Under 1 Week Old
Your kitten's first week of life is crucial to their development, and they are extremely vulnerable in this stage. They are born with their eyes closed, which remain closed for the first week. Because a newborn kitten's ears are folded, they can't hear. The umbilical cord is still attached to the kitten when they are this age.
Do not try to remove the umbilical cord, as it will fall off naturally on its own. At this age, kittens should be kept warm and a heat source should be provided to keep their environment between 85 and 90 degrees. We recommend feeding kittens every 2 hours. While a mother cat will normally take care of this, the duty will fall to the human caretaker if the mother is not available.
We recommend speaking to one of our qualified veterinarians in Gilbert to review feeding schedules and daily needs.
At around 10 days old, the the kitten's eyes will start to open and their ears will unfold. While kittens eyes are blue at first, they will most likely change color as they mature. Kittens still need to be kept warm and given feedings at regular intervals of every 2 to 3 hours.
The kitten's eyes are open their ear has unfurled. This is when the kitten will start taking its first wobbly steps (have your camera ready). The feeding will be on average every 3-4 hours. The kitten will still need to be kept warm.
A popular question many kitten owners have is how to tell how old a kitten is by their teeth. At around 3 weeks of age, your kitten's teeth will start to emerge. They still need to be nursed or bottle-fed. The kitten will start to show its curious nature and take greater steps to explore the world around it (baby proof the area, if it can hurt them they can find it). The kitten still needs to be kept warm.
The kitten will get its canine teeth. Running, jumping, and playing are things the kitten can do now (the decorative knick-knacks on the coffee table are no longer safe). They will still need the bottle and a heat source to keep warm when resting.
Five to Six Weeks
The premolars have shown up and their molars will start making an appearance. You can start introducing them to wet kitten food and ween them off the bottle.
Seven to Eight Weeks
The kitten will be eating wet food and their eyes will change from blue to their adult color.
Kitten Age & Development
You may choose to use your favorite search engine to look up a kitten age chart and images of kittens at various stages of development.
In addition, our vets at Crossroads Veterinary Hospital are happy to address any questions or concerns you may have about your kitten's growth and development, and make recommendations to keep them healthy as they mature.
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.