Will the Size of a Cat's Paw Determine How Big the Cat Will Be?

Most breeds of cat mature to relatively the same size as adults.
i Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images

When you're bringing a kitten home for the first time, you may wonder how big the kitten is going to grow up to be. The average domestic cat should weight between 8 and 10 pounds, but some animals may be larger or smaller depending on their genetics and their diet.

Paw Size of Kittens

The paw size of your kitten does not determine the size that your cat will be as an adult. A kitten with large feet who also has a relatively large bone structure or is larger than the rest of his litter mates may grow up to be a bigger cat, but you really will not know for sure until the kitten matures. There is no verified scientific evidence that the size of a kitten's paws, and only the size of the paws, will be an accurate predictor of the cat's size as an adult.

Factors That Affect Paw Size

Your kitten can appear to have large paws because he is physically big boned, or because he just happens to look big bones due to being underweight. Your kitten's feet will be unlikely to look skinny even when the rest of the cat is. Your kitten may also appear to have large paws if he has a lot of fur covering his paws or has extra toes. None of these paw-size factors will actually significantly affect the adult size of the cat.

Heredity Will Affect Your Cat's Size

Though paw size is not an accurate indicator of how large your kitten is going to be as an adult, you can predict his mature size by looking at his parents and adult siblings. A kitten is unlikely to be significantly smaller or significantly larger than his siblings or parents unless a health problem has occurred. Genetic conditions can affect your kitten's mature size. Some breeds of cats, such as the Maine coon and the Persian, grow to larger sizes than the average domestic cat.

Nutrition and Care

How you care for your kitten will also play a significant role in his size as an adult. An overfed, overweight cat will be much larger than one who is a healthy weight or one who was deprived of the nutrition he needed to grow properly. If you want your kitten to reach a healthy size, you should take him to the veterinarian regularly for checkups as he matures. Be sure to follow all your veterinarian's advice for how to care for your kitten properly.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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