Are you considering adopting an orphan kitten, but don’t know how to determine its age? You’ve come to the right place! In this complete guide, we’ll teach you how to accurately determine the age of an orphan kitten. We’ll provide you with helpful tips and tricks from experienced cat owners, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to assess the age of your new pet. You’ll also get to learn about the different developmental stages of kittens, and what you should expect from each age group. With this guide, you’ll be able to give your new feline friend the best life possible! So let’s get started on our journey of discovering the age of your new furry companion.
What are the Age Developmental Stages of an Orphan Kitten?
As every kitten is unique, it’s important to know the developmental stages of kittens before determining the age of your new feline friend. Here’s a brief overview of the four main stages of a kitten’s life.
(1) Early Development age
When a new kitten is born, they are referred to as a neonate. At this point, the newborn kitten is completely reliant on their mother for survival. They can’t see, hear, or walk. Their ears are closed, and they don’t have any teeth. Their tiny bodies are only the size of a grape. At this stage, the kitten is vulnerable to many dangers, such as infections and exposure to extreme weather. Therefore, the cat needs an extreme care in this stage, learn more about how to take care of orphan kittens. In this stage the cat is approximated to be between one week to two weeks old.
(2) Transitional age
At this point, the kitten will begin to gain strength in their legs, and their ears will begin to open. Their eyes will start to open a few weeks later. The kitten will also start to grow teeth during this stage
(3) Psychosocial age
At this point, the kitten will become more social and playful. The kitten will start to grow teeth at this stage as well. During this stage, the kitten will become more curious and active. The kitten will start to grow adult teeth at this point. This a socialisation period when they are around 10 weeks old.
How to Determine the Age of an Orphan Kitten?
It’s important to accurately determine the age of your new kitten, as it will determine the type of care they need. In this section we well explain more on the development stages.
During this process, you should look at four main factors: the kitten’s physical appearance, behavioural patterns, weight, and the state of the kitten’s teeth. As mentioned, every kitten is unique, and it may take some trial and error to get the perfect age. However, by weighing the different factors, you should be able to get an accurate estimate. Let’s take a closer look at these factors.
(1) Physical Appearance
The first thing you should do when determining the age of an orphan kitten is to assess its physical appearance. This includes examining their fur, body size, and general build. You can also observe the kitten’s teeth, ears, and eyes if they’re open. However, these features are not accurate enough to give an exact age. Instead, they can give you a ballpark range of what age the kitten could be. For example, if the kitten’s fur is soft and fluffy, it could be between two and three weeks old. If you notice their fur is limp and thin, they could be around seven weeks old. This can give you a good idea of how old the kitten is, but it isn’t an exact science.
(2) Behavioural Patterns
You can also observe the kitten’s behavioral patterns to give you a better idea of their age. For example, if the kitten is extremely energetic, it could be around 10-12 weeks old. Alternatively, if the kitten is extremely lethargic, it could be around 2-3 weeks old. There are exceptions to every rule, so you should take these behavioural patterns with a grain of salt. However, they can give you a better idea of what age the kitten might be. You can learn more about your kitten behaviour from here.
(3) Weight of the kitten
You can also weigh your kitten to determine their age. Kittens that are 2-3 weeks old typically weigh around 2 ounces. The table below summarise the approximate weight of the kitten based on their age.
(4) Teeth growth
You can examine the kitten’s teeth to get a better idea of their age. While newborn kittens don’t have any teeth, you can use the state of their teeth to estimate their age. If a kitten has deciduous teeth, they are probably between 2 and 3 weeks old. If a kitten has deciduous and permanent teeth, they are probably between 4 and 7 weeks old. If a kitten has deciduous and permanent teeth, they are probably between 8 and 12 weeks old. If a kitten has only permanent teeth, they are probably between 13 and 16 weeks old.
Tips for Determining the Age of an Orphan Kitten
As we’ve discussed, there are several factors you can look at to determine the age of your new kitten. However, it’s important to note that none of these factors are 100% accurate.
It’s best to analyze a few different factors to get a more accurate estimate.
Make sure the kitten is healthy
First and foremost, make sure the kitten is healthy before you determine its age. If the kitten is sick, you won’t be able to get an accurate reading. Make sure the kitten has no signs of infection or illness. Once you’re sure the kitten is healthy, you can proceed with determining its age.
Keep an eye on the kitten’s development
Another important thing to keep in mind is that kittens develop at different rates. If you adopt more than one kitten, it’s likely that they’ll develop at different rates. Take note of what developmental stages your kitten goes through. If they’re growing slower than the others, they might be younger. If they’re growing faster, they could be older.
Keep in mind that these are estimates
As we said, none of these factors is 100% accurate. They are estimates, which means they’re likely to be off by a few days. This can be frustrating, but keep in mind that it is unavoidable.
For many people, adopting an orphan kitten can be a daunting task. However, by knowing the developmental stages of kittens, you can accurately determine the age of your new friend. You can also take note of a few general features, like their weight, to get a better idea of their age. With this guide, you’ll be able to adopt the perfect new feline friend!