The first few weeks of a kitten’s existence are filled with incredible moments of growth and development. To a large extent, the stages of growth that a kitten goes through are consistent across all breeds.
A brand-new kitten is extremely delicate and seems helpless when it is first born. When a kitten is first born, its eyes and ear canals are not open yet. The umbilical chord usually slips off within the first three days after birth.
Since newborn kittens spend all their time nursing and sleeping, they quickly double their birth weight often within the first week. If a newborn kitten is separated from its mother, it’s ability to learn and be socialized is dramatically impaired.
Though the kittens eyes open in the second week, their sense of sight is not fully developed until the fifth week. Kittens have blue eyes until their true eye color emerges after several weeks.
Beginning in the third week, kittens become aware of their environments. By the end of the third week, the kitten’s begin to be able to hear and their sense of smell has developed. The kid and socialization skills developed between the kitten second and seventh weeks.
During the kittens fourth week, they begin to explore their environment. They may begin to take their first shaky steps during the third or fourth week. Their interest and curiosity in their environments increases.
In the kitten’s fifth week, the kitten becomes more socially interactive with its siblings and people. Many kittens learn to use the litter box beginning during the fifth week.
Kittens are typically weaned from their mother at around eight weeks of age. Kittens experience of time period of their most active play from the seventh to the fourteenth week.
Once kittens are about six months of age, they begin to attempts to establish their rank within the household. Kittens gain a sense of status among their siblings, other pets in the household, and people. Kittens often test their ranking in status until they are about eighteen months old.
The age at which a kitten reaches maturity can vary by cat breed. Most kittens are mature by the time they are eighteen months old. Kittens of some cat breeds do not reach full size until they are three to five years old.