Giant Kitty
June 4, 2008 10:00 AM   Subscribe

My cat is big. What are the chances of him getting bigger?

My cat, Commie, is big. Very big, very fuzzy (and very sweet, aww). He is also now a year old, the point at which cats are considered adults, so I had figured this was the biggest he would get.


For the fun of it, I was learning about different cat breeds to see what kind of blood he might have in him. I'm willing to bet he is either part Maine Coon or part Norwegian Forest (though I'm leaning towards Norwegian Forest). According to different online sources, both of these cat breeds are known to keep growing until they are 5 years old.

So, I don't have any definite evidence what Commie's bloodline is, and he is most certainly a mix-breed cat (I have no doubt of that). But, if we assume he has some Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest blood in him, how likely is he to keep growing for the next four years? How much will he grow? If the answer is "it depends," are there any physical features that could indicate the answer (in the same way, for instance, that a kitten's paw size indicates what their full-grown size will be)?
posted by Ms. Saint to Pets & Animals (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've only ever had mixed-breed cats, so this may not apply, but I've noticed with the kitties I've had over the years that very much as humans have an "adolescent pudge" in their faces that goes away in the 20s, this is very much true of cats.

I look back at the photos of Frederich, one of my current kitties, and he had the roundest face up until he was about 1 year old, which then narrowed out, right along with him having "filled out" the rest of his body.
posted by tybeet at 10:13 AM on June 4, 2008

Best answer: The larger breeds tend to reach full maturity between 3 and 5 years, but generally speaking most of the growing's completed by 12-18 months, kind of like how I was only an inch shy of my adult height in seventh grade. My gargantuan Turkish Van was essentially full-grown at a year; from there, he just got fat.

From what I know (I'm no vet or breeder, but I am probably a future crazy cat lady), 16-18 pounds tends to be the standard adult male size for large breeds, but it can go up to 20. Sparky was 26 pounds at one point, but again, he was fat. I'd advise you to watch Commie's diet if it ever looks like he might be getting pudgy, but on the other hand a purring 26-lb longhair makes a fantastic pillow.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:29 AM on June 4, 2008

How big is he?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:43 AM on June 4, 2008

Huge cats rule.

I lived next door to a CCL who raised Maine Coons and it was her opinion that they weren't fully grown until their third birthday. It's been my experience that cats' frames are fully developed by the time they are 18 mos or 2 yrs old or so, and then they "fill out" with muscle and fat.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:11 AM on June 4, 2008

Anything is possible.
posted by amro at 11:13 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

My brother's 20 pound cat is also of uncertain origins, but possibly part Maine Coon. He fell out of a tree at around 1 year old (and only 16 pounds or so) and hurt his leg. His x-rays revealed no broken bones, but the growth plates showed that he was not done growing. So it is possible for a vet to check, but probably not worth x-raying your cat's leg just to see.
posted by hydropsyche at 11:30 AM on June 4, 2008

My wife's cat is pretty damn big (compared to other cats I see) but not ungodly huge by any means. He was about his current size since around a year old (he and his brother were neutered for their first birthday, how nice of us). They both got kind of chubby, but since restricting the food several years ago he's now just a big, solid cat, with lots of fluff but not much fat (ribs easily palpated, unlike my kitty, who is a big cat but also a little butterball despite eating the same restricted diet).

So, the 1 year size ought to be a pretty good indication of later life size, but do expect a little more growing - mostly around the midsection, though, not so much height or length.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:31 AM on June 4, 2008

Is he big-boned, or fat? If it is more tub than bone structure, you should think about what you're feeding him. Our cat weighs 22 lbs but it is more genetic than flubber. Just to be sure, we have him on Evo, which is 90%+ protein. The way the vet explained it to us, it takes as much (or more) energy to digest the food as it offers him. Since it is all human grade meat, (mmmm human grade meat) he has primo quality and no fillers - the grains, fat, and by-products in other cat foods that help them turn into fatties.

If he is partially Rag-doll, Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest cat he could get super big. The breeds usually seem to max out at 20-30 lbs but that is totally anecdotal evidence from a big cat fancier and occasional volunteer for our local rescue.

posted by arnicae at 11:32 AM on June 4, 2008

Response by poster: Sorry, I probably should have been clearer: he's not fat, definitely. He's muscular, and long.

I didn't put many details in about his measurements or weight because I don't know it. Our scale broke a while ago. I was hoping I could get some general idea. Oh well.

I do know that, four months ago, he weighed 12 pounds. He can reach our kitchen counters just by stretching, and he can reach my 6'2'' boyfriend's waist. That's all I can say at the moment, because I'm at work. I guess I can get more measurements or pictures in a few hours, if that could help figure this out.

But, I guess I should ask: how does one correctly measure a cat?
posted by Ms. Saint at 11:49 AM on June 4, 2008

Funny story:

I also had a large cat in my youth: Mr. Cat. At his largest, he was 36 lbs. 36 lbs of well-proportioned (not fat) cat. Anyhoo, some cats bring home birds or squirrels and leave them on your doorstep. Mr. Cat brought home: birds, squirrels, rabbits, and other cats. There were multiple occasions that he brought home animals with collars. He took up the better part of half a queen size bed when he was fully sprawled (his favorite position).

He was a good kitteh. He was full grown at 2.5 or so years, but he was probably half mutant or mountain lion or something, so I don't know that he is a valid data point.

Good luck with your huge cat, make sure he doesn't bully the neighbors pets (too much).
posted by milqman at 12:24 PM on June 4, 2008

Response by poster: Well, the question is now off the main page (I didn't plan this well, sigh). But, if you think you can gauge where he might be growth-wise by his appearance, here are pictures of Commie I took to try to express his size:

Commie, being held.
Commie, by a hamper for perspective.
Commie, by a stapler for perspective.
Commie's front paw, by my hand and our other cat's back paws.
Commie, on a chair.

(note: this is not my flickr account. Someone else let me borrow theirs.)
posted by Ms. Saint at 5:52 PM on June 4, 2008

My two kitties are 13 and 15 pounds. See the first pic in my profile for the bigger guy, Sven (also known as Mr. Cat). They didn't stop growing until they were about 2. He might have some Maine Coon in him, too.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:45 PM on June 4, 2008

Best answer: What a lovely cat Commie is. From those pictures, I'd say he still has the look of late adolescence about him and it's very likely he will grow/fill out a fair bit more. Huge paws with tufts between the toes are classic signs of Norwegian Forest/Maine Coon genes and with those genes comes hugeness. One of my cats (an ex feral tom, trapped when about two) is now considerably bigger then when we first got him. He was neutered immediately, so lost most of his tom cat chubby face and upfront heavyness within about 8 months, but continued to fill out and become more evenly muscled. He's broad, long, high at the back and what you'd politely call 'sturdy' My vets think he has a lot of Norwegian Forest cat in him, he certainly has the chest ruff, paws, tufts and fur distribution of the breed. He seemed to stop growing between 3 and 4 years.
posted by Arqa at 3:26 AM on June 5, 2008

Wow. Your Commie is the spitting image of my wife's cat, Toby. Same colors, same between-the-toes hair (his feet are padded and insulated too!) and same general 3-inch-long-hair fluffiness. If that is any indication, he's going to end up around 16 to 18 pounds, but could be bigger if he starts to become chubby rather than staying solid. (Here he is at 6 years old, napping shortly after our last move - white platform he is sleeping on is 2 feet long, for reference)
posted by caution live frogs at 6:57 AM on June 5, 2008

Oh - and yes, I'm 6'4", he can definitely grab my waist when he stretches, and peeking over the edge of the kitchen counter is no big deal for him. Only drawback to owning a large cat is that the person he chooses to sleep on ends up with no leg room in the bed (lucky me, he likes my feet).
posted by caution live frogs at 6:59 AM on June 5, 2008

« Older Like Paint for Mac?   |   Do you capitalize the cost of software development... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.