How Old is that Kitten?

When kittens are first born their eyes are closed, their ears are folded, they can't keep themselves warm or eliminate waste. They fit in the palm of your hand and weigh 3-5 ounces. Even though they are helpless, they can purr and make distress calls. They will spend 90% of their time sleeping and the other 10 percent eating. Kittens are completely dependent on their mother for protection, warmth and nutrition.


One Day Old

Newborn Kitten

At one day old, the kittens cannot stand. Their eyes are closed and their ears are folded. Kittens this young require round-the-clock care and bottle feeding every two hours.

Two Weeks Old

9 Day old kitten

By the end of the second week, their ears will be almost completely uncurled, their eyes are fully open and they will begin to crawl and take the first wobbly steps. They will depend completely on a caregiver for food and waste elimination.

Five Weeks Old

Kitten 5 weeks old

Sight is fully developed and they engage in vigorous and exhaustive play. Running around and exploring until they quite literally fall asleep right where they are. While they are experimenting with solid food, kittens are still nursing from their mother or being bottle fed a few times a day. Interacting with people is important for kittens at this age.

Eight Weeks Old

Kitten 8 weeksold

At two months kittens weigh about 2 pounds and can be spayed or neutered. This is the height of a kittens’ eye-paw coordination and play activity, leading them to try more daring and complex feats as well as using their body language like adult cats.

Three Days to Six Days Old

3 day old kitten

Notice that the kittens’ ears are just beginning to unfold, though their eyes remain closed. Their sense of smell, hearing, and taste are slowly starting to develop. After almost a week, the kittens begin to wiggle around on their own a little bit and their eyes start to open.

Three Weeks Old

16 Day old Kitten

By the third week, you can tell if the kittens are boys or girls. Their teeth are coming in, their walking is becoming more confident, they begin playing with siblings and getting mobile. But even at this age, the kittens still spend a substantial part of their day sleeping. You can introduce a litter box and wet food.

Six Weeks Old

Kitten 6 weeks old

At 6 weeks they will start using the litter box and eating cat food, though they still may visit mom for snacks and comfort. This is the age when the people should begin teaching the kitten how to play, letting them know that human hands are not for biting or scratching.

Nine Weeks Old

Kitten 9 weeks old

At Nine weeks old, they will be eating all solid food and their eyes will have gone from blue to their adult color. They should be exhibiting all of the behaviors of adult cats, and use their body language to communicate with their caregivers.

One Week Old

One week old kitten

At one week they are becoming more aware of their surroundings. Their eyes are almost completely open, though their eyesight is still unfocused. They have doubled their birth weight to around eight ounces. At about seven days old, a kitten’s ears will unfold.

Four Weeks Old

Kitten 4 weeks old

At four weeks kittens are sturdy on their feet and playing with each other, toys, and people. They are showing interest in the outside world, interacting with their littermates more  and begininning to interact with people and toys.

Seven Weeks Old

Kitten 7 weeks old

The kittens are almost fully weaned and continue to play and learn. Being introduced to new people, places in the home, and other pets is an important part of socialization. You can introduce a scratching post and trim their claws. They are pretty self-sufficient at this point.

10 Weeks Old

Kitten 10 weeks old

At this point the kitten should be fully weaned, spayed or neutered and socialized to people.