Just like having a child, it can be incredibly fulfilling bringing a kitten into your family and watching it grow up. It takes only a year for your cute little kitten to mature into a cat. It can seem hard to believe but it will happen fast. Being prepared is the goal here. So what are the key milestones for a young cat?
The First Moments
Kittens are born blind and they are completely dependant on their mother. The first stages will involve learning to eat and then growing. The kitten's eyes will open and he will want to explore. At four weeks old, he is romping around shakily with his siblings. At this time he can begin to learn to use the litter box and should start to become a social animal. In the wild, the kitten's mother will start to supplement his diet with dead mice and other small pretty. But, you may want to give him some soft kitten food or some dry food that is softened a little with water.
He's now six weeks old and he is more than ready to explore the home. If he's indoors, he will move from room to room. A feral kitten will follow his mother when she goes to hang out with the other cats. These cats will still receive mice from their mother, but they aren't dead anymore. Instead, the kitten has to learn to hunt the animal. Those who are eight weeks old will be completely weaned from their mother and are ready to go to a new home.
The Next Months
Through the next several months, the cats will grow really fast. You'll need to get them in to be vaccinated at this time so that they are healthy and strong. They will begin to learn what they have to do to live with their families and learn which behaviors are okay. You can teach your kitten his name as well as a few simple commands now. If the cat has long hair, make sure to get him used to allowing you to groom him, although the cat's coat doesn't need to be brushed just yet.
Sometimes, cats will suddenly develop a bad attitude. Believe it or not this is an adolescent stage for them. This happens when the cat goes from being a kitten into being a mature cat. Sounds just like children, right? This will happen around the fifth to six month and may last until the cat reaches a year old. They will still be playful but may get carried away to play too aggressively. If your cat is not neutered at six months of age, he will be mature enough to reproduce now. Neutering the cat will help this stage of his development go more smoothly. At six months, the cat looks the way he will look as an adult even though he may still become larger.
Just like humans, adult cats will continue to go through stages. But, these stages can be dealt with quite easily. And, unlike that mid life crisis you may have, the cat isn't likely to go out to purchase a sports car at this age!
If you take care of your kitten's health as he grows into an adult cat you will have a fulfilling relationship that will bring both you and the cat great satisfaction.
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