Being able to tell how old a kitten is is important because their needs change on a weekly basis. Our Ankeny vets are here to explain how to tell how old a kitten is in 4 easy steps.
The Importance Of Determining A Kittens Age
If a new tiny kitten has come into your life, it is very important to figure out exactly what age they are because their needs change rapidly. A 1-week-old kitten
If you've rescued a new kitten, it is very important to figure out just how old it might be. This is because their needs change rapidly, and the needs of a 1-week-old kitten will be vastly different than the needs of a 4-week-old kitten.
How To Tell A Kittens Age In 4 Simple Steps
While we will get into more detail later in the post, here are 4 simple steps you can follow to get a pretty good estimate of your kitten's age.
1. Look at their teeth or lack of teeth
One easy way to tell the age of a kitten is by looking at their teeth. Your kitten's baby teeth will start to develop around 3 weeks of age and they will have permanent teeth at 3 - 4 months of age. The middle incisors are the first to come in around 14 weeks, with the second and third incisors following at about 15 and 16 weeks, respectively.
Kitten's teeth are incredibly tiny, so it can be difficult to determine if the incisors are baby teeth or permanent. It makes it a bit easier of you have some of each type to compare. The baby teeth are a little smaller with pointed tips, while permanent teeth are a little wider with flat edges.
2. Check your kitten's weight
A kitten’s weight in pounds roughly corresponds to his age in months, and he will gain weight at a relatively predictable rate until about 5 months of age. As long as a kitten is in good body condition, you can safely guess that a 1-pound kitten is about 4 weeks old and a 3-pound kitten is about 12 weeks old.
3. Are their eyes open
Kittens will always be born with closed eyes. Their eyes won't open until at least 10 days of age.
4. Do they walk around or play
Kittens will start to walk at about 2 - 3 weeks of age but won't have their full coordination quite yet. You can be comfortable saying a kitten who is walking pretty well and playing is at least 4 weeks of age.
Development & Behavioral Milestones
To get the most accurate age for your new kitten, you'll likely have to have them checked by a vet during their first veterinary checkup. Here are a number of milestones that you can look out for to get a more accurate determination, use it like a "kitten age chart".
- Their eyes are closed, their ears are folded and the umbilical cord will still be attached.
- They are blind and deaf at this point.
- The kitten's nose and paws may be pink in color.
- Weight roughly 50-150 grams.
- They have a low body temperature, usually around 95-97 degrees.
One Week Old
- Their eyes remain closed and they no longer have an umbilical cord.
- At about 7 days their ear canals will begin to open.
- Around 8-12 days, the eyes will slowly begin to open. Never attempt to pry open a kitten's eyes; let them open naturally.
- By 7 days of age, your kitten should have doubled her birth weight (approximately 150-250 grams).
Two Weeks Old
- At two weeks of age, your kitten's eyes will have opened completely and they will be baby blue. Vision will still be developing.
- The ear canals will be open and the ears will be small and rounded, like a baby bear cub.
- Two-week-old kittens will be wobbly on their feet and are attempting to develop coordination and movement.
- A two-week-old kitten should weigh anywhere from 250-350 grams.
Three Weeks Old
- Once your kitten hits three weeks of age, their first teeth will begin to emerge. The tiny teeth at the front of the mouth called the incisors, will start to come through the gums.
- Three-week-old kittens will have ears that point upwards, like a miniature cat.
- At this age, kittens will be walking, exploring their surroundings, and even beginning to explore their litter box.
- The average kitten should weigh from 350-450 grams.
Four Weeks Old
- Your kitten's teeth will continue to emerge and develop and by this time you will start to see the canine teeth poking through the gums.
- Four-week-old kittens will be confidently exploring and developing more coordination that allows them to walk, run, and even begin to play.
- Your kitten should still weigh anywhere from 350-450 grams.
Five Weeks Old
- The premolars will start to emerge, indicating that a kitten is ready to be introduced to weaning onto wet food.
- Your kitten should now weigh roughly 550-650 grams.
Six Weeks Old
- At six weeks of age, a kitten's deciduous teeth will have fully emerged, and she will typically be perfecting her weaning onto wet food.
- At this stage, your kitten can weigh 650-750 grams.
Seven Weeks Old
- At seven weeks, kittens will have all of their baby teeth. Most seven-week-old kittens will be fully weaned onto wet food.
- At this age, the adult eye color will begin to emerge. Kittens' eyes will change from baby blue to the eye color they will keep permanently. Kittens with grey, green, or yellow eyes are likely 7 weeks or older.
- They will weigh in around 750-850 grams.
Eight Weeks Old
- At eight weeks old, most kittens will be eating independently.
- Kittens of this age will have their permanent adult eye color.
- Your kitten should weigh about 850-950 grams.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.