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.
Kittenhood - An amazing transformation
During the first months of life your kitten will go through an amazing transformation. Royal Canin Kitten offers 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 grammes. Within a week they will double that weight, and triple it within 21 days.
In the first year of life your kitten's bones must grow to become four times stronger than concrete.
In the first six months of life a kitten will grow as much as a 10 year old adult child.
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 garden
- Find a local vet
- Choose a nutritionally complete kitten food
- Make sure everyone in the home is prepared
Collection and a kitten's first weeks at home
The collection 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.
Kitten growth stages
Understanding the growth stages your kitten goes through will help you recognise 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.
Birth - 3 weeks
When kittens are born they can barely move or hear, and their eyes are completely closed. At around 5 days old, they will begin to open their eyes. This is also the time when they start to gain between 10g to 30g each day.
4 - 8 weeks
By this time, smell is fully mature and hearing is well-developed. Kittens begin to develop adult sleeping patterns, motor abilities and social interaction. Key social skills develop through interaction with litter-mates, their mother.
2 - 4 months
At this stage, kittens begin to understand their position within the household and may start to from a number of social behaviours depending on their experiences and training.
4 months +
Your kitten will begin to develop 30 adult teeth. By eight months the kitten will have reached 80% of their adult weight. Depending on the breed, adulthood is reached between 12 to 15 months.
Kitten socialisation and play
Socialisation 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 socialise your kitten.
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.
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 that is key to maintaining your cat's healthy coat.
Your kitten's behaviour
Kittens communicate with you in a number of ways. Reading body language and expressive behaviours, and listening to the sounds they make can tell you a lot about how they're feeling and what they need from you.
Understanding your kitten's health
It's important to understand your kitten's routines and behaviour, so you can quickly recognise the signs if something isn't right. It's also important to understand a few key milestones, such as vaccinations and booster injections.
Meet Our Puppy & Kitten Expert Board
The Puppy & Kitten Expert Board was created to unite some of the best specialists in the veterinary world to help ensure that cats and dogs have a healthy start in life. We know that begins long before they are born in many cases, and affects their health and life long in the future.