Age

by Lina
(Harare,Zimbabwe)

How can you tell how old your kitten is?


RESPONSE:

It is difficult to always tell the age of kittens that are past the very early stages. but early on, you can tell if the eyes are open. Normally they open in 10-14 days while a few do it in 7-10 days. So then if the eyes are open you know its at least a week old. Also, the kitten's ears will be flattened against the head until 5-8 days of age.

They start walking around 2-4 weeks of age. Look for baby teeth. They should start pushing through the gums when the kitten is 2-3 weeks old. The deciduous inner incisors come at 2-3 weeks, deciduous canines 3-4 weeks and the deciduous premolars start to break through at 4-6 weeks. Those are the ones that grow between the canine and molars.

Also look at the eyes. All kittens are born with blue eyes but as the weeks pass they change to whatever color they will eventually be. Of course this makes it difficult to judge the age of a cat that is going to have blue eyes when mature. For the others, you will see changes from the blue start to happen at 6-7 weeks.

Kittens that were with their mothers will be weaned around 6-7 weeks and the less fortunate kittens have survived on whatever food they could get. It is around this time that kittens should begin to bond with other animals or humans (7-8 weeks).

By the time a kitten is 4 months old, all of its baby teeth will be in place. Also, the kitten's weight will help you guess the age. The average is 1 pound per month of age. So a 4 month old will weigh approx. 4 pounds.

However, weight is a guideline and some circumstances will often cause variations. For instance, our cat Chanel #5, was only 2 1/2 pounds when she came to our house looking hungry and feral. We thought she was less than 3 months old but when we managed to capture her to take her to the vet, it turned out she had been starving and she was around 6 months old.

You will notice sexual maturity starting at the 4-6 month stage by male marking of urine and the female going into heat which involves loud howling and rolling around.

I hope this gives you a few clues how to guess the age of your kitten.

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