The luckiest people on this planet are those who own kittens! Their little feet, sharp eyes, silky fur, and adorable smiles make them loved by every individual. Plus, they are active animals, and seeing them running and fussing around the house is indeed the sweetest thing to witness. Trust me, coming home after an exhausting day at work, and finding your little kitty at the doorstep can literally turn your sad days into the happiest ones!
Due to the exceptional adorability of these little friends, and limited care requirements, keeping kittens as a pet is a popular choice these days. After all, these little kitties can literally melt anyone’s heart! Therefore, most kitten owners are always worried about their ideal health and growth. In this regard, a common query is raised that how fast these little furry bundles of love grow?
If you are willing to invite a little kitten to your place and are curious about its growing period, you don’t need to be anymore! Here we have discussed the growing period of kitties in detail, to help every kitty owner out there.
Growing Period of Kittens
Undoubtedly, it’s hard to believe how rapidly your tiny kitten changes into a full-fledged adult cat. A lot happens over one year, and your kitten consistently goes through physical, mental, and sexual changes. Within a year, your little friend can increase 20 times larger than what it was at birth. Therefore, it’s essential for every cat owner out there to know what to expect in each milestone.
Stage 1: Week 1-3
Naturally, kittens are blind and deaf when they come into this world. Their eyes and ears are closed in the first weeks, and they are entirely dependent on their mothers. Slowly and gradually, their eyes open up in the second week; however, their vision isn’t good at this time. Plus, their eyes are very sensitive in the initial weeks; hence you must avoid it from bright lights.
Although these little kitties can’t hear in the first few weeks, however, you may expect them to make small “meow” cries, to indicate their mothers. Over time, their voice becomes louder, and they become more audible.
Stage 2: Week 3-5
By almost three weeks of birth, your kitty becomes a bit confident, and you may observe the tiny, shaky steps of your little love. Although initially, it would be very wobbly, yet after the end of the fourth week, they most likely can balance on their own.
An essential activity of this stage is that after 4-5th week, your kitten will be able to balance enough to go to the bathroom. They will follow their mother, and therefore it’s ideal for introducing your little kitty to the litter box at this stage only.
Moreover, a kitten can also be introduced to solid food (light and easily chewable) during this stage. Make sure the diet is rich in essential nutrients for the optimal health of your kitty. It’s also recommended to give the mother of your kitten, the same food as the kitten, as it helps her to heal quickly.
Stage 3: Week 6-8
The most significant aspect between the 6th -8th week of kitten’s age is vaccinations and socializing of your kitten. At this time, you must take your kitten to your vet who will introduce the first round of vaccination. Your cat may be immunized to distemper, respiratory diseases, feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, or even chlamydia and feline leukemia. After the first shorts, your vet may call you again for follow-ups or more immunization for the particular condition of your cats.
During this stage, your little friend may also start socializing. By almost five weeks of age, most kittens are extremely curious about their surroundings, and they may often be found exploring and playing around it. For cat owners, this is the perfect time to create an emotional bond with your little munchkin. Playing, cuddling, exploring surrounding (including people, smells, and sights), all must be done in this period only, as it will eventually lead to a well-adjusted cat.
Stage 4: Week 9- 12
By this time, your kitten will be able to feed on quality cat food, so you must start providing them with it. You may give your kitty canned or dried food, in a limited proportion. Canned food can be given twice-thrice a day for an ideal diet for your kitten. As far as dried food is concerned, you can simply leave a dish of food out and allow kittens to free feed when they are hungry; however, make sure they don’t overfeed on it!
It’s significant for cat owners to understand that kittens must not be separated from their mothers until they have fully weaned and socialized. It’s ideal to at least give 10-12 weeks to your kitten before shifting it to her new home. Moving it before 10-12 weeks is a big NO!
Stage 5: 1 Year
As soon as your cat reaches one year of its age, it’s no more a kitten! After one year, your cat begins its adolescence, which typically lasts until a cat reaches eighteen months of age. Although your cat has fully grown by one year, you may still observe some kittenish behavior and observe some additional growing. Throughout this time, you must patiently observe every behavior of your cat and keep on following the recommended guidelines regarding its diet, etc.
The newly born healthy kitten hardly weighs 3 to 5 ounces, which also if she’s healthy. However, most kittens are born malnourished and often weigh less than that. During the initial days, the weight gain may not be prominent; however, after a while, it rapidly doubles each day. She can grow about half a pound each day, and you may observe your kitten increase its size by the end of the first week only. After a month you may witness your kitten to anywhere between 8 ounces to 16.75 ounces. It may increase to 4- 5.5 pounds after six months.
Sexual Maturity in Cats
By the time your kitten reaches 6-9 months of age, it starts to become sexually mature (i.e. puberty in feline terms). However, pregnancy is not possible for female kittens as long as they don’t become physically mature. Also, if you plan to spay or neuter your kitten, you must contact your vet after at least 5-6 months of age to get the procedure done.
Kittens are loved at all stages; however, to provide your kitten with ideal growing conditions, it’s crucial to understand how fast your kitten grows and its growth stages. It must be noted that every cat has a unique and distinct growing cycle, thus if your cat doesn’t strictly follow the stages mentioned earlier, there isn’t anything to worry about. But, in case if you observe some severe early or late growth signs, you must visit a certified vet as soon as possible.
Our kittens are the ultimate source of happiness in our lives, therefore rightly deserved to be cared about. Although following up with how fast your kitten grows may be a bit daunting; but trust me no matter how frustrating it gets, those kisses and fury smiles make it all worthwhile!