How to Tell Age of Kittens
What’s up, my friend! Ready to unlock the mysteries of the kitten age timeline? From teeny newborns to wise senior cats, understanding your furball’s stage of life is key. Stick with me and we’ll explore how to tell your kitten’s age based on their growth and development. Meowza, this will be fun!
Itty Bitty Newborn Kittens
Aww, newborn kittens are totally helpless micro-cuties! When they first enter the world, these little nuggets don’t even have their eyes open yet. They’re about as coordinated as a baby giraffe, just sleeping and eating around the clock while momma cat takes care of everything. Telltale newborn signs are their folded ears, tightly closed eyes, and umbilical cord still attached (it dries up after 3-5 days).
My friend adopted a newborn trio once and let me tell you, those squeaky furballs required some serious TLC with bottle feeding and potty assistance. But oh my goodness, could anything be cuter than their kitten stubbornness, trying to toddle around on their wobbly legs? Didn’t think so.
Newbie Kitten Milestones
- Eyes begin opening around 8-12 days, revealing blue peepers at first.
- Those folded fox ears start to lift up as they get stronger.
- They double their tiny 1-4 oz birth weight in just a week!
- Spending about 90% of the time catching zzz’s.
Weeks 2 and 3: Figuring Out This Whole “Cat” Thing
Around weeks 2-3, your kitten unveils their eyes fully and starts using those ear radars to explore sound. They’ll begin interacting with litter mates, awkwardly trying to figure out basic coordination skills like walking. It’s like watching Bambi learn to stand up! This time also brings major teeth milestones as their little incisors erupt.
My niece’s 13 day old furball startled us by taking his first wobbly steps, bonking right into the water bowl face first! But soon he was bounding around the room full of confidence. They grow up so fast, don’t they?
Key Weeks 2-3 Developments
- Improved coordination and playfulness
- Start eliminating on their own in the litterbox
- Incisors begin cutting through their pink gums
- Increased curiosity and exploration
Weeks 4 and 5: Adventure Awaits!
By weeks 4-5, your kitten has itching to explore EVERYTHING. Their coordination and confidence blossom as they learn to run and play with litter mates. Hang on tight, because your curtains and shoelaces are about to become playthings! This time also brings major tooth developments as their razor-sharp canines appear for nibbling and biting practice.
My friend’s little troublemaker Napoleon went from timid and clumsy to leaping from the couch at this age. We nicknamed him “Napoleon Dynamite” as he practiced his wild moves! Around week 5, kittens also start supplementing mom’s milk with wet food, slowly transitioning into solid diets.
Weeks 4-5: Feisty Fun
- Increased playfulness, running, and climbing
- Canine teeth cut through their gums
- Introduction to wet kitten food/weaning begins
Weeks 6 and 7: Social Butterflies
At weeks 6-7, your kitten starts perfecting key cat skills like self-grooming, litter box use, playing, and social interaction. All their milk teeth should be visible now, too. This period marks an ideal time to introduce them to new sights, sounds, pets, and people. But don’t worry – they still have plenty of crazy kitten energy!
I’ll never forget when my neighbor’s 6-week-old furball, Cloudy, met my pup, Reggie. Cloudy instantly attacked the “giant dog” with fierce hisses and “vicious” baps of his paw! Reggie just wagged his tail, totally bemused by this miniature lion cub. Soon, they were best buddies, snuggling during naptime. Adorable!
Weeks 6-7 Social Developments
- Proficient in self-grooming and litter habits
- Almost fully weaned from mom’s milk
- Introducing new pets, people, and environments
Week 8+: Home Stretch to Adulthood!
Congratulations – your 8 week old kitten is ready for their next life chapter! At this age, kittens are considered old enough for adoption, spay/neuter surgeries and permanent homes. You’ll notice their personalities really blossoming as they form strong connections with human caretakers. Their sparkling blue peepers may also start changing color around 9 weeks as they shift closer to adulthood.
My neighbor Jake adopted the sweetest grey tabby right at 8 weeks old. This curious guy stole Jake’s heart with his trilling purr whenever Jake entered the room, following him around like a furry shadow. Now at one year old, “Morty” is still a snuggly velcro kitty – proof of those early human bonds!
8 Weeks Onward: All Grown Up!
- Ready for adoption/neutering/spaying etc
- Increased emotional bonding with caretakers
- Eye color starts changing from blue
The “Awkward Preteen” Phase (9 – 12 Weeks)
Ah yes, the land of gangly limbs, shifting eye colors, and newly found independence! Around 9-12 weeks, your kitten transitions from an itty bitty baby into an opinionated adolescent. At this stage, your furball is fully weaned, showing off its permanent eye color. Get ready for plenty of mischief as they test boundaries and bravely explore new spaces!
I still laugh remembering when my friend’s tuxedo preteen Marshmallow went through his rebellious stage. He’d hop in grocery bags or boxes when no one was looking, insisting he needed to join the car ride, too! We’d find him meowing indignantly amidst the produce or paperwork. Too smart for his own good, that one!
9-12 Week Changes
- Complete transition to solid food diets
- Adult eye color is fully present
- Showing more independence
- Increased social/environmental exploration
The Rough & Rowdy Teen Months (3-6 Months)
Brace yourself; the teenage rollercoaster has arrived! Starting around 3 months, your kitten shifts into their “moody adolescent” stage. Think intense bursts of energy, constant curiosity, and budding sassiness. You’ll also notice rapid growth changes transforming their appearance. As their personality blossoms, this makes an ideal time for training and relationship building.
Let me tell you, my friend Raquel was NOT prepared when her sweet calico Luna reached 5 months old! She went from demure and cuddly to stubborn warrior princess overnight. Now, Luna races laps around the house and “screeches” adamantly when she wants something. But she still greets Raquel with affectionate head bonks at day’s end, confirming their unbreakable bond.
Adolescent Kitten Signs (3-6 months):
- Rapid physical development
- High energy and curiosity
- Ideal for behavioral training
- Distinct personality traits emerge