How can I tell how old a kitten is?

In this brief guide, we’ll address the search query: “How can I tell how old a kitten is?” Also, we’ll explore what are the signs of a cat being pregnant, what you should do if your cat is close to birthing a litter, and what are some basic cares for newborn kittens. 

How can I tell how old a kitten is? 

A healthy kitten’s age can be inferred by checking its weight, whether or not his or her eyes have opened, and how active it is. 

Kittens that are less than about 10 days old have yet to open their eyes, and once they’ve passed this milestone, they will begin to show more signs of being stimulated and begin to explore their surroundings. 

A kitten’s weight is also a good indicator of his or her age, as on average, a healthy kitten will weigh about 1 pound at four weeks of age, around 2 pounds at two months old, and kittens that are between nine weeks to six months old will gain about one pound per month. 

In this light, a 5-pound kitten can be around five months old. 

Therefore, our readers can extrapolate (deduce) their active kitten’s age, based on its weight. A veterinarian can accurately ascertain a kitten’s age, by weighing it, observing its behavior, and checking its baby teeth. 

A kitten’s dietary needs may also indicate its stage, as older kittens will have transitioned to more solid food, whereas younger kittens may still be unweaned. 

What are the signs of a cat being pregnant? 

The changes a pregnant cat undergoes include gaining weight, having an increased appetite, being more sleepy than usual, having a more pronounced abdomen, showing signs of “nesting” (preparing a certain spot for it to lie in), and on occasions, some cats may show signs of nausea and vomiting. 

Additionally, her cycles will be altered, and she may exhibit other odd behaviors, such as being more cuddly in the early stages and being more withdrawn towards the end of her pregnancy. 

To dispel any doubts, we encourage readers to visit their veterinarian. A professional will run some tests and may carry out an ultrasound, to determine whether or not a cat is expecting a litter, how many she will birth (a rough estimate), and other parameters. 

What should I do if my cat is close to birthing a litter? 

If your cat is expecting a litter shortly, you should gradually decrease the amount of physical activity she carries out. 

In the early stages, she should be allowed to go outside and do her regular exercise and as her pregnancy progresses, she should decrease physical exertion and other taxing activities. 

Therefore, it may be recommended that you transition your cat from being outdoor to a mostly indoor cat. 

Also, you should always supply her with fresh water so that she is constantly hydrated, and avoid overfeeding her, so that she doesn’t gain too much weight. 

In the days close to the birth, she may exhibit signs of nesting–and she may require some personal space while she prepares to give birth. Avoid crowding your cat, as this may make her more withdrawn, and she may choose to give birth in a space that’ll be secluded and difficult to access. 

What are some basic cares for newborn kittens? 

Basic cares for newborn kittens include providing the litter with a warm layer of bedding so that they won’t be caught or wrapped up, making sure they nurse from their mother’s milk, and replacing their bedding with clean cloths for them to rest and keep warm. 

Bedding for kittens should remain as clean as possible, and it should be warm and dry. Kittens are especially sensitive to changes in temperature, and keeping them at ideal temperatures is essential for their survival. 

Smaller kittens in the litter (runts) are those which did not have an ample implantation surface in their mother’s womb. As a result, they received fewer nutrients than larger kittens in utero. The runts should be specially looked after, especially when nursing and transitioning to a solid food diet. 

We also encourage our readers to always handle newborn and young kittens with clean, freshly washed hands, to reduce the risk of transmitting a disease to them, as they are especially vulnerable to microbes, and will source most of their antibodies (defenses) from their mother’s milk. 

Once kittens are of an ideal age, they can be taken to a veterinarian who will administer vaccinations and start them on a parasite-cleansing plan (as a precaution).  

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the search query: “How can I tell how old a kitten is?” Also, we’ve explored what are the signs of a cat being pregnant, what you should do if your cat is close to birthing a litter, and what are some basic cares for newborn kittens. 

References 

https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/telling-kittens-age-four-steps#:~:text=A%20kitten’s%20weight%20in%20pounds,is%20about%2012%20weeks%20old.

https://www.litter-robot.com/blog/how-to-tell-if-a-cat-is-pregnant/

https://www.alleycat.org/community-cat-care/caring-for-neonatal-kittens/#:~:text=At%20home%2C%20build%20a%20soft,never%20submerge%20kittens%20in%20water.

https://www.freeportvet.com/services/cats/blog/pregnant-cat-care-tips#:~:text=During%20her%20pregnancy%2C%20you%20will,active%20could%20cause%20her%20stress.

https://www.dailypaws.com/cats-kittens/health-care/kitten-care/how-to-tell-how-old-kitten-is

https://www.petmd.com/cat/nutrition/feeding-kittens-101-what-feed-how-much-and-how-often

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