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  • Writer's pictureShannon McKinzie

How Cats Develop

Cats are amazing creatures, whether or not you are a cat person. I love and appreciate both dogs and cats. However, Cowtown Cat Cuddlers primarily focuses on these fascinating felines - the only pet sitting service in Fort Worth to do so. Therefore, we will look at how cats develop from cuddly little kittens to mature adults. Did you know that all kittens are born with blue eyes? Also, that one eye may open before the other?


Most agree that they consider felines kittens from newborn to 6 months. Most milestones occur within the first eight weeks of life. Below is a weekly description of how cats develop from week one through week six:

· Week 1 - eyes are closed, one eye may occasionally open prior to the other; the umbilical cord is now detached; the ear canals will begin slowly opening and ears begin to unfold; there are no teeth; they will sleep the majority of the time with any movement being uncoordinated; may be able to slightly lift head

· Week 2 - eyes are fully opened and baby blue in color; their vision is poor, especially long distance; ear canals are fully opened and ears unfolded, however they are rounded in shape; still no teeth; their movements are more coordinated and will begin taking first steps; sleep is still a priority, but they are beginning a curiosity of the world around them

· Week 3 - small ears are beginning to point upward; vision and hearing improve; first teeth emerge through the gums, called the incisors, in the front of the mouth; they will now begin retracting their claws; they will walk and explore more, including the litter box; they may become curious about kitty toys, although they are unable to chase moving objects; they will sleep frequently and begin some small self-grooming behaviors; coordination will begin rapidly improving

· Week 4 - hearing and vision continue to improve; their long canine teeth begin to emerge next to the incisors; their claws are now retractable; now more coordinated and able to confidently explore, walk, run and even play; senses now allow them to make eye contact with caregivers and react to sights and sounds in the environment around them; they are fully using the litter box

· Week 5 - their premolar teeth will begin to emerge; ears will grow more and pointed; they will develop social interactions with caregivers and other animals; grooming skills continue to improve; litter box use is now perfected

· Week 6 - molar teeth will emerge; their eyes are still blue; vision and hearing fully developed; socializing confidently they begin play fighting, pouncing and defending themselves; eager to explore; perfecting self-grooming; they are able to jump off furniture and land on their feet

Junior & Prime

Feline junior age is six months to 2 years with their prime age at three to six years. As a junior, some inter cat aggression may appear, and sexual maturity. In their prime years, many owners neglect to make regular veterinarian visits. When loving on your beloved feline, feel for any weight loss or bumps or lumps. Marking by urinating in the house are more common with male cats that have not been neutered. They will do this by standing as they are urinating; if they are squatting their veterinarian needs to be notified. Provide regular meal times, space and privacy - also something to scratch. You will have a happy kitty to enjoy for a long time.

Senior& Geriatric

The average life span of a cat is 16 years, although they can live to be 30. Routine veterinarian visits are necessary at this stage of life. They will become more talkative, mostly because of a loss of hearing, or possibly disoriented or pain such as arthritis. He may need to use the litter box more frequently, yet have a hard time finding it from feline cognitive decline (FCD). This may cause more restless sleeping patterns. Again, a steady routine of feeding will help along with keeping her litter the same and in the same location. Keeping their normal way of life will help with anxieties and confusion.

All cats are different, and will age at different rates. You know your cat better than anyone else. This is an average span of how cats develop to help you. Enjoy your feline friend and take good care of them - they will appreciate you and have a long and healthy life!

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