The Stages Of Life For Newborn Kittens

Baby KittenA newborn kitten is one of the cutest animals on earth. They are tiny, perfect, fuzzy little helpless creatures which need you to help them start a fulfilling new life. Taking care of a newborn kitten is no easy task, but, once you understand the phases of a newborn kitten, as well as what is necessary in each stage, you will be ready to take care of one!

A cat is considered a kitten until it is about two years old. It is considered a newborn from birth until three months. In those three months, the kitten will go through seven phases, each of which is essential to learn about.

When kittens are first born, it is important to leave them alone with their mother as much as possible. She will know exactly how to take care of her baby. If the mother is not present, then you will need to do some work, which I will explain.

The newborn kitten will be pretty helpless until they are about two weeks old. At this point, they should begin opening their eyes for the first time. Although the eyes are open, they will be mostly blind. They will, however, begin recognizing people and objects by their smell. They may also begin hissing at things which are unfamiliar to them.

FACT:  Did you know a newborn kitten is born with blue eyes? The eye color will change once they get older.

At weeks three to four, the newborn kitten ears will begin to open, and they will begin to develop a sense of hearing. They also will begin to try to walk. They will be very unsteady though. Their teeth will also start to come in at this point. You can introduce them to the litter box at this time, but be careful since they may try to eat the litter!

Blue-Eyed Kittens

Weeks five and six are really fun! A newborn kitten will start to play. She will wrestle and attack things, and pounce on just about everything. You may need to keep an eye on her so she doesn’t get hurt, but don’t get in her way too much. This is an important phase. At this point you will also want to begin weaning the kittens, which you can learn more about at weaning kittens.

The next two weeks will involve the newborn kitten first visit to the vet! She will need to get her vaccinations done now. She will also

be playing even more adventurously.  She also should be completely weaned from milk onto solid kitten food.

During weeks nine and ten, you should be sure to spend a lot of time with the newborn kitten. She will be developing socially at this point. Introducing her to humans will make sure that she is friendly and comfortable around them. She will also need to be brought to the vet for her next set of vaccinations. The kitten’s eyes will likely change to their permanent color at this point as well.

At week twelve, a newborn kitten will be ready to be given away to a new home, if that is what you plan to do with them. You could keep them instead of course. They will not be full grown, but all of their basic developmental stages have been completed!


  1. Hi,

    This website has been very useful… We bought our kitten today and untill I read all of this info I realised I had been a little unprepared but now am all set. Thanks :)

  2. hi

    iv been looking after 3 newborn kittens , they have sush a good humour . I have been taking advice to this wedsite its a vevy helpful thing , there about 5 to 6 weeks old and there playful as ever thankyou for the advice :)

  3. I do have a question. First, your website is very helpful. It answered a lot of my questions. The second is at what point do they start not wanting their mothers milk or she doesnt want to nurse them anymore? At that point do we give them water or milk? And if milk, what kind?

    • The mother should be giving the kitten milk until the kitten is fully weaned. If the mother doesn’t want to nurse them anymore, and the kitten is not fully weaned, do not give them water or milk, but a kitten milk replacement. You can find this at a local pet store, or on Amazon. You might want to read my page about kitten weaning.

  4. Our cat just had kittens on jan. 6th. I am concerned b’cause 1 of the babies eyes won’t open. They appear crusted an shut. Should I attempt to clean them with warm water, or let them be?

  5. My cat had two newborn kittens born yesterday. I didn’t quite understand one thing, what is the best time to introduce solid food and what kind do you recommend?

  6. I am getting a kitten from one of my friends (her cat had kittens and lol their sooooo cute) and she says that she’s giving them away at six weeks. i know thats to young but then what is the right age? i looked it up and found results that were all very differnt. some said 7-8 others 10-12 some 16. plz tell me what you think.

  7. hi, a few weeks ago a little stray cat “adopted” us and last week she had 4 little bundles of joy!! i have luckily already managed to secure good homes for all 4 kittens but was told they were able to leave mummy at around 8 weeks whereas you advise 12 weeks, is 8 weeks too soon and if they go then will it cause any lasting damage?

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