Like all animals, kittens do not grow into adult cats overnight. Rather, they go through a series of developmental stages as they mature. Learning about these stages and what happens in them will help you better care for your kitten(s). 

0-2 weeks: Neonatal

  • Orient towards sound
  • Eyes begin to open, usually by 2 weeks
  • Uncoordinated
  • Neonatal kittens should not be separated from their mother.

2-7 weeks: Primary Socialization Period

  • Coordination improves, begin taking small steps
  • Sight and vision improve rapidly
  • Teeth begin to emerge and develop
  • Sturdy and eager to explore their surroundings, usually by week 4 
  • Begin introducing litter box
  • Develop social skills with humans and other animals
  • Grooming skills and coordination perfected, usually by week 6
  • Develop adult-like sleeping patterns 

7-14 weeks: Most Active Play Period

  • Baby teeth fully developed
  • Eye color begins to change
  • Ears fully proportionate, usually by 8 weeks
  • Energy spikes, sleep will decrease and time spent playing will increase
  • Able to run, climb, jump with confidence 
  • Agility and coordination fully developed, usually by week 8
  • Develop independence

3-6 months Ranking Period

  • Influenced by those surrounding them, including other pets 
  • Begin to see and use ranking within the household, including humans

6-18 months Adolescence 

  • Continues to explore dominance, including challenging humans
  • If not spayed or neutered, begins to exhibit sexual behavior 

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ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435
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