So you’re thinking about – or already have – adopted a tabby and you’re wondering, when do tabby cats stop growing?
There is no set answer to this question, as ‘tabby’ relates to a cat’s coat pattern, not the breed.
However, I can give you a good idea of how long it will take and how big your tabby will get.
‘Tabby’ Is a Coat Pattern Not a Breed of Cat!
Before we go any further, I want to clear up a common misconception.
When people say ‘tabby cat’, they are usually referring to a domestic shorthair or longhair cat with stripes, spots or swirls on their coat.
However, tabby is not a breed of cat – it is simply a coat pattern. So your tabby could be any domestic cat breed – or even a mix of breeds!
This is why there is no easy answer to how quickly your tabby will grow up and how big it will get.
The breed of a cat has a huge impact on how quickly they grow up and how big they get.
So, hopefully, you know what breed your tabby is. But either way, I can give you a general idea of how long it takes for a cat to grow up and fully mature.
Related – Are tabby cats male or female?
How Long Does It Take for a Tabby Cat to Be Fully Grown?
Most cats will be fully grown by the time they are one to one and a half years old.
However, some larger breeds of cat – such as Maine Coons – can take up to three years to reach their full size.
So, if you’ve adopted a tabby kitten, you can expect them to keep growing until they’re at least 12 months old, probably nearer 16-20 months.
Of course, cats can still fill out and put on weight until they’re around two years old (much longer in some cases!), but they shouldn’t grow much taller after their first birthday.
When someone asks, ‘when is a cat no longer a kitten?’ or, ‘when does a kitten become a cat?’, the answer is typically at 1 year old
How Big Does a Tabby Cat Get?
Again, this depends on the breed of cat.
A domestic shorthair tabby – like an American Shorthair – will typically weigh between 11 and 20 pounds (five to nine kilograms) for male cats, and between 6 and 15 pounds (three to seven kilograms) for female cats.
The largest domestic cat breeds can weigh over 30 pounds (14 kg), such as the Maine Coon, and Ragdolls and Siberians can easily be 20 lbs or so.
Of course, diet and exercise play a big role in how big your cat will get too.
We’ve all seen lazy, overweight cats (and yes, coincidentally, a lot of fat cats are tabbies).
So, to answer, ‘when do tabby cats stop growing?’ the answer is – it depends on the cat!
There is no definitive answer, as tabby simply refers to a coat pattern.
Why Is My Tabby Cat So Small?
If your tabby kitten is particularly small, there are a few reasons this could be the case.
First of all, they may simply be a small breed of cat.
Siamese and Oriental cats are often quite small when fully grown, so if your kitten is one of these breeds, they may just be on the smaller side.
Another possibility is that they are not getting enough to eat.
If you are concerned about your kitten’s weight or growth, speak to your veterinarian for advice.
It might not be your fault, you may be providing enough food – your cat might have a health issue stopping them from gaining weight.
Related – Do tabby cats meow a lot?
Why Is My Orange Tabby So Big?
If you’ve noticed that orange or ginger tabby cats seem to be bigger than other colors on average – you’re not wrong.
There is a reason for this outside of the usual reasons, such as being a large breed or eating too much.
This is because orange tabby cats are more likely to be male.
We actually have an orange female tabby in our home (Winnie), and I remember the surprise on my vet’s face when we bought her in to be spayed.
He said he hadn’t seen a female orange tabby in a couple of years. This came as a surprise to me, so I asked him why they’re so much less common than males.
My vet explained that the scientific reason why most orange tabby cats are male is that a tabby’s color depends upon a sex-linked gene.
Orange female tabbies must inherit two orange genes to be female and orange, one gene from each parent.
Whereas an orange male tabby cat only needs one gene, which of course is much more likely.
Male cats are typically larger than females, so this explains why you might see more orange tabbies that are on the bigger side.
Of course, this is not always the case – there are plenty of small male and large female cats out there!
So, when do tabby cats stop growing?
The answer is – it depends!
There is no definitive answer when asking about tabbies, as the term ‘tabby’ simply refers to a coat pattern.
However, most tabby kittens will reach their full size by the time they are one to one and a half years old.
Larger breeds of cats may continue to fill out and put on weight until they are two years old, but they shouldn’t grow much taller after their first birthday.
Image credits – Photo by Sandra Lind on Unsplash