Infographic on kitten development 0-7 weeks

Early development of the kitten
Early development of the kitten. Prepared by MikeB at PoC. Click on it to see it larger.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Here is a bit more about early kitten development including to 10 weeks of age. Alley Cat Allies start their discussion by saying that you should never separate kitten from mother. If you don’t see her monitor the kitten and wait a few hours.

In the first week, new-born kittens are completely helpless. Their eyes are closed, and their ears folded. They can’t stand and neither can they keep themselves warm or eat on their own. They are entirely dependent upon their mother.

Keeping them warm is essential. During the first week of life they weigh 3-5 ounces. They can purr in these first few weeks and call out in distress. They will spend 9/10 of the time sleeping and the remainder eating.

At two weeks of age, they are more aware of their surroundings and begin to interact with each other. They are still dependent upon mother. Their sense of smell is developing. They hiss at unfamiliar smells and sounds. They knead at their mother’s breast to express the milk and they carry this behaviour forward to adulthood with their owners. They can’t retract their claws.

At three weeks of age, you can tell the difference between boys and girls if you are very good at doing that! I have a page on sexing kittens and even with five different examples it is still difficult! They walk more confidently, and their owner can start providing a litter box and wet food.

At three weeks of age, they start eating solid foods and the end of the third week they might weigh close to 15 ounces. They walk more steadily.

At the age of four weeks, they are quite sturdy on their feet and playing with each other, toys and humans. They look like miniature adults. They show interest in the outside world and interact. This is a time to socialise kittens to humans and where available other pets of a different species. In the Infographic I say you can socialise between 2-7 weeks.

At the age of four weeks they explore more and play frequently with toys and friends.

At the age of five weeks they are full of energy and they play exuberantly and start showing their personality. Their eyesight is developed and they play vigourously. They run around and explore and fall asleep on the spot. They are still nursing from their mother. Their individual personalities are shown more clearly.

At the age of six weeks, they continue to socialise. Kittens use a litter box at this age and eat cat food, but they might visit their mother for snacks and comfort. At this stage kitten should be taught that hands are not toys.

At seven weeks of age kittens are almost fully weaned. They continue to learn and play as they are introduced to new people and places and other companion animals. They have become fairly self-sufficient.

In the eighth week of life, they weigh around 2 pounds normally and they can be neutered. They are at an age when they can be adopted over the next two weeks.

At nine weeks of age kittens show attachment to their caregivers and seek attention. A kitten’s eyes change from blue to their adult colour because pigmentation develops in the iris. Up until then it is the reflection of white light through the eye, which makes them look blue.

At 10 weeks of age a kitten is fully weaned, neutered and socialised. They will start their new life if adopted and the person who raised them will say goodbye with difficulty.

Below are some articles on newborns.

Domestic cat maternal aggression is instinctive

Domestic cat maternal aggression

Domestic cat maternal aggression is also referred to as maternal protective aggression. It's what you think it is: a queen's ...
Newborn kittens are totally deaf or nearly deaf for a short while.

Can newborn kittens hear?

Newborn kittens are totally deaf or nearly deaf for a short while. Image: MikeB I believe that the answer to ...
Kittens kneading

Side-by-side videos which explain why adult cats knead us (make biscuits)

These side-by-side videos tell the story behind adult domestic cat kneading. PLEASE CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON AT BOTTOM-LEFT OF ...

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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