If you have suddenly found yourself in possession of a tiny new kitten, it can be difficult to tell how old it is. You need a rough idea of age to properly take care of it. This post is to help readers understand the milestones that a kitten hits in the first 8 weeks of life.
Under 1 Week Old
This is a crucial stage, kittens in their first week of life are extremely vulnerable. They can not hear or see. They are born with their eyes closed and they stay closed for the first week. A kitten's ears are folded closed so they can’t hear. While the kitten is this age there should still be an umbilical cord attached to the kitten.
Do not attempt to remove it will fall off when it’s ready. At this age, kittens need to be kept warm and a heat source should be provided to keep their environment between 85 to 90 degrees. Kittens are recommended to be fed every 2 hours. Momma cat normally will take care of this but if the mother is not available it falls to the human caretaker.
We will recommend speaking to a qualified veterinarian to go over feeding regimes and dietary requirements.
The kitten's ears will start to unfold and at around 10 days their eyes will start to open. Kitten starts with blue eyes but they will most likely change when they grow up. Kittens still need to be kept warm and with feedings at regular intervals of every 2-3 hours. The kitten will need to be kept warm.
The kitten's eyes are open their ear has unfurled. This is when the kitten will start taking its first wobbly steps (have your camera ready). The feeding will be on average every 3-4 hours. The kitten will still need to be kept warm.
Your kitten will start getting its first teeth it will still need to be nursed or bottle-fed. The kitten will start to show its curious nature and take greater steps to explore the world around it (baby proof the area, if it can hurt them they can find it). The kitten still needs to be kept warm.
The kitten will get its canine teeth. Running, jumping, and playing are things the kitten can do now (the vase on the coffee table is no longer safe). It will still need the bottle and a heat source to keep warm when resting.
Five to Six Weeks
The premolars have shown up and their molars will start making an appearance. You can start introducing them to wet kitten food and ween them off the bottle.
Seven to Eight Weeks
The kitten will be eating wet food and their eyes will change from blue to their adult color.