The Kitten’s Development in the First Six Weeks

by catfood

A cat’s personality and character are significantly shaped during the critical first six weeks of life. This period of time is essential for the kitten’s growth and wellness.

A number of grave dangers, such as fleas and upper respiratory infections, can cause very young kittens to develop the catastrophic and usually fatal fading kitten syndrome (FKS) (URI). FKS is more usually seen in litters of stray and feral cats, thus when caring for kittens, keep them away from other cats in the house until all of them have been screened negative for communicable diseases.

It is fascinating to observe how a kitten develops from week to week because it is unlikely that kittens would ever grow as quickly as they do during this period.


Week 1

For the first week, your newborn kitten acts as a mini-food factory. Here is what to expect:

  • The kitten’s attention will be on eating and growing. It will double in weight over the course of the next week.
  • Other physical changes are also taking place, and they will soon become more visible.

Week 2

At least 10 grams are being added daily by your kitty, who is still growing at an astounding rate. Additional modifications consist of:

  • The baby’s eyes will start to open between 9 and 14 days of age and then close entirely. A kitten’s eyes will remain blue for a number of weeks. vision initially becoming blurry Since a kitten’s pupils can’t quickly dilate and dilate, keep your cat away from bright lights.
  • Although the kitten’s sense of smell is still developing, it immediately hisses at unfamiliar odours.
  • You might be able to determine the gender of the kittens at this point. But be cautious; at this early stage, even vets make mistakes.

Week 3

The kitten has gone through several changes:

  • All of the ear canals will be visible.
  • Kittens are now able to urinate on their own thanks to the development of their digestive systems.
  • Now that they are interacting with each other and other people, they will be curious to know more about their surroundings.

Week 4

The kitten, who is almost a month old, has the following characteristics:

  • Depth perception has improved.
  • Be patient, though.
  • Baby teeth will start to sprout soon.
  • Kittens’ balance and gait are still developing.
  • They will interact more with their littermates, perhaps even creating gender-neutral or gender-neutral “alliances.”

Week 5

After a month, the kitty progresses to new experiences:

  • Kitten food in a can may now be given to the kittens. Pick a reputable canned cat food brand that lists a specific meat source as the first component (chicken is good). Numerous breeders and rescuers are likely to have fed the mother cat, and the kittens will rapidly get used to eating the same things as the mother.
  • Kittens can now be taught how to use the toilet. They need a smaller, separate box that is easy to enter and exit, with only an inch or two of litter.
  • Cats will experiment by sampling everything, just like newborn humans do. Use a natural litter, such as one made from wood chips, maize, or paper, to keep them from consuming harmful poisons. Never use clumping clay litter.

Week 6

Early socialization will dramatically alter a kitten’s behavior and how he interacts with humans as an adult cat. Significant sixth-week milestones include the following:

  • As they run, pounce, and leap, kittens are incredibly entertaining to both themselves and their human observers. Be careful not to let them get fatigued as they can fall asleep just as fast (growing up is hard work).
  • When interacting with people, kittens will mimic their mother’s behavior. If she appreciates her interactions with the people in her life, her kittens will be happy. However, if kittens are not used to human handling by the age of six weeks, it will take a long, painful process to teach them, and such a cat may never end up becoming a “lap cat.”
  • If feral cat rescuers come across a pregnant feral or a young litter, they will separate the litter from the mother (after spaying her) before six weeks in order to have the best results in socializing the kittens for new homes.

Giving Guidance

Kittens should be aware at this age that hands are for holding, cuddling, and feeding—not for playing. Drinking straws made of plastic are among the greatest “toys” for teaching this lesson. After watching him pursue it across the floor, you may twist it around a bit and let the cat jump on it to “catch” it. The infant would proudly showcase his prize before settling down to enjoy it. The plastic is incredibly crunchy and is a great teething help.

Fully weaned, socialized kittens could be ready for their new forever homes in only a few weeks. If you have been waiting for your kittens to be old enough to be adopted, you must be feeling rather joyful right about now.

The sense of smell is fully developed. Always remember, “All good things come to those who wait.”



Wondering about The First 30 Days With Your New Kitten? Check it out on our latest post!


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