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Kitten development—when does a kitten become a cat?

Getting a new kitten is an exciting time—they’re jolly, playful, and overall adorable. You want them to stay little forever, but they turn into adults before you know it, so take enough pics of your tiny furball on time!

The dynamics change when a tiny kitty develops into a full-grown cat—they usually calm down and become less mischievous. Don’t think the playful licks, bites, and attacks will last forever! Looking after your kitten may be challenging, but it becomes easier once they grow up.

The development of a domesticated feline happens rapidly, but when does a kitten become a cat, officially? Get the precise timeline and all the kitten facts you need to raise a healthy, friendly, and happy kitty!

I don’t want to grow up! Hold me like this forever, hooman!

Source: miezekieze

When is a kitten fully grown?

A kitten is fully grown by the time they turn one year old. This doesn’t mean that your kitty’s development will stop at that point. There are still some milestones to hit, but they’re less noticeable than the previous ones.

Here’s what to expect from adulthood:

  1. Exercise—Once your kitty turns one, they will be muscular and require regular exercise to stay healthy. Physical activity doesn’t only keep your feline fit but also stimulates their mind, which is necessary for them to remain calm. You can train your furball and teach them fun tricks to keep them occupied, so you can and should go beyond litter training. You could also get a LED laser and play “catch the prey” with your kitty. Point it at a treat occasionally so that they can get a reward for all that hard work! This also prevents them from forming obsessive behavioural disorders, like shadow chasing
  2. Vaccination—At around 14 months of age, your kitten should get a booster shot to maintain immunity from disease
  3. Food—Most cat parents switch their feline companions’ meals from kitten to adult cat food when they turn one. Fully grown felines don’t use as much energy as kittens, so depending on the nutritional value of your furball’s kitten food, you may want to swap it out. The best practice is to introduce high-quality wet food as soon as your furry friend starts weaning, and you won’t have to change the type of food, only adjust the portions

Depending on your kitty’s activity level, they may require more calorie-rich meals. If you have another cat or a puppy you introduced your new kitten to, they will probably play with each other all day long and spend more energy than felines who don’t interact with other animals. Outdoor adventures also burn calories, but ration the portions if your kitty stays indoors to avoid unnecessary weight gain.

Why would I go outside? It’s sooo lovely and warm in here.

Source: calicodesign

Kitten development stages

Kittens go through many development stages, and here’s what happens from their first week to adulthood:


What happens

From one to two weeks

Most kittens open their eyes for the first time by the end of their second week. They suckle on their mothers and should gain from 10g to 30g of weight per day. You must keep an eye on their weight in these early stages as weight loss could be dangerous for little felines. Use a kitten weight chart or a cat weight chart by age for effortless tracking

After four weeks

Your kitty will be playful and eager to explore the whole world by the time they’re a month old. You can start feeding them solids bit by bit, and by the time they’re two months old, they should be a lot more independent from the queen as the food source. Their milk teeth should start appearing

After 8–12 weeks

Between weeks eight and 12, your kitty will be ready for their first vaccines. They become fully independent around this time, so they can be separated from the queen

By month four

Your feline companion’s baby teeth should start to fall out and get replaced by adult teeth. Your kitty should have a complete set of new ones by the time they’re seven months old

By month six

Your feline furball has grown super close to its full adult size by the time they’re six months of age. They will continue to develop until they’re one but won’t get much bigger than they are now. If you haven’t yet, you should have your kitten neutered at this point. It’s the time when female heating cycles begin, and male felines start to exhibit mating behaviour like spraying, fighting, pacing, and roaming

After one year

Once 12 months have passed, your kitten becomes a cat! They’ve usually (some breeds grow further) reached their final size and should be fully socialised

Which factors influence a kitten’s growth rate?

Three main factors determine how quickly your kitten will grow into their full size:

  1. Genetics—Knowing your kitty’s breed will help you figure out how much and how rapidly they’ll reach their adult size. Maine Coons, Siberians, and Persians have different timelines. Large breeds tend to grow and develop slowly
  2. Neutering—How old your furball is when they get neutered also influences their growth rate. Keep in mind that your kitty’s appetite may increase drastically once they get sterilised, so you must ensure they don’t overeat and become fat. Obesity carries numerous health risks, such as diabetes and urinary tract issues. Talk to your vet about this and see what they recommend for your feline companion
  3. DietWhat your cat eats plays a significant role in their development. If you feed them a healthy, protein-rich diet, they will reach their adult size faster than if you were to give them high-carb food. Forming good eating habits from the get-go is crucial

Did someone say… food??? I’m a good boy, look, look!

Source: StockSnap

What nutrients does a developing kitty need?

Your kitten needs the right nutrients to develop into a fit and gorgeous adult. Vegan or vegetarian diets won’t cut the mustard—cats are obligate carnivores and need meat to thrive.

Here’s how much of each essential nutrient your kitty needs in their diet:


Recommended percentage

Animal protein

More than 50%

Animal fat

Up to 20%


Less than 3%

Proteins in vegetables—like carrots, broccoli, soya, rice, sweetcorn, peas, potato, and sweet potato—are a lacklustre replacement for those found in meat. Your little furball should get their protein from high-quality sources, such as:

Once separated from their mothers, kittens slowly start eating solids, so introduce meat to their diet immediately.

Carbohydrates, like grains and sugars, are usually found in dry cat food, which is suboptimal compared to wet food. Cat kibble can make your feline friend gain weight or even become dehydrated, making them prone to developing struvite crystals or cystitis. Kitty biscuits can work as occasional treats and dental food to prevent teeth and gums problems.

Understanding what, how often, and how much your feline should eat is crucial. High-protein, regular wet meals will turn your furry friend into a beautiful, perfectly healthy adult!

When kitties go treat hunting…

Source: birgl

Untamed supports your kitten on their journey to adulthood with nutrient-rich meals

Untamed grain-free wet cat food is precisely what your little furball needs to stay happy and healthy throughout their life, so it should be on your kitten checklist. Our meals are made of human-grade whole meat with no iffy ingredients.

Our jelly and gravy delicacies support cats at any life stage, so there’s no need to switch to new products when they reach adulthood or senior years.

Check out the benefits of Untamed’s tailor-made recipes in the following table:



Contain 60%–63% whole meat

Untamed cat food contains human-grade, ethically-sourced meat and fish. We don’t use artificial taste enhancers, meat derivatives, and chemical colourants

Made in collaboration with vets

We provide the optimal amounts of taurine, calcium, and vitamins in all our products, as recommended by vets

Gently steamed

Excessive heat can destroy the nutrients your kitty needs to have their system run smoothly, so we gently steam our food to preserve the taste and nutritional value but destroy the pathogens and prevent tummy troubles like diarrhoea or vomiting

No known allergens

Dealing with a sensitive feline with food allergies? Untamed delivers delicious food free of any known allergens! We even have single-protein-source products—Tuck-in Tuna in Jelly and Chocka Chicken in Jelly

Ethically produced and distributed

We care about the environment, so we collaborate with sustainable, cruelty-free suppliers, use 100% recyclable packaging, and run a carbon-footprint-neutral business

Even if your kitty is fussy and refuses to eat wet food, they won’t be able to say no to Untamed!

Take the TRY NOW quiz to get our taster pack in a day!

A stash of Untamed? Meowsome!

Image (c) Untamed

Get the Untamed trial pack today!

Order your trial pack in our online cat food store in a few simple steps:

  1. Tell us about your feline
  2. Select the products
  3. Place your order

Your trial box will arrive in a single day with no extra cost as we don’t charge for shipping! Once your kitty decides which meals they like best and you subscribe to our cat food delivery service, we will make sure you never run out of your kitty’s favourite dishes! You’ll receive Untamed delicacies on the same day each month.

As soon as you make the switch to Untamed, you can expect the following results:


What happens

After one week

After two months

Within four months

After six months and up

Check out the reviews of happy cat parents and order the best cat food today!