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How long are they kittens for?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm sure it varies with each cat, but I was told that when they reach the age of 1 they are technically adult cats and not kittens. However my little Sashka is 18 months old and to me, still very kitten-like. She is definitely still tiny (only weighs 1.2kg) even though she eats like a horse and is very healthy and active! She's just a tiny girl.

But she still behaves very much like a little kitten and I wondered, is there an actual consensus as to when they reach adulthood?
post #2 of 13
Well, my Mum's cat is 9 years and she still acts like a kitten!!!

I think the "cut-off" age is 1 year - But I think this definately varies widely!
post #3 of 13
My vet says cats are adults at 2 years old.
post #4 of 13
Originally Posted by JeanW
My vet says cats are adults at 2 years old.

My vet seemed to suggest the same thing....more specifically they are treated like kittens by vets untill they are 2 years old....thats when the vet says they stop growing
post #5 of 13
Here in NZ and in a lot of other cat fancies kittens turn into adults at nine months old.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Nine months! Wow that's so young!
post #7 of 13
9 mos, OMG!! I am not sure of how you mean kitten so I think you will thus recieve a myriad of response. I hope mine will be kittens forever!! In terms of when they are sexually mature, that depends on the individual cat and breed but any time from 4 month on can be the age for that process. I consider a cat an adult at the age of one. (as do most cat associations in the UK and Canada - must be different in NZ?) But in terms of behaviour, some cats act like kittens for a long time which is good! (Or bad depending on your perspective).
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
I think Sashka will be a very long-term kitten in terms of behaviour!! But I did hear somewhere that Russian Blues have a long kittenhood...

Fine by me - she's such a cutie patootie!
post #9 of 13
I believe it depends on the cat. I understand Ragdolls don't finish growing until 2 years whereas most other cats finish growing after 1 year.

1.2 KG seems very small. Our Mika is a tiny girl with a large appetite and she weighs 7+ lbs. Your baby doesn't even weigh 3 lbs. so to me that seems to be very tiny.
post #10 of 13
Our boys are 2 years old. Pushy has settled down into early retirement quite nicely, napping most of the day, interupted only for meals, walks, and the occasional playfight with his brother.
Wiggies is still such a kitten! He's small too with a healthy appetite. We think this has something to do with the fact that he was neutered so early (as a rescued cat). We think he'll always be a little immature, but that just adds to his charm.
post #11 of 13
ost cats continue growing until they are about 18 months, in my experience. But they are sexually mature of course long before that, and can behave like kittens long after! So take your pick.
post #12 of 13
I have been told by both the animal shelter and the vet that it is 1year old for most domestic cats. It can vary with specific breed. But for an american domestic cat it is 1year old. That is when they are concidered full grown and an adult. They may still act like a kitten for years, but medically speaking 1year old is generally the age that they are adults. I was asking the same thing to my vet since Buddy is 6 months and he told me 1.
post #13 of 13
The nine month thing is basically for showing purposes. At that age (I think CFA is actually 8 months) they graduate from "kitten" classes to the "Adult" Championship classes where they will be shown with other adults. Physically they're still kittens, and like another poster said will continute to grow, depending on breed and sexuality (i.e. neuter or entire) up until about 2 years or so. Some breeds are slower to mature and reach their full size than others.

Kittenish behavior on the other hand ... can continue for a life-time, just depending on the individual. Mithril and Narsil are 7 months, still kittens although we have problems calling them kittens anymore. If I was to try to pigeonhole their personalities, Narsil is akin to a laid-back surfer dude and even now seems more "grown up" than Mithril. Mithril is just plain frenetic nuts! He'll probably be a "kitten" 'til he's 17!
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