Stages of growth and development of a kitten
On the way to growing up the kitten is waiting for a lot of events. Let’s analyze in stages the most significant of them.
Kittens are born deaf and blind, but have a good enough sense of smell to easily find the source of mother’s milk. The milk produced by the cat in the first days of her kitten’s life contains a large amount of antibodies (mainly IgA and IgG) and is called colostrum. Thanks to him, the kitten gets the so-called primary immunity. In the future, the level of antibodies in milk gradually decreases, but remains sufficient to maintain health and prevent infections.
At 4–5 days, the kittens have a hearing, and by the beginning of 3 weeks of life their eyes open. At 3 weeks, they begin to cut their teeth, and the babies become noticeably more mobile – try to stand on all 4 legs.
At the age of 4–6 weeks, the kittens begin to show independence: exploring the area, they leave the mother cat for a longer distance, try to drink water and eat independently, and wash themselves. At this time, you can begin to enter into their diet feed. One of the most suitable for the transition to self-feeding is the wet food for kittens PRO PLAN® Junior NUTRISAVOUR®. It contains all the necessary nutrients for the harmonious development and growth of a kitten: omega-3 fatty acids for the development of the central nervous system and vision, the correct ratio of calcium and phosphorus for the development of muscles and skeleton.
For 6–8 weeks for preventive reasons, it is necessary to give the kitten anthelmintic. And in the diet, you can enter dry food. During this period, you can gradually excommunicate him from the mother. However, it should be remembered that without mother’s milk, a kitten is especially vulnerable to infections, since he has not yet had time to form his own immunity, and maternal antibodies no longer come. To ensure maximum support for the kitten’s immune system during this period of life, PRO PLAN® Junior dry kitten feed containing dry colostrum, rich in antibodies, is very suitable for strengthening intestinal resistance and maintaining immunity.
From 8 weeks of age, it is permissible to completely transfer the kitten to dry food. However, in order to provide a variety of nutrition and a sufficient amount of moisture, you can continue the combined feeding. Up to 12 weeks the kitten should receive food 5-6 times a day. To correctly determine how much wet and dry food your pet needs, follow the instructions on the package. And by all means make sure that there is always clean fresh water in his bowl.
At the same age, the first planned vaccinations are carried out, and the weaning process from the mother is completed. At this time it is especially important to pay attention to the socialization and education of the kitten. Begin to teach him the right care: often comb it with a special brush and carefully inspect the ears and mouth. Watch and ensure that your pet went to the tray.
From 4 to 6 months kittens change their teeth. And, as a rule, by the end of 6 months, all 26 milk teeth are replaced by the 30th permanent. Sometimes this is accompanied by excessive inflammation of the gums and bad breath. If you notice that the kitten has decreased appetite, change the ratio of wet and dry food in its diet in favor of wet or temporarily refuse dry food.
At 7 months, the kitten becomes puberty and, although most kittens at this age still do not show sexual activity, in order to avoid trouble, try to limit the contact of different sex animals. At the age of 7–9 months, the sexual instinct begins to manifest itself in cats, the first estrus occurs. Each owner decides to castrate, sterilize his animal or not, but the most favorable age for the operation in cats and cats is the period from 8 to 10 months.
At this age, kittens are already similar to adults, however, they reach full physiological maturity only by 12 months of age. When a pet turns one year old, it is worth thinking about transferring it to a less-calorie diet – food for adults or sterilized (if the kitten was operated) cats.