Determining your kitten's approximate age is one of the first things you'll need to do so you can appropriately care for and nurture your new pet. Our Powder Springs vets offer some tips on estimating your young feline friend's age in this post.
How to Tell How Old a Kitten Is
When you come across a kitten but have little to no background information on your cuddly new feline friend, what are you to do? How can you determine their age so you can take care of them as best as possible?
Your kitty's age is an important factor that your Powder Springs vet can use to guide you on caring for and socializing your pet. In this post, we'll explore how to assess physical characteristics to determine a kitten's approximate age.
Week 1-2: Eyes Open
While kittens are born with their eyes closed and ears folded, their eyes will open once they are about 10 days old. At this point the eyes will be blue in color, and your kitty will be wobbly on their feet
Week 3: Teeth Emerge
Many new kitty owners wonder how to tell how old a kitten is by looking at its teeth. Baby teeth begin to emerge at around 3 weeks of age, with the canines emerging. Premolars erupt at about 5 weeks. Permanent teeth will erupt once they are three to four months old.
At about 14 weeks, the middle incisors will come in, followed by the second and third incisors at about 15 and 16 weeks, respectively.
Because kitten teeth are tiny, it can be challenging to tell whether the incisors are baby or permanent, but this gets easier when there are some of both to allow you to 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 and start to walk more confidently.
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 Powder Springs Animal Clinic
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 Powder Springs 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.