When does my kitten become a cat?
The lifetime of a cat
A cat’s lifetime is divided into six stages, from birth to 15 years or more. A kitten is defined as a cat under the age of six months. Between six months and two years, your cat is classified as ‘junior’, and from three to six years as in their ‘prime’.
In those initial months your kitten will be growing very quickly and being socialised by its mother and the rest of the litter. Weight gain is significant during this time; at around four or five months your kitten will be putting on 100g a week. They also begin to sleep less and play more.
The steps to your kitten becoming a cat
At one week, your kitten will have opened their eyes and be suckling on their mother. They’ll also be gaining 10g to 30g of weight a day, so daily weighing is essential to keep an eye on their health. At two weeks, their milk teeth come through and they make their first attempts to stand.
After a month, your kitten will be actively playing – part of their socialisation and very important as they grow into an adult cat – and you can begin to wean them onto nutritionally-appropriate solid foods. Once two months have passed, they should finish weaning and be fully independent of their mother in gaining nutrition.
The final stages of your kitten becoming a cat
After six months, your kitten will have become a cat. In their ‘junior’ stage they will be playful and fully socialised, although it’s important you maintain good behaviour through clear feeding patterns. After two years old, they are categorised as in their ‘prime’, and this often is when they are at their most 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 you’ll be able to give them the right support their need in their diet, behaviour and home life. If you have any concerns that your kitten isn’t progressing in the right way, consult your vet.