4 Ways to Know a Kitten's Age

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4 Ways to Know a Kitten's Age
4 Ways to Know a Kitten's Age

If you have found, adopted or inherited a kitten, you need to know its age. Cats are animals that develop much faster than humans, and the needs of a two-week-old puppy are quite different from those of a six-week-old animal. Although the finding is not accurate, just an estimate will help you to properly care for this new furry friend.


Method 1 of 4: Examining Physical Characteristics

Tell How Old a Kitten Is Step 1

Step 1. Look for the umbilical stump

If you find it, it means you're dealing with a newborn animal.

  • The mother usually bites the umbilical cord until it breaks. The remaining "stump" will be a small piece of fabric hanging from the cat's belly.
  • The baby's umbilical stump usually falls out within the first three days of life. Therefore, if the animal has this characteristic, it has only a few days to live.
Tell How Old a Kitten Is Step 2

Step 2. Examine the animal's eyes

Such a region goes through several stages of development, from starting to open up to finally changing color. Observing and analyzing the eyes can help a lot when figuring out the cat's age.

  • Most kittens do not open their eyes until they are 10 to 15 days old, but some kittens take less time - seven to ten days. If the animal has its eyes closed, it is a newborn and is very young. If the puppy has its eyes open, it is at least 1 week old.
  • If the eyes are already open but are squinted most of the time, the animal is probably two or three weeks old. Remember that a newborn cat's eyes will always be blue, no matter what color they turn into when the animal becomes an adult.
  • If a puppy's eye color is beginning to change, the animal is probably six or seven weeks old. At this time, the iris will start to transition to permanent color. However, you won't notice any change if the animal does have blue eyes. In that case, this characteristic will not be of much help when determining the animal's age.
Tell How Old a Kitten Is Step 3

Step 3. Analyze the puppy's ears

Like the eyes, cats' ears also change during the early stages of development. Therefore, it is possible to determine the puppy's age based on the characteristics of that region.

  • If the ears are too close to the head, the animal is probably less than 1 week old. This is because cats are born with their ear canals closed, which ultimately results in their ears flattened back (the canal starts to open about five to eight days after birth).
  • Note the development of the ears. They usually take longer than the eyes to open. Although the ear canal opens five to eight days after the cat is born, visible ear growth takes longer. This will only happen around the second or third week of the kitten's life.
Tell How Old a Kitten Is Step 4

Step 4. Examine the cat's little teeth

Checking the presence or not of certain teeth helps and a lot when specifying the age of an animal. A kitten with no teeth is probably less than two weeks old. If teeth are already present, you need to analyze them for quantity and appearance.

  • The first deciduous set (also known as "milk set") appears when the animal is between two and three weeks old. The first tooth to appear is usually the incisor. If the tooth has not yet erupted, touch the animal's gums to see if you can feel it.
  • Deciduous canines begin to be born around the third or fourth week of life. They are long, pointy, and sit alongside the incisors.
  • Deciduous premolars appear when the puppy is four to six weeks old. These teeth grow between the canines and the molars.
  • If all of the animal's teeth are present, except for the molars, this means that the kitten is about 4 months old. The animal probably has:

    • Six incisors on top and another six on the bottom;
    • Two canines above and two below (one on each side of the last incisor);
    • Three premolars on top;
    • Two premolars below.
Tell How Old a Kitten Is Step 5

Step 5. Look for adult (or "definitive") teeth

If you find them, the animal is probably four months old or older. If the pussies are already bigger, it will be more difficult to determine the age based only on the appearance of the teeth. If you're a newborn, it's a lot easier, because you can keep an eye on the appearance of permanent teeth.

  • Adult incisors are the first to be born, around the fourth month of life.
  • Between four and six months, the canines, premolars and milk molars are all replaced with permanent teeth.
  • If the cat has all adult teeth, including all four molars, then it is at least seven months old.
  • This article is based on healthy, normal pussies; take into account that medical problems or accidents can cause teeth to fall out or come out late.
Tell How Old a Kitten Is Step 6

Step 6. Weigh the animal

This tip can be a little inaccurate due to size and breed differences, but weight can be an important factor when providing more information about the cat's approximate age.

  • A healthy puppy usually weighs 105 g at birth and gains approximately 8 g per day. Therefore, a pussy will weigh 105 to 157, 5 g in the first week of life. (An animal weighing less than 105 g may be sick or malnourished. In that case, take it to the vet.)
  • From one to two weeks of birth, a kitten will weigh from 113 to 170 g. As for size, it will be smaller than an adult human hand.
  • In two to three weeks, the animal will weigh 170 to 225 g.
  • In four to five weeks, the pussy will weigh from 225 to 450 g.
  • At seven to eight weeks, the cat usually weighs 680 to 900 g.
  • At three months or more, a healthy puppy will gain 450g per month until the weight stabilizes at 4,500kg. Therefore, an animal weighing 1,350 kg is probably three months old; similarly, a 1,800 kg cat is four months old. Although this is a very simplistic statement, the rule is useful for determining the age of animals over 12 weeks old - until they reach adult weight (4,500 kg for most cats), of course.

Method 2 of 4: Assessing Behavior

Tell How Old a Kitten Is Step 7

Step 1. Observe any signs of weaning

This step is only useful if the kitten is still with its mother. The cat begins to stop feedings as soon as the puppy is four to six weeks old. That's when her milk starts to dry up.

  • If the mother has weaned the pussy completely, it is probably seven weeks old, give or take. After that time, the cat does not allow the puppy to continue suckling. The kitten, of course, will approach the mother's belly, but will be rejected.
  • At seven or eight weeks, the cat begins to leave the mother for longer periods of time to explore the environment in a more adventurous way.
Tell How Old a Kitten Is Step 8

Step 2. Observe the puppy's mobility

The animal's gait fluency can also indicate age - as long as development has been normal, of course. A pussy cannot walk until it is two or four weeks old. Until then, he will spend time close to his mother and siblings, nursing or sleeping. If you need to move before the first month, the cat will crawl with only its belly for support.

  • Uncertainty in movement indicates that the puppy is about two weeks old.
  • If the animal shows greater confidence in walking, it is probably more than three weeks old.
  • Between three and four weeks, the cat will begin to show the "righting reflex," that is, the ability these animals have to always fall on their feet.
  • By four weeks of age, the puppy will be able to walk more firmly and explore the environment. As mobility increases, natural curiosity also begins to emerge. At this age, kittens start jumping and grabbing.
  • A pussy starts running around the fifth week of age.
Tell How Old a Kitten Is Step 9

Step 3. See the animal's reaction to noise and moving objects

Although the eyes and ear canals begin to open in the second or third week of life, the senses of sight and hearing are still developing. If the pussy responds to external stimuli, it is probably about three and a half weeks old.

Tell How Old a Kitten Is Step 10

Step 4. Analyze the cat's behavior

If healthy, the animal will show some self-assurance by the fifth or sixth week of life. This is due, in part, to the growth of coordination and mobility. A pussy at this age begins to explore the environment with much more courage than a younger animal.

Between seven and eight weeks, the cat will be highly coordinated and mobile. He will enjoy running, playing and socializing with humans and other animals, as well as, of course, exploring high places to practice the famous cat jump

Method 3 of 4: Identifying sexual maturity

Tell How Old a Kitten Is Step 11

Step 1. Look for signs of puberty

Around four months, the cat's behavior begins to change due to hormones. At this age, the animal begins to meow loudly at night and also tries to escape from indoors. These signs indicate the onset of puberty.

Tell How Old a Kitten Is Step 12

Step 2. Look for signs of sexual maturity

Between four and six months, the pussy enters "adolescence". At this point, he begins to lose his childhood fat and develops a slimmer body - even during weight gain.

  • Males begin marking territory with urine to attract females for mating.
  • Also between four and six months, the females have their first heat. This phase also involves marking territory, among other things, such as long, loud meows and the act of rubbing against things and people.
Tell How Old a Kitten Is Step 13

Step 3. Identify the "juvenile" status

Cats are considered young from the seventh month of life onwards; at that time, they grow a little more and mature sexually. If you have a cat, keep an eye out as she can get pregnant. Along with sexual maturity also comes greater aggression.

  • Around six months, cats begin to challenge each other for dominance of territory. When young, pussies tend to bite a lot more.
  • As bites are more frequent at this time, be careful when handling animals at this age.

Method 4 of 4: Confirming the Prognosis

Tell How Old a Kitten Is Step 14

Step 1. Ask who provided the animal

Breeders and quality stores keep the animal's histories, in which case they can provide them to you. If the birth was not witnessed by them, they will at least be able to estimate the age. Even if a shelter has received a pussy after birth, local staff and veterinarians will still be able to pinpoint the animal's lifespan.

Tell How Old a Kitten Is Step 15

Step 2. Ask the vet

When taking the kitten for a first appointment, ask the doctor for an age estimate. During that same visit, the veterinarian will prescribe tests and vaccinations so that the animal can grow as healthy as possible.


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