Determining the approximate age of your kitten is one of the first things you'll need to do so you can appropriately care for and nurture your new pet. Our Stockton vets offer some tips on how to tell how old a kitten is in this post.
How to Tell How Old a Kitten Is
Have you found a kitten recently but have little to no background information on your adorable new feline friend? You're likely wondering what to do. How can you determine their age so that you can take care of them as best as possible?
Your kitty's age is an important characteristic that your vet in Stockton can use to guide you on caring for and helping your pet get acclimated and socialized. Today, we'll explore how to analyze physical characteristics to determine a kitten's approximate age.
Week 1-2: Eyes Open
Though kittens' eyes will be closed and their ears folded when they are born, their eyes will open when they are about 10 days old. The eyes will be blue in color at this time, and you may notice your kitty wobbling on their feet. This is normal.
Week 3: Teeth Emerge
Looking at your kitten's teeth can tell you how old a kitten is. When your kitten is around 3 weeks of age, their baby teeth will start to emerge, with the canines coming in first. Premolars begin to erupt at about 5 weeks. Permanent teeth will erupt once they are three to four months old.
At about 14 weeks, the middle incisors come in, followed by second and third incisors at about 15 and 16 weeks, respectively.
Since kitten teeth are tiny, it can be challenging to tell whether the incisors are baby or permanent. However, this will get easier when there are some of both in their mouth to let you compare.
While baby teeth are smaller with pointed tips, permanent teeth will be somewhat wider with flat edges. Your kitty's ears will also unfold at this age, and they'll discover the litterbox. Walking more confidently will also be on the agenda.
Week 4: Kitten Gains Weight & Starts to Walk Well
Another good rule of thumb is that a kitten's weight in months roughly corresponds to her age in months. She will gain weight at a relatively predictable pace until she's about five months.
As long as your kitten is healthy and developing normally, you can safely estimate that a 1-pound kitten is about 4 weeks old and a three-pound kitten is about 12 weeks old.
Most kittens will start to walk at around three weeks old. This is an adorable phase to behold as coordination will take a little longer to master. You can guess that a kitten who has begun to walk well and play consistently is at least four weeks of age.
Week 5: Time for Wet Kitten Food
During this phase, you'll be able to slowly wean your young cat onto wet kitten food.
Week 6: Eating Confidently
By this point, all of a kitten's milk (deciduous) teeth will have emerged and they should be eating confidently.
Week 7: Playtime
At this age, your kitten will start to show their personality as they become more playful and coordinated. They'll also begin to transition to their adult eye color.
Week 8: Time to Meet Their Family
At the eight-week mark, your kitten should weigh about two pounds. They can be neutered and spayed at this age, and meet their forever family.
Search Online for a Kitten Age Chart
You might also consider using your favorite search engine to find a kitten age chart online - many are freely available.
Kitten Care at Rosemarie Pet Hospital
A new kitten will bring many smiles to your face - and anyone they cuddle up to. Nonetheless, you'll also be busy taking care of your new pet's health for the first year or so.
Our Stockton vets are experienced in providing care for kittens and can develop a custom health care plan to meet your kitty's specific needs during their first year.
We can also provide you with plenty of guidance and support in caring for your new pet. Whether you have questions during your kitten's checkups or between visits, never hesitate to contact us.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.