The first eight weeks of a kitten’s life are a whirlwind of developmental changes. As newborns, kittens are defenseless, blind, and fit in the palm of your hand…but by 8 weeks of age, they’re running, playing, and looking like miniature cats. Each week, the kitten will have different needs in terms of feeding, bathroom help, medical support, and warmth. It’s important to know how to identify a kitten’s age in order to identify what care the kitten needs, and whether the kitten is developing normally. Here’s what you need to know about the developmental milestones of a kitten’s first eight weeks of life
Since kittens under four weeks of age do not have the ability to thermoregulate, we must help them maintain body warmth. One method is to place a warmed Snuggle Safe disk at the opening of the cage or crate. This disk then provides the needed warmth for 8 hours. Instructions for how long to heat the Snuggle Safe disk depending on the wattage of the microwave are printed on each disk. If you are unsure what wattage the microwave is, heat the disk for 5 minutes, then check the temperature with your hands. Make sure it does not feel too hot before placing it in the cage or crate.
Kittens grow very quickly during the first 12 weeks of their life, and with or without their mom’s, it’s important for us pet parents to oversee their proper development. Mom cats do a wonderful job feeding their babies the proper amounts, grooming them, and helping them grow and learn. Humans left to care for orphaned kittens need to do the same. Regardless, in either scenario, certain steps can be taken to catch problems earlier rather than later. Early detection of problems, like failure to thrive, can make the difference in life or death for a helpless kitten.
Behavior Of A 7 Week Old Kitten
Seven-week-old kittens are becoming more independent, which comes with its advantages—you’re probably not bottle feeding anymore—and disadvantages—they’re now very curious and also highly mobile and coordinated. You’ll have to keep a close eye on them.
At about 54 days old, kittens are at the height of their eye-paw coordination, leading them to try more daring and complex actions. Watch them and ensure their play area is safe.
Daily weight gain is an indication that the diet is meeting the kittens’ nutritional needs. Weigh kittens at the same time daily, not only to ensure adequate weight gain but also to calculate the amount they should be eating with each feeding. Kittens should gain about ½ ounce (14 grams) per day or 4 ounces (113 grams) per week. Keep in mind that the younger the kittens are, the more accustomed they are to staying latched onto their mom’s nipple all the time and nursing small amounts periodically. Frequency is essential for digestion and allows the kitten’s digestive system to handle small amounts at any one time. Additionally, the act of nursing stimulates digestion. If you notice a kitten not eating enough in one feeding, increase the frequency of feedings or go back to that kitten after the others finish eating to give it another chance to take more food.
Kittens should be eating canned and dry food well. Feed the kittens at least three meals daily. If one kitten appears food-possessive, use a second dish and leave plenty of food out so that everyone is eating. Bear in mind that a kitten at this age has a stomach roughly the size of an acorn, so, although they may not eat much at a single sitting, they like to eat at frequent intervals throughout the day.
Development: By this time, you have “mini-cats.” They will wash themselves, use scratching posts, play games with each other, their toys, and you, and many will come when you call them. Be sure to reintroduce them to their litter box after meals, during play sessions, and after naps. These are the usual times that kittens need to use the litter box. Adoption: It is safe for healthy, robust 6 week old kittens to be spayed/neutered and made available for adoption if you are able to place them at that age in your community. Check your state and local animal ordinances to find out if this is possible for your facility.
What Does My Kitten Growth Chart Mean?
Weight can be the number one indicator of problems in many cats, but where kittens are concerned, this is especially true. Kittens growvery rapidly, because in the wild, they would be expected to be weaned and fending for themselves by the time they are 12-16 weeks old. A kitten that is not growing is usually sick or may not be getting enough nutrition.
If kittens are still with their mom, it’s possible that there’s a health problem with mom as well. If you’re feeding orphaned kittens, you may not be doing so often enough and/or there could be an issue with your formula, for instance. In any case, if a kitten is not gaining 1.75 to 3.5 ounces every week, he or she should be examined by your veterinarian right away.
Features Of Seven-Week Old Kitten
- At seven weeks, kittens will have all of their baby teeth. Most seven week old kittens will be fully weaned onto wet food.
- At this age, the adult eye color will begin to emerge. Kittens’ eyes will change from baby blue to the eye color they will keep permanently. Kittens with grey, green, or yellow eyes are likely 7 weeks or older.
- Average seven week old kitten weight: 750-850 grams
- Seven week old kitten care schedule: Kittens should receive ample wet food if weaned. Provide access to water and food at all times.
- Testicles – Male testicles begin to descend into the scrotum.
- Eyes – Eyes begin to transition to adult colour.
- Teeth – All baby teeth are present.
- Weight – 750 – 800 grams (1.65 – 1.7 pounds)
- Kittens are eating more and more solid food.
- There is an increase in energy; kittens are now exploring further and climbing.
- Kittens are almost fully weaned.