Stages of Kitten Development
Newborn: When a kitten is first born she are completely dependent on mama cat or her caregiver. The kitten’s eyes are shut and her ears are folded over. She cannot even regulate her own internal temperature yet and needs help staying warm. The kitten will weigh just mere ounces. Either mom or their caregiver will need to “stimulate” her bottom to get her to use the bathroom.
One week old: The kitten will begin to start wiggling around on her own. Her eyes may start to open, although most kittens begin to open their eyes at 9-14 days old. The kittens are all born with blue eyes but their eye color will change to its natural color in the coming weeks. The kitten should be double the weight they were when they were born at this stage.
Two weeks old: The kitten’s eyes should be open by now. Her ears are now unfolding and she is gaining her sense of smell. The kitten will begin trying out cat behaviors such as hissing and kneading. Her teeth will begin to grow at this age so don't be alarmed if she nibbles at you or other things.
Three weeks old: The kitten will start walking around on her own. She will probably be a little wobbly and uncoordinated at this stage. Her eyes may start changing from blue at this stage. The kitten will also be able to use the bathroom on her own and does not need to have her bottom stimulated. You can begin litter box training the kitten at this stage.
Four weeks old: The kitten will start to get the hang of walking and walk more confidently. She will start to form bonds with her siblings and will tussle with her siblings. Don't worry, they are just learning how to hunt and play! The kitten will still be nursing from mama cat at this age.
Six weeks old: Mama cat will start weaning the kitten away from her and the kitten can start eating wet food. She should weigh around one pound at this point. The kitten will still nurse from her mother to satisfy her need to suckle. The kitten is growing more independent and will want to socialize with you. She will be running and jumping around, learning how to play.
Two months old: The kitten can usually get spayed or neutered at this point. Veterinarians recommend sterilizing kittens at 2 pounds, which they usually weigh at two months old. The kitten is also ready for adoption once she is sterilized! The kitten will be fully weaned from their mom. If she has been socialized, she will be friendly with people.
Three months old: The kitten’s growth rate has slowed down considerably. She will continue to grow in muscle and size but at a slower rate. The kitten is becoming an adult cat now and you may notice she is losing her baby teeth.
Four months old: The kitten is getting even more brave and adventurous at this age. Don’t be surprised if she is scratching your furniture; she is learning how to play and use her claws. If your kitten is not sterilized, she will start acting hormonal at this age.
Six months old: The kitten and their guardian will really begin to cement a bond now. She will look like a smaller adult cat at this stage. She should lose her kitten pudginess and start to look more lean. You should take the kitten to the veterinarian so their teeth can be examined. All of her baby teeth should be out at this point.
Kittens-they’re adorably cute and lovable but can look and behave differently depending on what stage of development they are in. Can you tell what age a kitten is by looking at them? Read about the stages of kitten development to learn how to! And remember to always take the kittens to the veterinarian so the veterinarian can estimate the kittens’ age and give the kitten an examination.