Cat Development Milestones
Raising a kitten can be a challenging albeit rewarding experience. Kittens age at a much faster rate than humans do, and so the first twelve months of their development are particularly hectic. In this article, we’ll be following the various stages of a kitten’s development in its very first year, and will be helping you to understand what to expect from your new furry feline.
As expected, the first month is hugely pivotal in a kitten’s developmental process. Kittens are actually born with their eyes and ear canals closed, meaning they are essentially without sight or sound for the first two weeks. Still, the environment a kitten is brought up in will greatly shape the way it develops. Feral cats that are brought up in the wild for the opening stages of their life find it hugely challenging to adapt to a domestic environment thereafter. Kittens will be very reliant on the mother in these opening few weeks and will be doing little more than feeding and sleeping.
These months are known as the social months. Your kitten will gain a little more independence and will start to appease their curiosity of the world. They will begin first by taking great interest in other kittens, and will start to interact by playfully chasing and pouncing on them. This will eventually develop into playing with toys and other household items. Make sure to cat-proof your home at this point so that both your kitten – and your furniture – is kept safe.
At this point, after five to six months of rapid development, your kitten’s growth will begin to slow down.
You may begin to notice your cat exhibit some predatory characteristics. Your feline will start developing teeth and you’ll notice your cat starting to hunt ‘playfully’. In addition, your cat may begin to ‘challenge’ other cats to establish a social rank.
Cats are well-known for their great agility and quick reflexes. In the seven to ten month mark, your cat will start developing a high jump, and will continue to increase its jumping ability as it grows. It will greatly improve its paw-eye coordination, and this will lead to the cat establishing a dominant paw, much like how humans establish a dominant hand. This period of development may also give rise to a cat’s sexual instincts, and so it is advised that you have your cat neutered before this period begins.
By month eleven your kitten will changed dramatically from the small furball it was eleven months ago. In fact, your kitten will have developed in one year at the same rate a human does in fifteen years. It will be much larger, exhibit many dominant qualities, and will have cemented its own recognisable personality. It will be comfortable with you, and will be intelligent enough to respond to commands. Hopefully, the challenges that both you and your cat have faced over the past year have given rise to a tight pet-owner bond. By the end of the twelfth month, your cute little kitten is now a fully fledged adult cat, and you and your furry friend can look forward to the excitement that awaits you both in adulthood.
At Jaycliffe Pets, we understand just how important your pet is to you; that’s why we ensure our kennels and catteries provide the highest quality comfort for your pet. For more information, call our friendly team today.