This guide outlines how to tell kittens age or how to tell the age of a cat, with general clues from size, weight, face shape and behavior traits.
Of course, you can only estimate the age of a kitten if it is found as a stray – but based on the development you can know how to tell kittens age and say relatively how old the kitten will probably be.
That is why we take a closer look at the development from the newborn tiny kitten to the older one. Of course, there are always fluctuations, and especially with stray found kittens that have not been cared for for a long time sometimes develop a little more slowly, so follow these clues for how to tell how old a kitten is. How to keep cats out of your garden
How to tell kittens age: stage by stage clues
How to tell kittens age: Newborns to around a week old
- Newborn kittens are of course still very tiny and their fur is still very short. The fur is particularly fine on the legs and belly and the skin often shines through here.
- Often a remnant of the umbilical cord still hangs on the tummy – don’t worry, it will fall off by itself.
- The eyes are very tightly closed and the tiny ears are still very close to the head – the minis are blind and deaf.
- The little ones sleep practically around the clock.
How to tell kittens age: One week to 14 days old
- At first the eyes are still closed, but the fissure of the eyelids becomes more and more visible. At around 8-10 days of age, the eyes open slowly, but the babies cannot see clearly yet. The ears are usually still closed.
- The fur becomes longer and thicker. Umbilical cord can no longer be seen at this age.
- The little ones are still toothless, but can already purr and like it when they are tenderly petted and petted.
- They still sleep most of the time.
How to tell kittens age: Two to three weeks old
- The eyes are open and the teeth break through around the 18th day of life.
- At this point in time the little ones hear the first noises, but cannot yet correctly identify where they are from. But they are now slowly reacting to your voice and are beginning to be aware of their surroundings.
- The babies are now also starting to discover their paws and are already starting to play a little with themselves. And they crawl around more and more curiously. But they can’t really walk yet.
How to tell kittens age: Three to four weeks old
- Slowly but surely, life is coming to the house! The little ones crawl and crawl faster and faster and quickly learn to walk properly.
- They can see well and react to noises, and playing with their paws is becoming more and more coordinated. They start playing with each other and are very interested in their environment.
- They are now also starting to control they bladder and bowel and can slowly get used to a litter box (shallow bowl).
- The teeth have broken through completely and the auricles of the cat ear structure are clearly starting to grow.
How to tell kittens age: Four to five weeks old
- The kittens can now walk and run, but occasionally tumble on their noses.
- They play with toys and have their first little fights with one another with enthusiasm (kitten wrestling). Every day they become more skilled in their movements.
- You begin to be interested in the food bowl and practice eating solid foods. They often suckle the food, crawl through the bowl on their stomach and look like little pigs afterwards. But since they can’t keep themselves properly clean, you still need to pay close attention to personal hygiene.
How to tell kittens age: Five to six weeks old
- The kittens are now very playful and very lively when they are awake. The cuteness factor increases again extremely.
- The eyes are still blue, but not quite as “baby blue” as they were at the beginning.
- The ears grow and some kittens now even look as if the ears have “overtaken” the rest of the head, they get such large bat ears!
- You now also attach great importance to personal hygiene and work diligently to keep yourself clean, but still need support. At this age, most kittens are reliably house trained. How to train cats… yes, you can
How to tell kittens age: Six to eight weeks old
- Healthy kittens run, romp, fight, play and climb happily with their siblings, there is always something going on! It’s hard to believe how much energy such a small being can have.
- You can now keep yourself clean and you are really skilled at it.
- They eat independently, like to nibble on dry food treats and are (not only when it comes to food) very curious about everything that they have not known before.
- The eyes lose more and more of the baby blue, but the final color is not yet clear.
How to tell kittens age: Eight to twelve weeks old
- Slowly but surely, the proportions are right.
- The eyes show their final color around the 10th or 11th week, but this will intensify a little.
- The kittens are very skilled in all of their movements and react extremely quickly to all hunting stimuli so you may need to know how to stop a kitten biting.
- The siblings are still popular play and cuddle partners, but the kittens are now becoming more and more independent.
- The most important socialization phase ends at around 12-14 weeks. From this age the kittens can be transferred to a new home.
How to tell the age of a cat: General clues
If you ask a veterinarian, he can usually at least determine the approximate age of a cat. But how do you actually know when a cat was born? There are some general clues for how to tell age of kitten or cat.
Weight in growth
In the case of young kittens, the age can usually be determined by their body weight, assuming that they are neither undernourished nor overnourished. On average, a kitten weighs around 100 grams immediately after birth, a little under half a kilo after a month, and just under a whole kilo after two months. As with children, however, not every kitten weighs the same, for example males are usually slightly heavier than females. Once the cat is fully grown, determining the date of birth becomes more difficult — usually after a year — but some breeds, such as the Maine Coon, grow longer than others.
A look in the face with older cats
Seniors tend to lose weight. This can make the face look a bit more pointed and thus reveal the advanced age of the cat. In addition, the eyes become cloudy and the hearing worse. Another important point of reference are the teeth: the teeth are usually still intact up to the age of five, from then on broken teeth, tooth decay and tooth decay occur more frequently. However, previous dental care also plays a major role in this.
The condition of the fur
Older kittens and cats are often a little more negligent in their personal hygiene. Therefore, the fur looks a bit coarse than that of younger conspecifics, especially when there is no helping two-legged friend with careful combing to support the grooming.
Always some uncertainty
Despite all of these clues, it is extremely difficult to determine age with certainty. For example, the condition of the fur and teeth also depends heavily on the composition of the food. Deviations from estimates of up to five years are therefore not uncommon. Usually the exact age is only revealed after a long period of cohabitation, when the state of health and behavior can be observed over the long term.
From weaning to old age, your cat will experience a number of physical and behavioral changes, including changes to their diet. One of the most important transitions in your cat’s life is from a charming, hilarious kitten to an equally lovable adult cat. Another important transition in many cats’ lives occurs during neutering, which requires certain additional dietary adjustments, including possibly reducing the number of calories fed. And as with all transitions, understanding beforehand the changes that are coming will make it all the easier for both of you. Good preparation calms you down and lets you ensure that your beloved companion stays fit and healthy at every stage of life.
Nutritional and lifestyle needs as they grow
Your kitten will grow rapidly for the first six months. After six months, its growth rate then slows down considerably. By 12 months, your inquisitive cat is likely to still look like a kitten to your eyes, and most likely, he’s not getting into little nonsense. But after nine to 12 months, many kittens are fully grown. At one year old, your kitten is generally considered an adult cat (even if you still think she’s not acting that way!).
As your kitten grows up, be sure to keep up with his or her changing needs. In addition to its slower growth rate, its nutritional needs are dependent on certain lifestyle choices. This includes, among other things, decreasing physical activity, depending on whether your cat is outdoors or not. How to use salmon oil for cats health
Furthermore, whether she is neutered and whether she is the only cat in a household or shares her home with another cat or dog. Having another pet will often encourage your cat to be more active. Understandably, an outdoor kitten that is sometimes playing with another pet has a higher caloric requirement than a single indoor cat with little exercise so check How much to feed a cat or kitten, how often, and what to avoid
Perhaps the first step in your cat’s lifelong wellbeing is understanding how and why your kitten’s needs differ from those of an adult cat. Because of its low stomach capacity, your hungry kitten not only needs several servings of food a day – sometimes up to 5 meals a day – it also needs special food with a high mineral content to meet its energy needs. After all, growing up also requires plenty of good food.
In addition, kittens naturally have a lot of energy! With all the intense playing, romping and growing, it is particularly important for your velvet paw to have high-quality, nutritionally balanced To get food. This creates a good foundation, and it is generally recommended that you feed your companion specially formulated kitten food until they are one year old.
Adult cats need less food due to their decreased activity (yes, your apparently hyperactive ball of fur will one day settle down), their slower growth rate, and the less active metabolism caused by neutering. Consequently, it is best to give your kitten one year of age a switch to adult cat food that is lower in protein and fat.
However, in the event of neutering, it may be better to switch your kitten to adult cat food sooner. This can happen anywhere from six months to a year of age, depending on your veterinarian’s advice and when all signs indicate that his body is fully mature. It all depends on the nutritional content of the chosen feed recipe (e.g.
Your cat’s transition from kitten food to adult cat food should be done gradually. If the transition is too fast, it can cause digestive problems for your cat. A gradual transition over the course of five to eight days will help her get used to her new diet. Start by mixing a small amount, about 10%, of adult cat food into the kitten food. Increase the amount of cat food every two days.
Typically, your kitten should be successful in the transition after seven or eight days. In case you haven’t already, it is often recommended that you continually introduce different tastes and textures into your food, including dry and wet foods. This will keep your cat from being overly picky about eating. In addition, certain people love Cats inherently diversity
As your cat grows older and is switched to adult cat food, it is especially important to keep track of their body weight. To help your cat maintain a healthy body weight, you could try offering your cat wet food in addition to feeding your cat dry food. Wet food has a higher moisture content which helps keep the abletended urinary tract healthy Supports your cat. You could also try the ball feeders that stimulate you mentally. Finally, you can also help your cat maintain a healthy weight by regularly engaging them in games they love with cat toys, thereby encouraging them to exercise.
Beware of underweight
While most of us are more concerned about our cat becoming overweight, it is just as important to make sure that she is not underweight. If your kitten looks a bit thin or suddenly refuses to eat, we recommend that you visit your vet. Weight loss can be a sign of illness or that your cat’s nutritional needs are not being adequately met. Your veterinarian can advise you on treatments that may be necessary (such as deworming) or changes in diet. Deworming is highly recommended after weaning to prevent any growth problems associated with intestinal parasites. Discuss the frequency of deworming with your veterinarian.
Growing up is not difficult or stressful for your kitten – provided you understand the physical and / or behavioral changes your kitten may experience in a short period of time on the path to adulthood. In particular, it’s important not to underestimate the critical role proper nutrition plays in your kitten’s growth and development. The sooner you introduce a nutritionally balanced, age-appropriate diet for your cat, the better it is for their health and wellbeing.