If you recently met up with a stray cat or you adopted a new furry family member from your local shelter, you might not know how old your new kitty is. Sure, it’s easy enough to tell when a kitten is quite young or a senior cat is older, but it’s not as easy to figure a cat’s age at the in-between stage. If you find yourself asking how to tell if your cat is still a kitten, then read on for some tips to help you figure out the answer.
When Do Kittens Generally Stop Growing?
Before taking a look at some signs to figure out whether your cat is still a kitten, it can be beneficial to understand a little more about how cats normally grow and develop. Dr. Nicole Fulcher told Pet MD that the majority of cat breeds are done growing at one year old. So, if you know your cat’s date of birth and she is less than one year old, she’s still technically considered a kitten.
It is worth noting though, that some cat breeds take longer to grow from kittens into full sized cats. Fulcher points out that Maine Coons are one such example, taking up to 24 months to transform from kitten into adult. If you’re not sure of the breed or of when your cat was born, there are some other things that can help.
My, What Clean Teeth!
The Michelson Found Animals organization provides some helpful ways to scout out whether your young cat is still a kitten, starting with a look at your cat’s pearly whites. Kittens are smaller in stature than adult cats, so it rather obviously follows that they would have tiny teeth as well.
If your kitty is nearing six months of age, she will likely have all of her adult teeth, giving you a clue as to her kitten status. If it looks like your cat’s adult teeth have come in but they are still pretty tartar-free, your cat is likely still more of a kitten than an adult.
Check Out That Fur Coat
One relatively easy way to help determine if your cat is still a kitten is to observe his fur. Many baby kitties tend to have short fur that sort of sticks up all around. It’s also probably not going to be quite as soft and enjoyable to pet since it’s rather wiry on many kittens. As your kitten starts becoming an adult cat though, you’ll notice his fur coat is softer and sleeker. So, if your new furry family member’s fur is more sleek than coarse or standing on end, it’s a likely bet that he is not a kitten anymore.
Kittens tend to be smaller in size and have additional muscle tone, so this will guide you as you assess whether your cat is still a kitten. Another telltale sign? The belly pouch! My adult cat definitely has the pouch, which didn’t really appear until post-kitten-stage for him.
With these tips, you’ll be able to pinpoint whether your cat is still a kitten. You can also check with your local veterinarian for a more precise estimate of your kitty’s age.