Cats in puberty: When kittens become adults
This article was written in collaboration with Katzen-artig, Coaching für Katzen und ihre Menschen .
Cat puberty is a very special phase in the life of all cats. In the transition to adulthood and sexual maturity occurs a enormous hormonal change. This developmental period can be very exhausting and demanding, even for cat lovers. Here are a few tips for you to support your darling in this momentous time.
Cats entering puberty
In female cats, sexual maturity sets in approximately between the sixth and ninth month. Sometimes female cats reach puberty already at the age of three months. In males this development starts a little later. The male house cat becomes reproductive between the ninth and twelfth month.
There are also varieties between the different cat breeds: For example Abyssinian, Siamese or Burmese are considered “precocious”. These cat teenagers get reproductive at the age of four to six months already. In contrast, large cat breeds (e.g. Maine Coon) are generally “late bloomers” and need up to twelve months to maturity. Puberty in cats lasts about half a year. During this time you should be very patient and empathetic with your velvet paw. But you also schould try to show your darling consistently certain limits.
Teenage years of a cat
Like human pubescent, cat teens tend to test their potential to the fullest. They often show a behaviour that can lead you to the point of despair. Nothing is safe from kittens! Even if you thought your sweetheart had learned a few basic rules of decency by now: In puberty there are no rules. Your four-legged friend may behave defiantly and impetuously, throwing things off shelves, starting daring climbs and attacks, or openly displays his listlessness.
The behaviour of male and female cat teens during puberty is quite different. While male cats like to play very rough, female cats prefer to have fun with balls, fishing or cloth mice and playing catch. When male teenies meet female ones, misunderstandings between the two sexes can easyly arise. Therefore it is sometimes more uncomplicatet to bring same-sex animals together in a household to prevent misunderstandings and later incompatibilities. With same-sex cat living partners, there is usually a more relaxed atmosphere. In any case, you should make sure that each of your darlings have enough opportunities to withdraw. No cat teenager should be constantly exposed to the exuberance of his housemate.
How long does cat puberty last?
At the age of about one year the spook is finally over and you can look forward to many quiet, comfortable hours with your darling. With the time the social maturity of your pet grows. This is not the same as puberty. The mental and social maturity develops in your house tigers between the second and fourth year of life and with it also the territorial behaviour, which can lead in a multi-cat household occasionally to tensions. Always try to support your pet lovingly in its social growth.
What can you do?
Please remember that your cats trust you and also really would listen to you, but they just can’t. Because of the changed hormone balance it is truly difficult for cats to concentrate on what is essential for us.
- Your cat is not deliberately annoying you!
- Remember your own puberty, it was not an easy time for you and your parents either
- Take a few steps back in your training and choose a reward that your sweetheart thinks is great now
- Do more things that are fun for both humans and cats to encourage your bonding
- Give your darlings lots of toys and put away everything that is important to you. This way the little cat teens learn what they are allowed to play with and what not must be destroyed
- Take short training sessions more frequently and do not ask too much at once
- Have confidence, soon your cat will know again what’s important
- Quiet down! Your darling needs a lot of rest phases to reduce the stress now
If you would like to know more about this topic, you can inform yourself at Katzen-artig, Coaching für Katzen und ihre Menschen.
A kitten can be a pain in the neck. But be patient, once this intense phase is over you get a wonderful family member in return. Practice your perseverance and have a lot of joy with your little darling.