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Determining the Age of Your Orphan Kitten

A one-week old kitten needs a completely different level of care than a four week old.

You’ve rescued an adorable little fluff ball. Before you can decide what you need to do next, you need to determine his age. A one-week old kitten needs a completely different level of care than a four week old. Once you know his age, you’ll know if you need to stimulate him to potty or provide a litter box.

Please remember that this chart is only a general guide. Every kitten is different. Some kittens open their eyes at three days. Some kittens wean themselves at 3 weeks, while others squeal for a bottle at 8 weeks.

Newborn to
7 days
  • A kitten will weigh 3 to 4 ounces at birth
  • Ears flat against head
  • Kitten can’t regulate his body temperature
  • Kitten is blind and deaf
  • Kitten can smell well enough to find mother’s nipple
  • Sleeps 90% of the time and eats the other 10%
  • Room should be 85° to 90° F
  • Kitten should be fed 6 to 12 times a day
  • Stimulate private parts to help him go to
    the bathroom
Day 3
  • Umbilical cord falls off
Newborn to
14 days
Crawls around
5 to 14
days
  • Ears open
  • Eyes open
6 days Develops shiver reflex
7 days
  • Kitten should weigh 6 to 8 ounces
  • Hold head and chest up
7 to 14
days
  • Room should be kept at 80° to 85° F
  • Kitten should be fed 5 to 7 times daily
  • Kitten should weigh 8 to 10 ounces
14 day
  • Starting to coordinate his movements
  • Locates specific sounds
  • Stands up and crawls around
  • Begins to play and explore
14 to 17
days
Begins walking (probably wobbly)
14 to 21
days
  • Room should be 75° to 80° F
  • Starts to explore his surroundings
  • Kitten should be fed 4 to 7 times daily
  • Kitten should weigh 10 to 12 ounces
17 to 21
days
  • Poops and pees on his own
  • Interacts with littermates
  • Tail swishes
21 days
  • Really walking
  • Ears stand up
  • Swivels ears
  • Scratches with hind leg
  • Eyes starting to focus
  • Turns head toward sounds
21 to 28
days
  • Canine teeth (fangs) emerge
  • Pees and poops without help
  • Runs and climbs
  • Kitten should be fed 3 to 7 times daily
  • Kitten should weigh at least 14 ounces
  • Should start socialization with people and friendly cats
28 days
  • Room should be no cooler than 70° F
  • Laps milk replacer from a saucer and eats gruel or canned foods
  • Kitten should weigh at least 28 ounces
  • Playing with littermates
4 to 5
weeks
  • Lower molars emerge
  • Kittens begin to pounce
  • Runs around
  • Uses litter box
6½ to 7 weeks Eyes change from baby blue to their adult color
7 weeks Weaned
8 weeks
  • Upper molars emerge
  • Many vets will spay or neuter kitten
12 weeks Ideal time to remove from mother
12 to 16 weeks Permanent teeth emerge
5 to 6 months Reaches sexual maturity
CATEGORY: Cats, Kitten