Kitten Development Stages

Kitten Development Stages

So many things happen during a kittens first year and it is a wondrous thing to watch a kitten grow from a tiny newborn to a full grown cat. Knowing what to do as your kitty grows will empower you to help her grow into a healthy and happy companion. Fortunately, This article will help you learn what and when to expect certain milestones, as your kitten journeys to become a cat.


Kittens come into the world with their eyes and ears closed and spend the first week of their lives blind and deaf. Their ability to move is also limited and they can only maneuver towards their mothers body to suckle and be warm. At this stage, they can't regulate their body heat on their own and rely on the mother for warmth, nourishment and protection. Kittens weigh about 2.8-6 ounces at birth and they can double this body weight during the first week.


Their eyes open during the second week and begin to process input from the outside world. Their vision isn't very good at this point and they'll need to be kept out of bright light, says the spruce pets. Their movements gradually become more coordinated but they still stay close to their mother with minimal interaction with their siblings or environment. They weigh between 5.3-10.5 ounces at the beginning of the second week, with males being slightly heavier on average.


At the beginning of week three, kittens average 7-14 ounces. This is the time when kittens start to take their first shaky steps and learn how to walk. They start exploring their environment and social interaction with siblings begins during this week too. Purring typically begins here, and kittens tend to become more vocal as they start being able to walk, play and explore their surroundings. The blue eyes kittens are born with may start to change color during their third week, which is also when their ears begin to open and perk up, introducing them to a whole new world filled with sound.


At the beginning of week four, kittens weigh 10.6 ounces – 1.1 lbs and grow to 12 ounces – 1.3 lbs by the end of the week. Although they are not exactly agile yet, their balance improves and they become more confident and eager to explore their surroundings. Most kittens can walk ad play with their siblings and toys too. This is a good time to start kitten-proofing your home and introducing them to the a clean and readily available litterbox with non climping litter.


During this period, kittens get their teeth and learn how to use them as they discover soft foods while still nursing. They also become confident enough in their new found mobility that they become curious and playful, making it a good time to start socializing them. Socializing them, letting them explore their surrounding [under close supervision] and experience new sights, smell and sounds will prepare them and allow them grow into emotionally healthy, well adjusted adult cats. Kittens average 1.1-1.9 lbs by the end of the sixth week.


Kittens are larger now and most weigh over 2.2 lbs at this point, with males being significantly heavier than females. Their jumping and climbing improves, they also improve their range of exploration. They spend most of their days and nights eating, sleeping and playing with each other. Your kitten should be taken to her first veterinarian visit during this time. The first round of vaccinations should be done between six and eight weeks on the kitten timeline.


The kittens are more independent now. With their senses and motor skills fully developed, it is their size which prevents from reaching certain places adults can. By the ninth week, your kittens will finish the transition to solid food and should be fed quality kitten food. Kittens shouldn't be separated from their mother and litter mates until they have been fully weaned and socialized. Kittens continue learning normal cat behavior from their mother until well into the tenth week, so in order to give each kitten the best chance of becoming a well adjusted cat, it`s best to wait at least ten weeks before allowing her to go to a new home. They should be about a third of their final expected body weight and weigh anything between 1-2.5 kg.


Finally, the kittens can now be called young cats and are full of energy and curiosity. Their weight around this time is about half their final expected weight. They are ready to be spayed or neutered by six months of age and you can establish household routines which could last throughout their lifetime.
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