There are very few things that can compare to the thrill of seeing a young kitten develop and mature. On the other hand, whereas you might be familiar with the stages of human development, the stages of kitten development might surprise you.
It takes about three weeks for most kittens to start walking, but this is not a hard and fast rule. In addition, the fact that they have started walking does not automatically imply that they have excellent coordination.
But if kittens don’t start walking until they’re around three weeks old, how do they navigate their environment before then? When do they seem more coordinated? Before delving further into additional developmental milestones, we’ll address both of these questions and provide answers.
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Can Kittens Move Before 3 Weeks?
It’s possible that a kitten won’t start moving around on its own until around the three-week mark, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely immobile before then. They are extremely inquisitive and eager to begin investigating their surroundings from the moment they are born, even though they have just been born.
They move across the floor using their paws in a manner that is comparable to the crawling that infants do. Despite their best intentions, their mother won’t let them travel very far from home. The mother cat will nudge them in the appropriate direction, and if necessary, she will pick the kitten up by the nape of their neck and place them back where they belong.
When Do Kittens Gain Coordination and Balance?
Around the third week of their lives, when they first discover their feet and begin attempting to walk, kittens do not have very great balance. As they continue to develop their coordination, you will see that they trip and fall all over the place.
Although this is a very cute stage, unfortunately it doesn’t last very long. By the time they are 4 weeks old, most cats have achieved a level of balance and coordination that is satisfactory. They’ll continue to be a little clumsy until they reach full adulthood, but that won’t compare to how unsteady they were when they first started walking.
When Can You Start Holding Kittens?
It is only natural to want to cuddle up with a newborn kitten and hold it as much as possible because they are so cute. However, the fact that they are adorable is not a justification for handling them in any way.
As a matter of fact, you should avoid handling them under any circumstances before they are two weeks old. After that, not only is handling acceptable, but it is actually encouraged!
Kittens require a great deal of human interaction up until the age of eight weeks. This becomes significantly more important after the three-week mark, but you should feel free to get started as early as the two-week mark!
When do Kittens Start to See and Hear?
All newborn kittens are unable to see or hear when they are first brought into the world. The moment that their eyes are opened for the first time and the moment that they become aware of what is going on in their environment are both significant developmental milestones.
Between the ages of one and two weeks, the eyes of newborn kittens will open for the very first time. Concern should be raised if they haven’t opened their eyes by the time they are two weeks old; this is the cutoff point for normal eye opening.
Around the 17-day mark, a kitten’s ears will begin to unfold and become more visible. After 17 days, these should be open, and if they aren’t, that’s a sign that there’s a more serious issue going on.
However, at this point in time, it may be difficult to determine whether or not your kitten can hear. It is not uncommon for a kitten to not respond to sights and sounds until just after the three-week mark, which is 25 days after birth. Even if they have already had access to all of their senses for more than a week, it is at this point that they will start to become aware of the world that is happening around them.
What Does a 3-Week-Old Kitten Look Like?
At the three-week mark, your kitten will begin to develop characteristics that give them a more cat-like appearance. These characteristics will continue to develop over the next few weeks. Initially, they will have blue eyes and absolutely tiny ears, but after three weeks, those extremely small ears will begin to point up. Initially, they will have blue eyes.
In addition to this, your kitten will begin the process of tooth development! You can start giving them solid foods once their teeth start to come in, but you should begin with liquid food at first.
The development of their first teeth, the ability to react to sounds and sights from the outside world, and the fact that this is when kittens usually start walking all contribute to the ease with which a three-week-old kitten can be recognized.
What Do Kittens Do at 3 Weeks Old?
Curiousness is a characteristic shared by kittens of all ages, including a 3-week-old kitten. They devote the majority of their efforts to walking, but the desire to play is the primary reason why they are so eager to do so.
A kitten that is three weeks old is a bundle of energy and curiosity. This is true regardless of whether they are interacting with their mother, their littermates, humans, or toys. They want to go on adventures, have fun, and eat!
While they may express an interest in all of these activities as early as the third week, they won’t begin to master them or engage in meaningful exploration and play until the fourth week.
There’s a certain amount of indescribable happiness that comes along with having kittens around, but they are also a significant responsibility for both the mother cat and you. It is essential to have a complete comprehension of what to anticipate at each milestone, and the three-week mark is a significant one in this timeline because this is when kittens usually start walking.
Not only will they begin to walk at this point, but they are also a little less fragile, and their survival chances have increased dramatically. Now is the time to begin forming close relationships with them.
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