At Roselenni Rags,we raised and hold our kittens for at least three months from the very beginning of their newborn days when their little eyes are closed and need to be fed by their mother,or sometimes if the mother doesn't want to give a helping hand we will take care of them and feed the newborns every two hours during the first stage. For whom that want to rescue newborn kittens and whom that eager to discover the early stages of their future family members about how a newborn grow into a healthy beautiful kitten, here is a stage-by-stage explanation and guidelines of what should been done and what we normally do to raise a baby cat properly.
(Photo on the left is the lovely family gathering of the mom and kittens of 3.5 weeks old....)
- Newborn to Two weeks. Kittens are born blind and deaf, their eyes are closed and their ears folded down but they grow fast and will open their eyes during their 10-14 days. It's important to keep a constant temperature to keep the kittens warm and avoid hypothermia at this stage because kittens this young are unable to regulate their own temperatures. If you adopt or foster an orphan kitten in this age group, special care will need to be taken, including bottle-feeding the kitten for every two hours up to two weeks of age and possibly helping your kitten pee and poop by simulating their mother's behaviour licking their bellies and genital areas using a cotton swab wetted with warm water.
- Three to Four weeks of age. Kittens' eyesight is improving, and will develop a complete sense of hearing of smelling within this stage. The deciduous canine (fangs) teeth will be erupted. By three weeks, kittens will become well aware of their litter mates, and start to play and interact with each other more. Some kittens may attempt to explore outside the confines of their kittening box,although they can only shakily move around. Kittens can start to play with a small toy and can follow your voice moving their little heads to watch you, this is the stage human can begin to build trust and love with them, some may start purring when human gently patting them.
- Five to Eight weeks of age. Kittens should start their weaning process and drink fresh water from five weeks and should be completely weaned by eight weeks. We recommend starting this process with a babycat's canned food and gradually changed to kittens' kibbles. Not all kittens will take the food immediately, so please be patient and do not starve them just because they don't want to take the solid food. Kittens may start to train to use the litter tray, provide them with a small litter tray, and make sure the litter you have is safe for young kittens to use and possibly eat. This is a delightful period of kittenhood as your kitten will begin to develop complex motor skills—running, jumping, pouncing on each other, but also this can be a dangerous stage if they aren't appropriately supervised while playing, so start setting boundaries for them and let them play in a safe, enclosed room with no higher tabletop that they can climb to and fall from. Kittens should also visit the vet for their first completely health checks and take their first vaccines during 6-7 weeks.
- Three to Five months of age.This is a phase of rapid growth for kittens in which they’ll have almost three times more energy than an adult cat. They’ll still need to have the kitten food and can have most of the cat treats like the dental one as a supplement. Kittens will become well-socialized and starting to become self-reliant at this stage, and you should start training and getting your kittens used to being brushed and bathed and having her nails clipped. This is particularly important when you have a Ragdoll, a long-haired which needed to be brushed daily to keep their fur free from mats. And this is the stage kittens will have their second vaccines, vet check ups and be prepared to go to their purrrrever loving homes.