At Roselenni Rags,we raised our kittens from the very beginning of their newborn days when their little eyes are still closed and need to be fed every two hours either by their mother, or sometimes us if their mother doesn't want to give a helping hand. For whom that just rescued newborn kittens or whom that eagers to discover the early stages of your future furfamily member about how a newborn grows into a healthy beautiful kitten, here is a stage-by-stage explanation and guidelines of what should been done 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 are folded down but they grow fast and will open their eyes during their 10-14 days. It's important to keep a warm constant temperature throughout this stage since kittens at this young are unable to regulate their own temperature. If you rescued or are fostering an orphan kitten in this age group, special care will need to be taken, including bottle-feeding the kitten for every two hours and possibly helping your kitten pee and poop using a cotton swab wetted with warm water simulating their mother's behaviour of licking their bellies and genital areas.
- Three to Four weeks of age. Kittens' eyesight is improving, and will develop a complete sense of hearing within this stage. The deciduous canine (fangs) teeth will be erupted. By three weeks, kittens will become well aware of their littermates, and start to play and interact with each other more. Some kittens will attempt to explore the world around them although they can only shakily walk 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 with them. Some kittens may start purring when being gently petted.
- 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 accept the weaning process immediately, so please be patient and do not starve them just because they don't want to take the solid food. Kittens also should begin the litter training at this stage starting with a small open litter tray. This is a delightful period of kittenhood as your kitten will start 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 to climb or fall from. Kittens should also visit the vet for their first completely health checks and take their first vaccines during 7-8 week old.
- Three to Five months of age.This is the rapid growing phase for kittens, during which you'll catch them dashing around or playing with toys energetically. They still need to have the kitten food but can try most kind of cat treats if they want. Kittens will become more socialized and it will be a great time for you to start grooming them everyday and having their nails clipped every other week. You can also try to brush their teeth twice a week without the tooth paste first and give them a treat after the brush so that they won't resist it in the future. This is also the stage kittens should get their second and third vaccine boosters and the Rabies vaccine to complete the first year's schedule.