Kitten Growth Chart Stages
|The most dramatic changes in a cat's life occur during the first year. Most experts agree that the first year of life is divided into important stages, the timing of which can vary among individual cats by several days. Following is an overview of these stages.
|From Birth to 10 days
|Kittens are virtually helpless. Their primary focus is on eating and staying warm. Because they depend on their mothers for care, you can best care for kittens by providing excellent care for momma cat if she is still with the kittens.
|Between 10-14 days
|Eyes and ears open allowing kittens to become more responsive to their world. This is the ideal time for exposure to gentle handling and new sounds. During this period kittens begin to stand and walk, and baby teeth appear.
|During Weeks 3-4
|Kittens begin to eat solid food. Weaning begins during this period and is usually complete by 7 weeks. Kittens progress from walking to running during this phase. At this time they should be able to eliminate without the aid of momma.
|During Week 4
|Kittens begin to dig or rake in any loose matter they encounter. This behavior is important to later use of the litter box. At this stage, the first signs of predatory behavior occur.
|Day 14 - Week 14
|Referred to as the socialization phase, this is the most sensitive period for learning to form social relationships. This is the time that they should have many positive experiences with humans, other cats, and other species.
|During week 14
|Running, jumping and climbing skills become more refined and efficient. Growth continues, but now it is at a slower rate.
|Between 6-12 Months
|Sexual maturity is reached. Secondary sex characteristics appear such as thicker hair coats around males' necks, territorial behavior, and behavior associated with courtship and mating.
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