For those who own a tabby cat (or any feline), it’s evident how delightful they are to have around. They engage in playful activities, exhibit affection, and cherish their existence. Regardless of whether the cat has a tabby pattern or not, each one is distinct and follows a unique growth timeline with varying life expectancies.
With the understanding that every cat is unique, I have created a useful manual by gathering extensive research. This manual is specifically designed for tabby cats and will provide you with an idea of what to anticipate at particular ages and sizes. We will analyze each stage of growth, starting from the initial kitten phase to maturity and the ultimate phases of a feline’s existence. Additionally, I will inform you about some typical health problems in house cats that you may encounter during specific periods of the timeline.
Cat growth starts with the newborn kitten stage, where they explore their identity and abilities. During this phase, Tabby kittens develop their eyesight, create their distinct eye pigment, learn to vocalize and hear, discover purring, and establish trust with their owners.
At the time of birth, a tabby cat is typically born with other kittens and is quite feeble.
They will participate in a lot of nursing with the mother cat as they build their strength and try to add some weight. Their primary source of food outside of nursing will be kitten formula. Kitten formula such as KMR Liquid Milk Replacement contains all the essential vitamins and minerals to help them grow into strong and healthy cats.
It typically takes a newborn Tabby Cat around 7-8 weeks to gain its first few pounds of weight, and initially, it only weighs between 2-6 ounces.
At birth, Tabby kittens typically weigh between 3.5 to 3.75 ounces, which is equivalent to 80-150 grams in weight, with larger breeds weighing more. The number of kittens in a litter affects the newborn kitten’s weight; if there are many kittens, they will weigh less due to limited resources, while fewer kittens result in a heavier newborn kitten.
When it comes to tabby cats, their growth rate is quite rapid, especially during the first few weeks of life. In fact, it’s common for a newborn cat to gain a significant amount of weight within the first week, sometimes even doubling their weight by the second week due to feeding. However, if you plan on providing nourishment for the kitten, it’s crucial to control their food intake.
Limiting the food intake of tabby kittens to 8-10 grams per day is recommended as they tend to eat excessively, and overfeeding can lead to various problems.
Here is a standard feeding schedule for the initial weeks of a tabby kitten’s life, which will indicate their weight progress during this duration.
|Daily Formula To Feed
|Feedings Per Day
|4 to 6
|2 – 3 Weeks
|7 – 10 ounces
|56 – 80 cc
|3 to 4
|4 – 5 Weeks
|12 ounces – 1 pound
|104 – 128 cc
According to the timeline, it is evident that tabby cats require frequent feeding sessions, up to 5-6 times a day during their early stages of life, but as they grow older, the number of feeding sessions can be decreased.
When Tabby cats reach a weight of 10 ounces to 1 pound, they should consume food at least three times daily, with their diet primarily consisting of formula. As the frequency of feeding sessions decreases, the overall quantity of formula consumed by the kittens increases.
For Tabby cats, it is recommended to provide food in equal portions throughout the day and maintain a consistent feeding schedule to establish a routine and predict their hunger. During the initial 3-5 weeks of life, a newborn kitten should be fed every 2-3 hours.
Two To Six Months Old
Around the commencement of the second month, your kitten will be able to begin learning how to use the litter box. This is accomplished by observing the mother Tabby and cultivating those instincts over time.
At this point in their growth, tabby cats will exhibit more self-assurance while walking, although they may still appear unsteady. However, due to their aptitude for learning, kittens will eventually acquire the necessary coordination to walk with ease. This phase is characterized by a significant amount of exploration.
At approximately 7 to 8 weeks, Tabby kittens ought to have a weight ranging from 1 to 2 pounds, which may appear diminutive; however, considering that the majority of Cats only weigh between 6 to 12 pounds implies that they are experiencing rapid Growth.
Cats in their kitten stage usually have a greater hunger than adult cats, and it’s normal to provide them with several meals throughout the day to support their growth.
During the second and third months, Tabby cats require their initial set of vaccinations, which should be administered every three to four weeks until they reach five or six months of age.
After that time frame, it is possible to space out the vaccinations. It is crucial to administer kitten vaccinations as they aid in safeguarding against prevalent illnesses. In case you own a particular breed that has a higher susceptibility to contracting a specific disease, they might require supplementary vaccinations apart from the fundamental ones.
Here are some of the typical illnesses that vaccinations for tabby cats can aid in preventing:
- Feline rhinotracheitis
- Feline Calicivirus
- Feline panleukopenia
Typically, vaccinations for tabby cats can be quite expensive as a veterinarian may require an initial evaluation of your kitten, which will increase the overall cost of the vaccinations.
Here is a proposed timeline for kitten vaccinations during the initial 16 weeks of their existence:
|When To Administer Vaccine
|No earlier than 6 weeks old. Will require 1 to 2 more dosages afterward.
|Suggested at 6 weeks of age.
|Given at 8 weeks. Requires another dosage 1 month later.
|Requires 1 dosage no earlier than 8 weeks of age. Yearly checkup recommended.
|Given at 8 weeks
|One of the first vaccinations given at 4 weeks of age. Will need annual checkup.
Six Months To Ten Months Old
By the time your tabby cat reaches six months, it will have gained a considerable amount of weight, usually around 5 to 8 pounds, which is approximately 50-75% of its final adult weight; however, this can vary depending on the breed and genetics.
Observing the tabby cat’s physical features is crucial as they may seem like grown-ups, but they are still classified as kittens due to their slender and elongated torso and thin legs compared to adult cats; furthermore, their enlarged teeth serve as a sign of appropriate growth.
During this stage, it is crucial to ensure that the tabby cat is undergoing routine veterinary checkups as they require essential vaccinations at different stages of their growth. It is also an appropriate time to consider neutering or spaying the cat while they are still developing, but it’s important to consult with the vet first to confirm that the cat has grown appropriately and is prepared for the procedure.
Female cats who are not neutered are in danger of conceiving if there are male cats living in the same house. Cat gestation has its own distinct timeline of growth, weight gain, and behavioral changes. Learn more about how to care for a pregnant Tabby Cat here.
During the seventh and eighth months of Tabby Cat Growth Timeline, you may observe the following actions from your feline:
- Increased sleep patterns
- Marking their territory with urine (if they have not undergone neutering or spaying)
- Heightened sociability
- Deeper vocal tone
- An improved display of cognitive abilities
- Enhanced physical capabilities
- Increased appetite
One of the most noticeable changes during a tabby cat’s growth is their physical development, as they start to explore their jumping and running abilities while taking calculated risks. Additionally, if there are other pets in the house, your cat will become more sociable with them.
When dealing with tabby cats, it is crucial to establish boundaries and enforce them from the beginning. If there are certain behaviors that you find unacceptable, it is important to train your cat to avoid those actions. This can be achieved by providing scratching posts, toys, and using deterrents such as sprays or noises. It becomes increasingly difficult to change a cat’s routine as they grow older.
Their chompers will be close to being finished developing, so you can start giving them different kinds of food. It may take nine to ten months for their baby teeth to be completely gone. The teething stage can be tricky and you might observe your feline attempting to bite pretty much anything they can get their paws on. Cats need to be taught what is okay to bite and what isn’t at this age; particularly if it turns out to be hostile.
There are plenty of cat teething chew toys and ropes that can help greatly with this. I recommend these chewing ropes because they last long. Also using catnip on a play toy can help them get some of the chewing out of their system.
It’s best to transition your Tabby Cat into adult cat food gradually with a combination of wet and dry food. Look for foods that are not too hard on the teeth if they are still growing. Adult cat foods that are high in protein and have a high moisture content work best. Moving your feline into adult food too quickly can lead to common health issues like diarrhea.
Eleven Months To Twelve Months Old
At this stage, your tabby cat has reached adulthood and received all necessary vaccinations. They have undergone substantial growth since their time in the litter. The final two months are crucial as they mark the point where the cat will attain its full size.
At a certain point in their growth, tabby cats will attain their optimal weight and size, which will remain consistent for the majority of their lifespan. While some felines may experience slower growth, certain breeds may not reach a considerable size to begin with.
By this stage, Tabby cats should have completed their transition to an adult diet and will be actively exploring their environment and interacting socially. It’s crucial to bear in mind that despite their physical growth, their brains are still developing, so they may exhibit adolescent behavior. Therefore, it’s essential for owners to consistently train and encourage positive conduct as correcting it later can prove challenging.
Prime Years Of Cat Life
Between the ages of 3 and 6 years old, cats are in their prime years, during which they are most active and develop their personalities; therefore, it is crucial to regularly engage them during this period.
Boredom can be a problem for cats of this age, and they may take out their frustration on your furniture, carpets, windowsills and other possessions. Here are some toys I suggest you try at this stage. Some of the items on that list are store bought, but there are also homemade toys you can experiment with.
Once a Tabby Cat reaches this stage, they should have received their essential vaccines and are now considered as adult cats. However, they still require booster shots every year or two, especially if they are at high risk of contracting any disease. It is crucial to maintain regular visits to the vet as most cat owners assume their feline is healthy when in reality, they are equally susceptible to health issues.
During this stage of tabby cat growth, dental disease is a prevalent health concern that can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, and other issues. While diet plays a role in dental problems, genetics may also be a contributing factor. Neglecting dental care can have severe consequences in the future.
Later Years Of Cat Life
As Tabby cats get older, they may encounter more health issues. Therefore, it is crucial to take them for annual checkups and screenings for various illnesses and medical problems. Typically, the senior years of a Tabby cat are between 7 to 10 years old, which is equivalent to human beings aged around 40 to 50 years.
During the timeline of a tabby cat’s growth, there comes a point where their physical activity decreases, leading to potential weight gain. Therefore, it is crucial to provide them with stimulation to maintain their physical activity levels.
Senior Years Of Cat Life
Similar to dogs, cats also age rapidly. At this stage, your tabby cat would be considered a senior at 10 years old, which is equivalent to 60-70 human years. This is a considerably advanced age!
The later stages of a tabby cat’s life can be either pleasant or uncomfortable, depending on the quality of care they received during their earlier years.
However, Tabby cats also experience wear and tear in their bodies as they age, which can lead to various physical problems like arthritis, obesity, impaired vision, and balance. Without proper medical care, fighting diseases becomes more challenging.
When it comes to Tabby Cat Growth Timeline, ensuring your cat maintains a healthy weight balance can be challenging, especially if they lack physical activity. Additionally, your cat may need a dietary adjustment to obtain essential nutrients and vitamins for optimal functioning at their current age.
When a tabby cat reaches the age of 15, it is considered a significant milestone in their life, and they may experience notable behavioral changes such as alterations in their meow vocalization, decreased awareness, and improper use of the litter box.
At this stage of tabby cat growth, your feline friend may exhibit sluggish movements and develop severe physical conditions. You may need to visit the veterinarian more often, which can be costly. If the situation appears unfavorable, it might be kinder to consult with the vet about providing a peaceful transition for your cat.
Common Questions About Tabby Cat Growth
After learning about the timeline of tabby cat growth and gaining a fundamental understanding, you may have additional inquiries. The following are some frequently asked questions by many owners of domestic cats.
How Big Do Tabby Cats Get?
Queries about the size of a tabby cat usually pertain to any adult domestic shorthair feline with fur patterns. It’s important to note that tabby is a coat pattern and not a breed of cat. As the size of a cat is primarily determined by its breed and genetics, the more appropriate question would be “what is the average size of domestic cats?”
Tabby cats can vary in size, with some reaching up to 16 inches in height while others may only grow to 8 inches. On average, adult tabby cats will have a height ranging from 9.1 to 9.8 inches, which is relatively small compared to dogs that can range from 6 to 44 inches in height.
If you’re curious about the weight of tabby cats, it can differ significantly. Typically, an adult cat can weigh between 8 to 12 pounds, but certain breeds may weigh less or more than that.
On average, male cats tend to be heavier than female cats, with a weight difference of 2-4 pounds. The average weight for male domestic cats is between 10-12 pounds, while female domestic cats weigh between 6-12 pounds; however, larger breeds may exceed these weights. Here are some of the heaviest tabby cats:
- The Siberian breed of cat is widely recognized as the largest among all feline breeds.
- Turkish Van
- British Shorthair
- Egyptian Mau
- Norwegian Forest Cat
- American Bobtail
Do tabby cats stay small?
Although most felines experience an increase in size as they age, some of them have a limit to their growth. This is influenced by factors such as gender and genetics. Typically, specific Tabby breeds are recognized for being relatively small:
- Russian Blue
- Cornish Rex
- Devon Rex
If your tabby cat is not among the breeds mentioned earlier, there could be other factors affecting its growth. Inadequate nutrition, genetics, or an underlying illness can all contribute to stunted growth in cats, making it essential to consult a veterinarian. A vet can diagnose any condition and recommend a prescription diet if necessary.
How fast do tabby cats grow?
By referring to the aforementioned timeline, it becomes evident that tabby felines undergo a similar growth process as other household cats. During the initial phase of their life, which spans from 2 to 12 months, they experience the newborn kitten stage where they gain weight, learn to walk and exhibit their personality traits.
Following that, the tabby cat will experience a period of swift development with an augmented hunger during their early years. Subsequently, your feline will progress through middle age and eventually reach their senior years. The complete growth process of a cat’s existence can range from 10 to 15 years, although some cats may surpass the age of 15, albeit in a diminished state.
The majority of a tabby cat’s growth occurs within the initial 2 to 3 years, with their weight increasing at an almost weekly rate during kittenhood. Once they reach approximately 16 weeks old, they begin to follow a more consistent pattern of weight gain and should have received all necessary vaccinations before transitioning to an adult cat food diet.
Overeating can lead to unhealthy weight gain in tabby cats. It’s crucial for owners to be strict with their diet, especially with kittens who may protest for more food. Feeding them excessively can cause physical issues early on, as they may not be able to handle the weight gain effectively. Once their frame grows and strengthens, they can gradually increase their food intake.