Learn How Baby Kittens Grow: 0-8 Weeks!

Hi guys! In this video, I’m going to talk all about the biological development of young kittens and how you can tell what age a kitten is. It’s important to be able to identify the age of the kitten because that’s going to tell you how to care for them. (to kitten) Are you adorable or what? Rosalita here is going to be our model for the next eight weeks to teach you all about aging kittens. Starting with… newborns! You’re twitching in your sleep. I can’t wait to watch you grow up! Newborn kittens will have their eyes closed and their ears folded. Their ears are gonna look really small and tight to their head, just like a little tiny teddy bear. At this age, they don’t have any teeth, so if you open the mouth and look inside, you’re going to see very pink gums. The nose, the mouth, and even the little toe beans might look very pink at this age. A truly newborn kitten will also have her umbilical cord. Here’s Rosalita’s umbilical cord. It’ll fall off on its own around four to five days old. So don’t try to pull it off or cut it off yourself, just leave it as it is. A newborn kitten like Rosalita here is the most vulnerable that you could possibly work with. These little ones can’t thermoregulate and need to be kept very warm. At this age, they also don’t have a gag reflex, so you need to be very, very careful while you’re feeding them. Newborn kittens will sleep for the majority of the day, waking up only to eat and go to the bathroom. They can’t walk around, but they might be able to wiggle a little bit to move towards or away from heat. They should be pretty alert when handled. They should be able to wiggle around, make sounds, meow, and let you know that they’re doing okay. You’re so wiggly! The average weight of a newborn kitten is between 75 grams and 150 grams. It’s important that you’re weighing them multiple times a day and making sure that they’re gaining weight. Their average temperature is 95 to 97 degrees at birth and because they can’t thermoregulate at this age, it’s critical to provide them with a heat source. Their environment should ideally be between 85 to 90 degrees at this time. A kitten this young should be with her mother, so do everything you can to keep her with her mom. If you can’t keep a kitten this young with her mom, then they need to be syringe fed with a kitten formula. You can watch all my videos about how to take care of neonates on my YouTube channel. Kittens who are orphaned and don’t have a mother will be more susceptible to disease, so be very careful about handling them. Keep them in a safe space and avoid any contact with other animals. A newborn kitten should be with her mom, but if she’s not with her mom, you need to make sure you’re syringe feeding her a kitten formula, that you’re providing bathroom support in the form of stimulating them to go potty, and that you’re keeping them warm and safe. Kittens who didn’t consume colostrum from their mom within the first day of life will be more susceptible to disease. The colostrum present in the mother’s milk provides passive immunity to the kitten in the form of antibodies, and if a newborn kitten doesn’t nurse on mom during the first day of life, that means they’re going to be even more immunocompromised. So keep these little ones safe. The care schedule for a kitten who is zero to one week old is every two hours. It might sound like a lot, but it’s important to do even overnight. So please care for these guys every two hours. After you care for them, they’ll just go to sleep. So this is our zero-week-old Rosalita, a newborn kitten. So how can you tell if the kitten is a newborn? If they have an umbilical cord, No teeth in their mouth, their eyes are closed, and their ears are very tiny, you can bet that that’s probably a newborn kitten. Rosalita is one week old. Her eyes are still closed, her ears are starting to slightly unfold, and you’ll notice she no longer has her umbilical cord. She just has a nice little belly button. A one week old kitten is still very small, but they’re much more sturdy. You can see her head has gotten a lot bigger, her belly is a lot bigger. This is a very healthy looking one-week-old. Kittens one to two weeks old will weigh between 150 to 250 grams. Their average temperature is 97 to 98 degrees, and it’s critical to provide them with a heat source. Their environment should ideally be around 85 degrees at this time. Their average amount per feeding is 6 to 10 milliliters, and they should eat kitten formula every two to three hours, including overnight. Something you’ll notice on these little guys is their claws are non retractable. So her claws are out at all times of this age. Rosalita’s eyes are still closed for now, but around 8 to 12 days, they’re gonna slowly start to peel open. One thing that I notice on seven-day-old kittens is they start to get a little bit more of an eye line. I can more clearly see where the eyelid is and where it’s going to peek open. By one week old, kittens will have almost doubled their birth weight if they’re doing well. So if you get a kitten whose eyes are closed but who has already lost their umbilical cord, you know that they’re probably between five and eight days old. One-week-olds are still largely uncoordinated and they still sleep for the majority of the day. You might just see that they’re a little more active, a little bit more squirmy, and they’re starting to try out some of those first walking behaviors. She still fits in the palm of my hand. But by this age, she’s made it through the very most vulnerable week of life. So good job, Miss Rosalita! Seven days old is when the ear canals will start to slowly open up. So if you look, you can actually start to slightly see inside of the ear. As that happens, you may find that they slowly start to respond to sounds a little bit more than they did before. At this age, they should be able to lift their head up, and they should be able to wiggle around using their limbs. We’ve got eyeballs! So here we have our two-week-old kitten. At two weeks old, kittens’ eyes will be open and they will be baby blue. Kittens this age will have enlarged pupils and their vision will be very poor. The ears will be upright but very small, like a baby bear cub. Peeking inside the mouth, we can see that she still has no teeth. The claws will still be non-retractable. Kittens start to open their eyes between 8 and 12 days of age, and it can look a little funny while they’re doing this. One eye might open more quickly than the other or it might only happen halfway one day. All kittens are born with blue eyes, and that’s not due to pigmentation, it’s due to a lack thereof. As the kittens get older, their true pigment will come through. But by 14 days of age, kittens will generally have their eyes nice and wide open. Two-week-old kittens are starting to spend a little more time awake and they might even try to take their very first steps, so they’ll be quite uncoordinated. They might wiggle around like a little worm, they might be able to take some steps forward, but these guys are not great at walking. They’ll start to exhibit signs of curiosity about the world around them, but they definitely are not interested in playing yet. Kittens two to three weeks old will weigh between 250 and 350 grams. Their average temperature is 98 to 99 degrees, and it’s still important to give them a heat source at this time. Their environment should ideally be around 80 degrees. Their average amount per feeding is 10 to 14 milliliters, and they should eat every three to four hours, including overnight. And at this age, kittens can receive their first dose of dewormer, which is typically repeated again after two weeks. A two-week-old kitten is still going to be nursing and she’s still going to need to be stimulated to go to the bathroom. But when they’re awake, they should be able to hold their head up, look around, and make crawling motions. [tiny mew]
You’re so vocal! Such a cute age! When I’m caring for an orphan, two weeks is when I make the switch from a syringe to a bottle. I find that most of the time, kittens do a lot better on a bottle around this age than they do when they’re younger. Rosalita here is a great bottle feeder now. You’re becoming a little more than a handful! They’ll also have what I call a triangle tail. It’s a very, very short little triangular tail, and while they’re walking, it will wiggle behind them like an antenna. Three weeks old! Miss Rosalita is now three weeks old! Three weeks is arguably the cutest kitten age ever. At three weeks old, Rosalita’s eyesight is rapidly improving and you can see more of the blue of her eyes. That’s because her eyes are maturing and her pupils are able to dilate according to the light, so she can actually focus better and start looking around a little bit more. Her vision isn’t quite perfect, but it’s definitely getting a lot better. Her ears, on the other hand, are fully mature at this age. Her hearing has completely improved and now she’s able to respond to sounds around her. She even wakes up when she hears her name called. Hello! All these improvements in hearing and vision make them a lot more interactive at three weeks old Ooh! Kittens three to four weeks old will weigh between 350 and 450 grams. Their average temperature is 99 to 100 degrees and it’s still important to give them a heat source. Their environment should be around 75 degrees. Their average amount per feeding is 14 to 18 milliliters, and they should eat from a bottle every four to five hours, including overnight. So this is the age where you start to really feel like you’re interacting with a small cat. Three-week-old kittens also have major improvements in their coordination. She can start to slowly walk around. She’s not gonna be prancing or running or playing at this age, but she will be able to put her feet underneath her body and transport herself where she needs to go. But at this age she’s going to be awake a lot more often. Three weeks old is where you might notice that they’re just kind of sitting there looking around, and they’re not necessarily asleep all the time in between meals. Sometimes I’ll visit her and she’s just staring off into the distance, or rolling around on her back being adorable! If you’ve got a kitten who you think might be three weeks old, a great way to know is to look inside the mouth. Three weeks is when those first teeth start to come in, so if you look inside the mouth, you might see those tiny teeth at the front of the mouth. Those are called the incisors. Don’t be fooled by those first teeth. The incisors are not designed for eating meat, they’re designed for grooming. That’s why at three weeks old, you might see a kitten start engaging in her first grooming behaviors. Belly belly belly belly belly belly! Three weeks is a great age to teach these kittens to start grooming themselves and I like to use a toothbrush to teach them how to do that. If you’ve been caring for an orphaned kitten that’s younger than three weeks, you’ll definitely have been stimulating her to go to the bathroom, and at three weeks old, you do want to keep doing that. Rosalita here does still go to the bathroom by being stimulated with a soft tissue or a baby wipe. Kittens three weeks and younger will absolutely be getting either licked by their mama or will need you to do the work of stimulating them to go to the bathroom. Good job, Rosalita! You went pee! You went potty in the class. Good job! But three weeks old is when you might start noticing them going to the bathroom on their own. Maybe they have a little accident in their blanket or you see that they are starting to go poop on their own in their bed. Three weeks old is a great age to at least be putting a shallow litter box in there for them, even if they aren’t going to use it. A lot of kittens will get curious about the litter box between three weeks and four weeks old. You can watch my litter box video to learn how to help them make that transition, while still providing them stimulation at every meal, of course. Three-week-old kittens should still be either nursing or on a bottle. There are some people who will try to wean a kitten at this age, but I highly discourage that. That can be very dangerous or even deadly for these kittens, so definitely watch my video about weaning age to learn why you should not wean this young. Good job, Rosalita. I can’t wait to see you get bigger! What a fun age you are. And here we have Rosalita at four weeks old! At four weeks old, a kitten’s vision and hearing is rapidly improving. The eyes will appear much more blue as the pupils focus on the items around them and you’ll notice that when you look at them, they’re looking right back at you. If you look in the mouth, you’ll see that the canines have started to come through. (to kitten) Yeah. You got canines! The canines are gonna look like a tiny fang right next to their incisors. Don’t forget: just because they have their incisors and their canines doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily ready to eat meat. Four-week-old kittens will generally still be nursing on their mom or on a bottle, but they are rapidly approaching weaning age. Four-week-old kittens begin confidently exploring their surroundings and developing much more coordination. They can walk very confidently and explore at a faster pace. At this age, kittens are notably more responsive than earlier weeks. They really start to look around and respond to the sights and sounds in their environment. Four-week-old kittens can engage in social behaviors with littermates and they can learn from visual cues from other kittens. At this age, a lot of kittens will be using the litter box, but some of them will still need to be stimulated either by mom or through a tissue. Because of their improved coordination, I think that four weeks is the perfect age to start introducing kittens to play. Sure they won’t be able to pounce and jump as confidently as an adult cat, but this is a good time for them to start some of those early playing behaviors. Kittens four to five weeks old will weigh between 450 and 550 grams. Their average temperature is around 99 to 101 degrees. At this age they don’t rely on a heat source anymore, as long as the room is 70 to 75 degrees. But I still like to provide them with one as an option. Their average amount for feeding is 12 to 22 milliliters per meal, and they should be bottle fed every five to six hours, including overnight. Rosalita is 5 weeks old! Oh my God, you’re so fat. At five weeks old they’re really becoming a tiny cat. Their social skills are developing, they are interacting much more with humans and other animals, they can walk confidently and even start to sprint around. Five-week-old kittens will be playful and they’ll be practicing taking down prey. At this age kittens enjoy hunting their toys and biting them. Five-week-old kittens will still have those baby-blue eyes, but their vision will be very much improved. Their eyes can dilate to light and they can focus on the objects around them. At this age kittens are honing their hunting skills, and they’re perfecting their use of the litter box. They don’t need to be stimulated to go to the bathroom anymore and they can go totally independently. Probably the most exciting development about the five-week-old kitten is that this is the age where they start to wean on to meat. If you look inside the mouth of a five-week-old kitten you’ll see those characteristic canines, the tiny incisors at the front, and you can see that she has her premolars in the back. Those teeth are designed for cutting and shredding meat, so she is ready to start eating little bits of meat on her own. Five-week-old kittens are honing their grooming skills and their potty skills. After a meal, these guys are really good at grooming themselves. And by this age, they should be using the litter box with ease. [meow] Excuse me? [meow] Yeah, I know! You can use the litter box really well! Kittens five to six weeks old will weigh between 550 and 650 grams. Their temperature should be around 100 to 101 degrees. At this age they should be fed every six hours, including overnight, but they should be supplemented with a bottle afterward until they are eating wet food with confidence. They can also be introduced to a shallow bowl of water at this time. While it’s important to weigh kittens at every age, it’s especially important to monitor weight while the kitten is weaning to ensure that they’re making steady gains. A five-week-old kitten is no longer a handful. They’re two handfuls! You’re getting so big! And here we have Rosalita at six weeks old! At six weeks old, Rosalita’s baby teeth are fully descended. The vision and hearing of a six-week-old kitten are fully developed. At the beginning of their sixth week, kittens’ eyes will still be blue. But you’ll notice that between six and seven weeks, they’ll start to transition into their adult eye color. Rosalita’s eyes are a little bit less blue and a little more green every day this week. Between six and seven weeks the melanin production in the eye increases and brings forth the adult eye color. Kittens six to seven weeks old will weigh between 650 and 750 grams. Their average temperature is 100 to 101 degrees, and they can thermoregulate well. At this age kittens should be fed every six hours. Though generally, they are able to successfully eat wet food independently and can therefore handle being left for eight hours overnight while you get some sleep. Kittens this age can independently eat, drink, and use the litter box. At this age kittens generally received their first FVRCP vaccine, which is repeated again in two to four weeks. The most important thing to know about this age is to be playing with them constantly to encourage their natural hunting behavior like pouncing and biting. Rosalita is seven weeks old! At seven weeks, kittens will be fully transitioning to their adult eye color. Rosalita was born with baby blues, but you can see that now she’s going to have beautiful green eyes. Seven-week-old kittens are playful and inquisitive, and they can climb! And if the seven-week-old kitten is male, that’s around the time that their testicles will start to descend. There they are. Kittens seven to eight weeks old will be between 750 and 850 grams. Their temperature will be 100 to 101 degrees, and they can thermoregulate well. At this age, they should be eating a meal every six to eight hours and have ample access to water. At this age, kittens are really honing their micro-panther skills, so be sure to give them lots of access to enrichment and toys. Playing is essential. To teach them to appropriately target their prey and not attack humans, never play with kittens using your hands. Only play with toys. Woo-hoooo! Rosalita is eight weeks old! Eight weeks is by far the most exciting milestone of all because this is when kittens are ready to go to their forever home! Eight-week-old kittens will weigh right around two pounds. Their temperature will be 102 101 degrees and they can thermo regulate well. They can be fed wet kitten food three times a day. At this age kittens can be spayed or neutered, FIV and leukemia tested, microchipped, and prepared for adoption into a forever home. As you can see, these little guys go through so many changes in the first eight weeks of life. But it all comes down to this: getting them to adoption age. You did it, Rosalita! Good job! So that’s it. That’s a look at the first eight weeks of a kitten’s life. I hope this helps you determine your kitten’s age and needs. Of course, note that these milestones are not going to be the same for every single kitten. For example, Ray is six weeks old but only weighs 450 grams because he’s a little guy. And Rosalita here ended up showing an entirely different timeline for her developmental milestones because it turns out that she’s visually impaired. It just goes to show that while there are some standard milestones to look for, every kitten is ultimately going to be different. So I hope you can use this video as a guide that at the end of the day, we have to meet every kitten exactly where they are. Thanks for letting us follow your journey, Rosalita! You were a great little teacher! Mmmmmwah!

100 thoughts on “Learn How Baby Kittens Grow: 0-8 Weeks!

  1. Hi friends! Sorry it's been a while since I've posted a video–but it's for a very exciting reason: I've been working hard on getting ready for my book release! My book, Tiny But Mighty, is now available for pre-order at: http://www.KittenLady.org/tinybutmighty

    Thanks everyone for your patience and support, and I hope you love the new video!

  2. After watching your channel for a while I've realized its a miracle my cat survived his kitten years, me and my dad got him and his sister 8 years ago, and I'm only realizing now that when we got them they must've been 4 to 5 weeks old because even though my current cat was the smallest he was literally small enough to hold in one hand easily. I say a miracle because they both were in bad health and had to be dewormed, they were fine for around 6 months after getting through that. unfortunately, I and my dad had to give away his sister as even if it seemed like playing he was getting some severe scratches from her we weren't too worried as our cat had already become acquainted with our neighbors' cat. we later found out that in her new home she died and we were never told why. I'm glad to say my cat is in perfect health and he is currently lying on my notes and paperwork.

  3. I plan on fostering kittens for my senior project next year seeing as how I do have some experience handling and taking care of small kittens and this video really helped me determine how well I would be able to foster and go to school at the same time so thank you for the helpful info that was in this video and all over your channel

  4. So…my neighbors cat use to come over to my house, and she started to do it a lot. She would always be under the chairs we have on our porch. One day she brought 2 of her kids over and she would play with them and take care of them till one day the kittens started to grab the mothers tail repeatedly , after that she started growling and hissing at them, and this was happening for about 2 months now. A couple days ago the mother had given birth again to 3 baby kittens but we have a friend who did veterinarian practices and told us she has at least one more baby in the tank. She gave birth to the babies at my neighbors house and then we noticed that she had hopped out the neighbors window with the baby in her mouth and she left the baby at our doorstep, then one of the kittens she had prior to the the birth started playing with the new baby, at first we thought he was killing a rat but it was his sibling and he kept licking the baby and was so adorable!!, then we were shocked because the kitten and the mother seemed to be on good terms. Keep in mind this all happened outside, so my mom wasn't gonna let new born kittens stay outside, so we ended up bringing them into the house, we had a huge box and we placed blankets in there so the kittens and the mom were comfortable, fast forward a couple days the mom and her old kitten seem to have gotten on bad terms again but it wasn't that bad compared to when the mom was pregnant. She goals at the older kitten whenever we are getting their cat food then after that they seem fine. We still have yet to let the neighbors know but I think it will be fine. There is one issue I do have though… The cats smell…and I don't mean like they smell bad but they got that cat smell going on. Might have to change the blankets in the box or something, but I hope these kittens end up healthy

  5. I got my cat with only 4 weeks old, because her mom's owner couldnt keep her until she was 8 weeks old, but she is healthy and gigant! She is 1 year old now, she is veeeeeryyy active

  6. I’m a dog person and now has a 5 week old kitten, his weight is 1.5 is that good or bad. I have no knowledge about cats and I’m trying to learn as much as I can

  7. My cat just had her kitten last night but we only found out this morning so YAY we think it’s a Girl!!Her name is Uno!!Her mom is a calico and her dad is a ginger,Uno’s dad doesn’t live with us,Uno is an only kitten so Uno means One in Spanish

  8. Thank you! I now know how old my kittens were when I first met them, a day after they were surrendered–4 to 5 weeks!

  9. I have a kitten it’s 7 weeks old it walks wierd it was with its tail behind its leg I’m not sure if it’s normal or should I take it the vet

  10. You are an AMAZING human being! Thank you for all the help you provide for ALL Animals and thank you for sharing your knowledge. I love ALL animals, but kittens have a very special place in my heart. I currently can not have any animals, but as soon as I get my own place, I'm going to look in to fostering kittens. All because of you and the confidence you have given me to be able to do such a thing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart ❣️❣️❣️

  11. Hello I need help I have a female black cat 1yo named Salem, I got her she was 6 weeks old, she is very territorial and always attacks my older sisters seven-year-old cat silvy, silvy was a rescue so she was always skittish she doesn’t like pats she sleeps outside most of the time. Salem likes to attack her and stalk her 24 seven it’s literally all she does I try to play with her but after a while she loses interest. When I first got Salem she was quite nice but after she got desexed she started to change I would annoy her and pick her up all the time I don’t do that any more because she really doesn’t like it, now that I don’t pick up any more Salem, loves being Pat and played with she’s really changed, for me but she still attacks and stalk Sylvie all the time I really don’t know what to do. Salem is an outside cat/inside cat, there are lots of stray cats in the area like loads more than 100 and Salem likes to fight all of them I could never make Salem a inside cat because Salem loves the outdoors. Plz help

  12. It's just sad that humans will basically dislike any video even when there's absolutely no reason to. You can't argue that Kitten Lady is abusing her kittens, or that kittens are at the core of what's wrong with the world. It's just ridiculous. 1.7 thousand dislikes? Seriously?

  13. Cat should be 12 weeks old to go to his new home. From 8 weeks old to 12 weeks old they learn a lot from their moms, if you separate them from their mother, they can have many behavioral problems (sorry for my English, it's not my native language)

  14. I have a kitten but I'm a kid my kitten is 4 months old it a she her name is crystal breed and her
    Eye have a green and a yellow

  15. Kitten philosophy 101: this video is full of all the "kitten common sense info" you ever need to know… ..all except for the microchipping,,, and also I hope to not be "tracked down" by any of my comments! (no pun intended!)

  16. 8 months old kitten is too young to leave mother in most European countries the demand is that kitten needs to be 14-16 weeks old the time taken from their mother ( and puppies 12 weeks. ) . Taking kitten too early as 8 weeks will cause kitten behaviour disorder kitten needs mother cat's teaching.

  17. The last time i took care of kittens, they pooped in their bed or under my closet, and they ate the litter from the box…it was weird…

  18. If you don't have kitten formula don't feed them cow or any other milk. I fed mine human baby formula with egg yolk for additional protein and it works. Half of egg yolk for one glass or half glass is inuff.

  19. I have 5 kittens that are 7 weeks old and I am having trouble getting them to use the litter box. they keep going on the floor. Any suggestions? Thank you

  20. I posted a video of a farm kitten IDK how old it is could someone watch and tell me? The video is nine second and it called Fuzzball the farm Kitten

  21. Hello there everybody and to the owner of this channel.

    My kitten is 7-8 weeks old and I just saw her eating potty from the litter tub. I don't know if she ate her own potty or fellow friend's potty but it is disgusting.

    Can I quickly stop it or else I will send her to animal shelter.

    It is very tough to withstand this unfortunately.

  22. My Savannah litter will be a week in 2 days. All kittens weight around 120 except for one female. She's smaller than the rest weighting at 93 grams. Any suggestions? The bigger kittens don't let her eat in peace and if I remove the large ones the mom gets up and follows me

  23. I just took in my first orphan newborn kitten last night, and your videos have been so very helpful! Thank you so much for sharing this information with us all! You are amazing! ❤❤

  24. You are an Angel, I'm so glad I found you♡
    I'm caring for a newborn and so scared. I see now he/she is about a week old now, stil pink underneath.

  25. my little puma is almost 1 week old:)
    this is by far the most stressful process but i’m so glad i helped him survive. watching this video so many times because i can’t wait for him to get bigger!

  26. I found a rejected baby cat. She was really small and skinny. One of her eyes was missing, and her ears were already open. Sooo i assumed it was 1 week old. She was doing great but then she reached 2 week and hasnt grown a bit. 3rd week and she is the same size, but skinnier. I feed her 3-4 hrs even over night. And have a warm area for her. I need advise or some type of tip? ?What do i do? I've seen her siblings and there alr walking, playing, running and she is still not strong enough??

  27. My cat had kittens. When they pooped for the first time, they meowed in fear as if they were going die. Before thatI didn't know what was happening, I was really worried…until I saw the poop coming out. My troll kittens XD

  28. A feral cat around my neighborhood died and left 3 kittens. I took care of them, but sadly two of them died, they were too skinny, with parasites, and too weak, probably because their sick mom didn't feed them properly. The one left is 5 weeks old now very underweight, around 280 grams. I took it to vet, and you know what. They know that the kitten has worm but they don't give it anything, they told me that the kitten is too skinny. I gave the kitten more fatty food. Wet food, milk, and yolk. The weight is slowly increase, it has normal poop and normal appetite, but I'm still worried. Since I have anxiety over sick cat.

  29. I had taken a kitten out from our wall of our house. Now I know it was 3-4 weeks old. I took him to the pound and he was fostered until he was adopted.

  30. Kitten Lady – you are the best! I brought home a nursing queen with 6 kittens (2 wks) today. I haven't fostered in 30 years, but am loving this. Your video helped me to remember stages, signs, and what to look for when, and I thank you! I'm a subscriber!

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