Helping cats and dogs live their healthiest lives.
Sacred Birman kitten and Yorkshire Terrier adult standing in black and white on a white background

Health now and always

Kittenhood is a stage of massive physical and behavioural changes. Nutrition tailored to their specific developmental needs can help them grow from fragile young kittens to strong, healthy cats.

Sacred Birman kitten black and white

Kittenhood – An amazing transformation

During the first months of life, your kitten will go through an amazing transformation. Royal Canin Kitten formulas offer nutrition tailored to their unique needs at this vital time.

1. A sense of sight

It takes up to four weeks for a kitten’s sight and connected behaviour (spatial perception) to be fully developed.

2. Immunity and defence

In their first six months your kitten's immature immune system must help protect them from millions of germs.

3. Tripling their weight

At birth most kittens weigh around 100 grams. Within a week they will double that weight, and triple it within 21 days.

4. Healthy bones

In the first year of life, your kitten's bones must grow to become four times stronger than concrete.

5. Extraordinary growth

In the first six months of life a kitten will grow as much as a 10-year-old adult child.

Tailored kitten nutrition

ROYAL CANIN® Kitten formulas are tailor-made with the right vitamins and minerals to support a kitten's healthy development.

A guide to kittenhood

Kittenhood is a hugely rewarding time for pet owners, but it's also a time of huge challenges and steep learning curves, for you and your pet. The information and advice in the following pages has been collected from Royal Canin vets, nutritionists and partners worldwide, and should help you and your kitten have a healthy start in life together.

Preparing for a kitten

When you bring your kitten home for the first time, it's a huge change for both of you. You can make the process much easier by making a few simple preparations ahead of the big day.

  • Get all the kitten essentials
  • Kitten-proof your home and yard
  • Find a local veterinarian
  • Choose a nutritionally complete kitten food
  • Make sure that everyone in your home is prepared
Getting prepared
British Shorthair kitten black and white

Pick up and a kitten's first weeks at home

 

The pick up and first few weeks of owning a kitten, although exciting, can be challenging. By having the right tools and knowledge, you can make sure that this first experience with your new arrival is a positive one, for them and for you.

 

Picking up your kitten
Sacred Birman kitten standing on a bed next to a grey and white blanket

Feeding your kitten

A kitten's diet plays a key role in their physical and social development. The right mix of nutrients in their food will help development and lay the foundations for a healthy life.

Feeding your kitten
Sacred Birman kitten black and white eating

Kitten growth stages

Understanding the growth stages your kitten goes through will help you recognize the challenges they face, and how to take care of them. Ensuring they get the right balance of nutrients in their food is key for healthy development into adult life.

Sacred Birman neonatal kittens black and white

Birth – 4 weeks

Neonatal

When kittens are born, they can barely move or hear, and their eyes are completely closed. At around five days old, they will begin to open their eyes. This is also the time when they start to gain between 10 g to 30 g each day.

Sacred Birman kitten black and white

4-8 weeks

Weaning

By this time, their sense of smell is fully matured and their hearing is well-developed. Kittens begin to develop adult sleeping patterns, motor abilities and social interaction. Key social skills develop through interaction with littermates and their mother.

Sacred Birman kitten standing in black and white on a white background

2-4 months

Intense growth

At this stage, kittens begin to understand their position within the household and may start to form a number of social behaviours depending on their experiences and training.

Sacred Birman kitten black and white

4 months +

Sustained growth

Your kitten will begin to develop 30 adult teeth. By eight months, the kitten will have reached 80% of its adult weight. Depending on the breed, adulthood is reached between 12 and 15 months.

Kitten socialization and play

Socialization should start as early as possible to avoid any unwanted behaviours and help them develop into confident, even-tempered adult cats. Find out how you can socialize your kitten.

Socializing your kitten
Kitten lying down on a wooden floor playing with a toy

Kitten training

It's important to train your kitten to adopt the right behaviour from an early age and learn the rules of sharing a home with other people and animals.

Training your kitten
Maine coon kitten black and white

The basics of kitten grooming

Ensuring your kitten is used to being handled from a young age will make grooming easier for the rest of their life. Each cat breed has unique grooming needs and understanding these is key to maintaining your cat's healthy coat.

How to groom a kitten
British Shorthair kitten black and white

Understanding your kitten's health

It's important to understand your kitten's routines and behaviour, so you can quickly recognize the signs if something isn't right. It's also important to understand a few key milestones, such as vaccinations and booster injections.

Kitten health
White kitten sitting on a table being examined by a vet