Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Kitten Age Chart: How to Tell How Old a Kitten Is?

If you have a new kitten and aren't sure about their age, you may be wondering how to track how old they are so you can monitor their development. Today, our Benton vets explain how to tell how old a kitten is, and offer some advice about how to care for your new feline friend.

Raising a Kitten

Kittens are adorable and lovable household companions, but they have very specific needs that must be met. These needs are different for every stage of their life, and if something goes wrong or is missed, it can affect their overall health and longevity. Below, our vets discuss the different stages of infancy to help you know how to tell how old a kitten is, and the care they will require.

Under 1 Week Old

This is a crucial stage as kittens are quite vulnerable in their first week of life. They will be born with their eyes closed and their ears folded back, so they won't be able to hear or see. Their eyes and ears should open up shortly after the one-week mark.

At this age, kittens need to be kept warm and a heat source should be provided to keep their environment between 85 to 90 degrees if necessary. Kittens are recommended to be fed every 2 hours. The mother cat will typically take care of this, but if the mother is not available, it will be up to you.

We recommend speaking to a veterinarian to go over feeding regimes and dietary requirements.

One Week

At this time, the kitten's ears will begin to unfold and their eyes will begin to open around day ten. Kittens start with blue eyes but they will most likely change as they grow. Kittens still need to be kept warm at this age, with feedings at regular intervals of every 2-3 hours.

Two Weeks

This is when the kitten's eyes should be completely open and their ears fully unfurled. Your kitten will start taking its first wobbly steps around this time, so have your camera ready. They will need to be fed every 3 - 4 hours or so. The kitten will still need to be kept warm at this stage.

Three Weeks 

Your kitten will start getting their first teeth, but will still need to be nursed or bottle-fed. They will start to show their curious nature and take greater steps to explore the world around them, so you should 'kitten-proof' the areas they have access to. You will still need to be sure they are kept warm.

Four Weeks

The kitten will begin getting its canine teeth. This is a fun point in their development as they will begin running, jumping, and playing. At this time, your kitten will likely still need to be bottle-fed and kept warm while they sleep.

Five to Six Weeks

Your kitten's premolars will have erupted, and their molars will begin to appear. They can now be introduced to wet kitten food and weened off their bottle. This is an opportune time if you're wondering how to tell how old a cat is by their teeth.

Preventive Care for Kittens

Regardless of how old your kitten is, you should take them to their first veterinary appointment during the first week they are in your care. Your vet will evaluate the health of your kitten and inform you of their dietary requirements. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you have regarding the care of your new feline friend.

Regular wellness exams will give your kitten their best shot at a long and healthy life. These cat checkups allow your vet to assess your kitten's overall health and well-being, including their dietary requirements. Your vet will also be able to detect any diseases early before they become severe when they are easier and more affordable to treat.

You also need to make sure your kitten gets all of its vaccinations and parasite prevention on schedule. Your kitten should come in for their first round of shots when they are 6 to 8 weeks old, and you should have them spayed or neutered when they are 5 to 6 months old. This prevents any serious diseases or conditions from arising in the first place.

Signs That Your Kitten Should See a Vet

When caring for a kitten there are many things you need to keep an eye out for in every stage of your kitten's life, which could indicate a problem or even a veterinary emergency. If you see your kitten displaying any of the following signs call your vet immediately to schedule an appointment.


Here is what you need to keep an eye out for in a newborn kitten:

  • Delays or difficulties in motor skills or coordination
  • Lethargy
  • Refusing food (especially if being bottle-fed)
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

4 Weeks +

When your kitten is 4 weeks old or older, you still need to keep an eye out for the signs above in addition to these behavioral signs:

  • Litter box usage/ not using the litter box
  • Signs of play biting or aggression
  • Fears and other concerning behaviors that should be managed when they are still young

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your new kitten due for their first trip to the vet? Contact our Benton veterinarians to book an appointment for your furry friend.

Welcoming Cats & Dogs to Our Animal Hospital

Saline County Animal Clinic welcomes cats, dogs, and their people to our clinic! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Benton dogs and cats. Get in touch to book your pet's appointment.

Contact Us

(501) 860-7288 Contact