Kitten Development in the First 4 Weeks

April 4, 2018


Kitten Development in the First 4 Weeks

Cats grow at a rapid pace, that is, they gain 10 grams of weight each passing day. Changes happen fast in the first 12 weeks of kitten development. Kittens require lots of nutrition, care and attention, vaccinations, veterinarian visits, and socialization. Here’s a milestone chart of kitten development at a glance:

1st Week: Umbilical cord is attached and dries out by itself by the 3rd day of birth. Normal kitty weight is around 100 grams. Eyes and ears are closed and folded respectively.

2nd Week: Eyes open, blue-colored at first, and vision grows. Ears open slightly, and hearing starts to develop. A kitten becomes aware of his surroundings. Deworming your kitty is essential at this stage.

3rd Week: Ears become erect. The development process of all senses reaches their optimum level.

4th Week: Canines appear, and wobbly walks begin.

5th Week: Development of eyesight completes. Kittens begin eating solid food. Human interaction and stable walks begin.

 6th Week:  Eye color changes. Kittens become active. Vaccinations begin the sixth week.

WEEK 1: Eat, Sleep, and Pass Out Waste


The kitten’s eyes and ears are closed, and they prefer the feel of the mother nearby. The umbilical cord dries up and gets detached by the third day. All a kitten does is eat, sleep, pass out waste, and repeat.

The mother performs the task of cleaning the kitten daily, and her warmth helps the newborn baby to develop quickly. The mother cat uses her tongue to sweep clean her kitten, and it stimulates her digestion process to ease urination and defecation. At this stage of development, mothers hate intrusion of humans and will change their spot of living if a human intrudes.

The kitten’s immunity develops as it feeds on the mother’s milk. The antibodies are transferred to the baby within one to two days of birth through colostrums, and the immunity stays until kittens can get vaccinations.

WEEK 2: The Sense of Smell Begins Developing

The blue-colored eyes will begin to open with a blurred vision. The pupils dilate and contract often to protect the baby from bright lights.

The mother should be fed with good quality of canned food to fulfill the nutritional needs of the cat. The nursing cat loses her body nutrients while feeding the babies. Within few weeks, when the kitten can have solid food, same canned food will be given to it to adapt easily.

The sense of smell starts to develop, so he seeks out the favorite teat by smelling. He will become familiar to his littermates as his sense of smell, sight, and hearing develops.

WEEK 3: Optimum Development of All Three Senses

The kitten’s eye-color changes as he grows.  Hearing develops during this week, and shrill and loud sounds can scare the kittens. Ear get erect, and ear-canals open up. Kitten’s sense of smell will further develop. All three senses almost reach their optimum level of development.

Kittens can defecate and urinate by will as the digestive system is quite developed by then. The mother cat continues to lick the kitten to clean her up. In case your find kitten hair on the carpets and sofa, you can try this best pet hair vacuum to clean up the mess.

Kittens will start purring and hissing at this stage of development. Baby teeth begin to appear as well.

WEEK 4: Wobbly Steps

Now that kitten is well aware of her surroundings and is eager to explore them; he starts balancing his body weight on those lean legs. The head is comparatively large and heavy, so the weak legs cause the kitten to wobble around as they take their first steps. Kittens usually prefer to play close to the mother, but some brave and curious kittens may surpass the lines. They will group with the littermates and continue to wobble around.

Cat-proof the house and remove harmful instruments that are near the cat’s living place. The cat will continue to feed the baby. Kittens can attempt to eat litter and leave urine stains around the place, but you can easily fix these mishaps.

What Development Occurs Afterwards?

During the next two to three weeks, the kitten attains enough energy to balance perfectly and walk around the house. She will be ready for vaccinations soon. Human intrusion can begin for the kitten to get used to his owners.


Katie Cohen is a freelance writer specializing in the subject of feline health and behavior. An avid dog lover and adoring owner of two cats. When she’s not working she loves going to the park with her two Weimaraner’s Lily and Bells
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