Kittens go through specific stages of growth when they are born. As so many of them are found each year I thought it important to outline what those stages are as the growth stages of every different breed of cat (except when it comes to eye color) is the same.
On average a newborn kitten weighs about three ounces. Each day it gains about a half an ounce muscle, bone and other tissues to do with the development of organs and body systems. Like human babies, kittens are born with blue eyes that change color. However unlike human babies they are born with their eyes closed. The kittens eyes open around 7th to 14th day of the month. Don’t be distressed if one of the cat’s eye’s opens before another. One eye can be open for as long as a week before another.
Usually both of the kitten’s eyes are fully wide opening by the time the cat is two weeks old. It is normal for the kitten’s ears to look odd as soon as it is born.
The ears might look as if they are pinned flat against the cat’s had. In the second or third week, the kitten’s outer ears perk up and adopt the pert triangular shape.
By the third week, the kitten starts to crawl. He or she should be walking and running around by the fourth or fifth week. At this stage, the mother cat usually teaches her kittens how to use the litter box. The cat will also be very naturally curious and clown like.
By the sixth week, a kitten’s retractable claws are in good working order. They are born with the claws extended. A six-week-old kitten will already have keen sense of smell and sight. At this time, the kitten will display an ability to groom itself and no longer need the mother to keep him or her clean. The sixth week is also the week when the kitten’s baby teeth grow in. This is a clear cue that the kitten is ready to eat solid food.
At 8 weeks of age, kittens will start to lose the natural immunities they have received from suckling their mother’s milk. This is the best time to begin vaccinating them, and will allow their own immune systems to mount a proper response to the vaccinations.
At around 10 to 12 weeks of age, kitten’s blue eyes begin to turn to the color they are meant to be , usually yellow or amber. However, eye color can vary tremendously from breed to breed. In some breeds full eye color pigmentation may not be achieved until the cat is a one or two years old. At four months of age, the kitten loses baby teeth and may begin teething. For the next eight months the teeth will grow in.
The kitten can officially be called an adolescent from the age of 6 months to 1 year, and by the eighth month, this teenager will develop sexual behaviors such as calling, mounting and possibly. This is why it is very important that to have your female spayed or your male neutered at around four months.