Health now and always

Kittenhood is a stage of massive physical and behavioral 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 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 behavior (spatial perception) to be fully developed.

2. Immunity and defense

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 optimal 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 veterinarians, nutritionists, and partners worldwide, to 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 veterinarian
  • Choose a nutritionally complete kitten food
  • Make sure everyone in the home is prepared
Getting prepared
British Shorthair kitten black and white

Bringing home your kitten

Bringing home and the 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. 

Bringing your kitten home
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 - 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.

Sacred Birman kitten black and white

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, 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 behaviors 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 their adult weight. Depending on the breed, adulthood is reached between 12 to 15 months.

Kitten socialization and play

Socialization should start as early as possible, to avoid any unwanted behaviors 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 behavior 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 that 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 behavior, 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

Your kitten's behavior

Kittens communicate with you in a number of ways. Reading body language and expressive behaviors and listening to the sounds they make can tell you a lot about how they're feeling and what they need from you.

Kitten behavior
British Shorthair kitten in black and white on a white background