Kitten's developmental milestones


Kitten's developmental milestones

Early cuddling and gentle petting of kittens helps them to bond well with humans, allowing them to grow up feeling safe and secure with their human family. Playing with the kittens with a variety of toys will stimulate their minds and help them develop good motor skills.

A well-fed kitten should be properly hydrated. To test a kitten’s hydration, pull up on the skin at the scruff of the neck. The skin should bounce back easily. If it doesn’t bounce back, or goes back down slowly, the kitten may be dehydrated. If the kitten appears dehydrated, contact your medical staff.

Kittens weigh about 2 to 4 ounces at birth. They are blind, deaf, and totally dependent on the mother cat for survival.

Some developmental milestones are:

  1. At 7 to 10 days, their eyes start to open. Kittens’ eyes are fully open by 20 days. Their eyes stay blue until they are 6 to 7 weeks old.
  2. They begin crawling at 16 to 20 days.
  3. They will begin to play with each other at 3 to 4 weeks.
  4. By 3 to 4 weeks, solid food can be introduced, their first juvenile teeth are cut, and litter box training begins.
  5. At 6 weeks, kittens are well-coordinated, running and climbing and full of mischief.
  6. Kittens are ready for their first vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery at 8 weeks old.

Weigh your kittens daily, preferably at the same time each day, using a kitchen or postal scale. Kittens should gain about ½ ounce every day or 3 to 4 ounces per week. By 8 weeks, most kittens weigh about 2 pounds. Enter their daily weights in the logbook. If the kittens are not gaining weight or are losing weight, contact your medical staff right away.

Consult your Vet if your kittens are showing any of the following symptoms. Do not medicate kittens without consulting a vet first.

  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Straining to urinate, or not urinating
  • Vomiting
  • Upper respiratory symptoms: gloopy/watery eyes, runny nose, constant sneezing, coughing, wheezing or laboured breathing
  • Not eating
  • Lethargy
  • Change in attitude or behavior
  • Hair loss
  • Anything you are worried or concerned about