Further reading - Kitten immunity
From kittens to cats: How does the brain grow?
Kittens are so much fun to watch. Their playful antics keep us entertained for hours. But, did you know that there’s just as much going on inside their bodies, and especially in their heads?
Kittens grow at an amazing rate, moving from tiny balls of fur into larger kittens in a blink of an eye and by the time they reach adulthood, they will be 40-50 times their birth weight. Unbelievable you think? Well, bear with us because it gets better! Kittens are born blind with their eyes shut, but by 8 weeks they have already developed a broad field of both 3-D and night vision. And did you know that it takes them only 10 days after birth, to develop their tastebuds to feel the difference between bitterness, acidity, saltiness and savoury flavours? Jaw-dropping! Finally, their brain and nervous system are also developing at an amazing pace, especially in the first few weeks, and within a short 3 months your kitten’s brain will be the size of an adult cat’s.
A closer look at this critical period of a kitten's life
You would be amazed to know that almost everything inside your kitten’s body develops at the same time. Apart from their brain, and their tastebuds, their bone structure is also changing, forming the locomotor system which helps your kitten move. Their nervous system is becoming more efficient, improving and refining the messages between brain and body – and that’s when they will stop walking funnily and start being more agile.
As they gain in mobility, their territory extends and so does their curiosity. They’re now constantly learning about their environment and the people around them. This window of learning peaks at about 8-9 weeks of age, the perfect time to start training so they can develop into a well-behaved adult cat and to do some safeguarding in your home to keep them safe!
To achieve all of this in the best condition, your kitten needs the right fuel. Nutritional deficiencies at this crucial stage can lead to lifelong health issues such as poor vision or even blindness. That’s why it’s so important to feed them the right food for this specific brain development phase of their life.
What is the role of nutrition during this period?
The right nutrition not only feeds your kitten’s needs for a healthy development, but it’s also giving them the energy to grow and learn day after day. Always select a food with vital nutrients for healthy growth and optimal digestion. A diet with carbohydrates may assist in the development of the brain, the kidneys and red blood cells, while a food rich in Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA in particular) can help improve memory, hearing, vision and brain development.