become a woman? When does a kitten become a cat?
A question that you will not be alone in asking, it is an important one to ask. Owners need to know at what age they should switch their kittens food to a more complete meal suited to an adult cat and also keep up with things such as vaccinations.
With this in mind we are going to explore this question further.
When Does a Kitten Become a Cat - Does Age Range Matter?
Yes it does, a Kitten grows super fast. When you first take her home and she has those big eyes and small features she is a bundle of cuteness, but it doesn't take long to change!
From when they are first born to around 6 months old, they are considered a kitten - they reach the next phase of their life a lot faster than human babies.
From 6 months until approximately 6 years old, they are considered to be more of a young adult cat than a fully fledged adult.
If male cats are not neutered then they can reach sexual maturity at this early stage. Get him neutered and he will subsequently be an adult cat but obviously will not reach sexual maturity.
When Does Sexual Maturity Occur for Male Kittens Turning in Cats?
They will reach this stage at around 9-12 months old and will show all the signs of an excellent escape artist as their quick reactions and fast movements as they run past your toes between places when you enter a room or appear from nowhere and dash off as quick as a flash.
They might also start to urinate and mark their territory by spraying urine, often against a wall. This is nothing out of the ordinary but the unpleasant smell can be hard to bear.
Expect this marking of territory to co inside with their desire to either fight or defend themselves when out of the house.
Male cats have a tendency to get into fights when out and about from this age, it's a little bit like having a teenager!
When Does a Kitten Become a Cat? Does Size Matter?
It doesnt matter of course but you should notice that your kitten is around the size of an adult cat at the 6 month stage. Of course, every cat is different and things such as breed, food and environment will all be factors here.
You will want to feed your kitten the right foods, so specific kitten tailored foods that are high in protein to aid their development.
Once they are 6 months old, it is usually a good time to switch them onto adult food.
Will They Seem Different?
Only in their behaviour as they develop into an adult. The transitional period is when you will notice a difference.
In terms of movement they will start to walk and run in the same way they will for the rest of their lives from around 6 weeks old - talk about early development! This is also a time where they will enjoy chasing objects like a piece of string so make sure you play with them to encourage their development.
What are the ‘Teenage Years’?
When they have began puberty, so around this time of reaching sexual maturity. When this does happen they will grow, but it won't be as obvious as it once was.
If neutered, a male cat will still grow, but at a less accelerated pace. By his first birthday he should be almost there in terms of being fully grown, but it is not unusual for him to continue growing long beyond this age as well.
This is the stage when they are becoming more content and confident in themselves, so they have mastered things like distance when jumping and even hunting is done with greater ease.
How Long Can My Cat Live?
This depends on many factors, of course you cannot anticipate accidents and illnesses, but a healthy indoor cat should live to around 15 /16 years, and often beyond that.
A cat that spends its life outdoors is far more susceptible to accidents involving cars and diseases such as feline aids. Depending on where you get your information from, the average lifespan of an outdoors cat seems to be around 3-6 years.
If you want to keep your beloved pet with you for as long as possible then you will want to ensure they have their vaccinations, get regular check ups with the vet and eat a balanced a high quality food.
You will also want to stimulate them with toys and activity areas for them to play with and exercise throughout the day,