Just like humans, all kittens develop at slightly different rates. No two kittens develop in exactly the same manner, so don’t fret if ever you notice your lovable kitten development seems to be too advanced or late for its age. That is completely normal.
Though kittens develop at different rates, the stages of their development are usually all the same.
By the second week, kittens usually tend to start opening their eyes. Their eyesight is still poor at this stage, and their sense of smell has just begun to develop. One interesting thing about this stage is that kittens tend to show an inclination towards a particular nipple on the mother.
It is into their third week of development that kittens begin to purr. They tend to shakily move around now as well, exploring their home. Their ears are now more erect, shifting from their droopy form into the usual cat ears we are accustomed to seeing.
The kitten’s sense of smell only becomes fully developed and mature during its fourth week of life. It is around this time that these tiny furballs become more active, and tend to interact more with both their mother and their littermates. The kittens start to become slightly more independent at this point and are able to groom themselves to some extent.
By week five, the sense of sight becomes fully developed. The process of weaning can now take place. This means slowly withdrawing the kitten from the mother’s milk supply and introducing it to the type of food it will be consuming during its adult life. This can be done by mixing small amounts of cat food with kitten formula. Kittens may be hesitant to try out this new type of food at first, but with patience, they will start talking to cat food like a pro. Another thing a pet owner may notice at this stage in their development is that kittens start using the litter box, though accidents may still occur every now and then.
It is at the age of six weeks old that kittens should receive their first rounds of vaccinations. Kittens are very active at this stage and tend to stray away from the mother for longer periods at a time.
The development will continue smoothly from this point forward, until the point wherein the kitten will grow to the size of an adult cat. At this stage, a pet owner should continuously pet and cuddle the kitten, to familiarize it with being touched by a human. This will make it easier for the cat to be handled by the vet or when trimming its nails in the future.