A new feline family member – What to expect

Hurray, there’s a new family member in the house and it’s an adorable kitten!

Here is a short overview of the changes that your tiny little furball will go through.

WEEK 1
Welcome to the family, tiny helpless kitty! Newborn kittens are virtually blind and deaf. They rely on scent to recognize their mom. At the age of about 1-2 weeks, their eyes will slowly open up. Did you know that all kittens are born with baby blue eyes?

WEEK 2
Slowly, your kitten’s hearing starts to develop and you might start to notice some response to noise. Also, your kitten might start to purr a little – how cute!

WEEK 3
At the age of 3 weeks, your kitten starts to develop baby teeth. These needle-sharp teeth will help them consume solid food in a while. Also, your kitten will start to explore their surroundings so make sure that no dangerous objects are lying around!

WEEK 4
Your kitten will start to use its tiny teeth to eat solid food. Make sure to buy special kitten food that consists of smaller pellets than adult cat food. After eating, your kitten will try to use the litter box by copying their mom. For now, avoid clumping litter since your kitten is still too small for processing clumps should they happen to swallow one.

WEEKS 5-6
At the age of 5-6 weeks, your kitten will start to groom itself. Before, mom would wash her babies entirely but now they will start to take care of this themselves. Around this time, a first vet visit would be a good idea so your kitty can get vaccinated and dewormed.

WEEKS 7-8
By this age, your kitten’s final eye color will start to show. If you have a blue-eyed cat, very few changes will occur. Also, your kitten will start to become increasingly active. You’ll be surprised at how high they can jump so make sure to keep dangerous items out of their reach!

WEEKS 9-10
Your kitten will continue to grow and so will their nails. Therefore, it would be comfortable for your kitten to trim them. If you are not sure on how to do this, ask your vet to show you.

WEEKS 11-12
Your kitten will start to switch baby teeth for adult teeth. If you’re lucky, you might be able to find one lying around to keep as a souvenir! Now that your kitten has grown a lot already, it’s safe to start using clumping litter if you like. One of the sad things about this age is that it might be time to say goodbye to (some of) your kitten(s) if you are selling them or giving them away to friends or family. This will definitely be a difficult moment, but know that your kittens will be headed to a great furever family!

Over the next 8 months, your kitten will continue to develop and grow. Did you know that young cats are called kittens until they are a year old? Some breeds even keep growing until they reach the age of 3! Make sure to enjoy kittenhood as your furball will be an adult cat sooner than you think!