to Kitten Articles
Your Tiny Fluff Balls First 5 Weeks 5
Big Milestones You Dont Want to Miss
By Dr. Becker
kitten parents often have lots of questions about how
their tiny feline friend will grow and develop and learn.
Every kitten has his or her own personality and temperament,
but all kittens achieve similar milestones during their
Weeks 1 through 6 are the period during which kittens
grow and develop very rapidly. Since they're all a little
different, some may progress a bit more slowly, while
others develop more quickly than average.
There's no need for concern unless the rate of your
kitten's development is significantly different from
In veterinary terms, cats are considered kittens from
birth to 6 months, juniors from 7 months to 2 years,
prime from 3 to 6 years, mature from 7 to 10 years,
senior from 11 to 14 years and geriatric at 15 years
A time lapse kittens life at 1 day - 50 days in 5 minutes!
5 Milestones in Every Kitten's Life
Stage 1: Newborn. Kittens weigh only
a few ounces at birth, but they grow very fast, with
most doubling their weight in the first week of life.
During this time, the mother cat knows she must keep
her babies warm, nourish them and stimulate (lick) their
bodies to encourage digestion and elimination.
The first milk a mother cat produces is colostrum,
which contains the antibodies that transfer maternal
immunity to help protect her kittens from opportunistic
diseases during their first weeks of life.
Newborn babes can't move around much, and the only
noise they make is a faint mew. What remains of the
umbilical cord typically drops off on day two or three.
Newborn kittens can neither see nor hear, since they're
born with their eyes sealed shut and their ears folded.
They are also born toothless. At some point between
days five and 14, kitty's little ears will start to
unfold and her eyes (always blue at first) begin to
Stage 2: 2-week old kitten. At 2 weeks,
kittens begin to develop a sense of smell and their
eyes open completely, though their vision is still blurry
and sensitive to bright lights.
At this stage, kittens become aware of their littermates
and begin to compete for mom's nipples at mealtime.
Stage 3: 3-week old kitten. During his
third week of life, kitty's sense of smell is fully
established and his ears become erect, though his hearing
is still developing.
He may start to get his little purr on, and baby teeth
will begin to push up through his gums. His adult teeth
will begin to replace them in a few months. Brief, gentle
handling is started at this point.1
At this stage, mama cat doesn't have to be quite so
attentive to her litter. She no longer needs to stimulate
her kittens to help them digest food or eliminate, but
she does still have most of the grooming duties.
Stage 4: 4-week old kitten. At 4 weeks,
kittens begin to interact with their littermates and
show interest in their surroundings. They may attempt
a few wobbly steps. By the end of the week, they're
typically exploring and playing when they're not napping
Stage 5: 5-week old kitten. By 5 weeks
of age, kitty's vision is fully developed and her eye
color may begin to change. She's growing more adventurous.
Walking is less challenging and pouncing on littermates
becomes great fun.
Your tiny, vulnerable kitten is now a furry little
dynamo, in constant motion when she's awake.
This is exactly the right time to begin actively socializing
her and getting her used to human handling. You can
also introduce her to solid food this week, but she'll
still need to nurse and isn't quite ready to be weaned.
This is also a good time to introduce your kitten to
her litterbox. I recommend starting with a shallow box
lid that she can easily step into and out of, with just
a few inches of litter.
Over the next several weeks your kitten will continue
to grow and develop, but at a much slower pace. By about
week 8, all his very sharp baby teeth will be in and
he'll be fully weaned within the next couple of weeks.
By the end of week 9, kitty will weigh about 3 pounds
and his eyes will be their permanent adult color.
It's important to keep in mind that these are general
aging milestones. Each cat develops on his or her own
timeline based on breed and other factors.
NOTE: This article is for information only. See your
veterinarian for medical advice.
About the author: This pet-friendly article was brought
to you by Dr. Karen Becker, Mercola Healthy Pets resident
proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian. For
more pet care tips and to stay up to date with her latest
recommendations, visit HealthyPets.Mercola.com where
you can also get your FREE Homemade Treats for Healthy
Pets E-book today!
your quality cat breed or information cat article for
free increased exposure and traffic back to your website.