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Stages of development of kittens

The development of kittens largely depends not only on the mother-cat, but also on the owner. At each stage of growing up, it is necessary to provide small pets with good nutrition, timely medical assistance and normal physical activity. What are the developmental stages of kittens and what is the owner’s role in each of them?

The development of kittens can be divided into several stages, depending on their age. In this case, the most rapid changes occur with animals in the first days after birth. At this time, experts consider the development of kittens literally by day. But already approximately from the age of two to three weeks, this process slows down. The owner can observe the development of kittens for weeks and even months. How does it happen?

Prenatal period
This is the name of the prenatal stage when the cat is pregnant. Since at this time the kittens are very sensitive to the emotional state of the mom-cat, it is important to provide her with a calm and friendly atmosphere. If possible, from the first day of pregnancy, protect the cat from other animals, try to caress it more often and monitor the usefulness of the diet.

Neonatal period
The development of kittens from birth until they reach ten days of age is called the neonatal period. At this time, there are the most rapid and amazing changes.

A kitten is born blind and deaf, its nervous system has not yet fully formed. He is orientated in space due to his sense of smell and touch and can find a mother at a distance of 60 centimeters. Almost all the time babies spend in hibernation, only occasionally waking up in order to fortify their mother’s milk.

Interestingly, at this time the kittens have already laid some reflexes. The most important reflexes include sucking, shelter and perineal reflex, which provokes defecation and urination. The fact is that a newborn kitten cannot control these processes. Licking the baby’s belly, the cat stimulates the process of cleansing its body. If the kittens are left without a mother, in the first few weeks the owner after feeding the kittens should help them be emptied by massaging the abdomen and perineum.

Approximately for 5-8 day of life at a kitten the ear canal opens, kittens start to hear. Therefore, during this period it is important to provide them peace and quiet.
Transition period
This stage begins from the moment when the kittens open their eyes, and lasts until the moment when the animals begin to walk. From about the 10th to the 15-20th day.

At this time, the kitten begins to hear and see the world around him. In addition, the musculoskeletal system is strengthened, and the kitten begins to walk little by little.

The transition period is marked by the beginning of the socialization of kittens, when they have an attachment to each other and to the mother. At this time, favor and attachment to a person are also established. To make the cat tame and affectionate, it is important to gradually establish contact with the kitten. The owner needs to take the kitten on his hands, caress him, increasing the time c 2-3 minutes at first up to 40 minutes daily.

Also in the transition period, the role of the mother as a caregiver and controller increases. With the help of games and communication, she regulates the behavior of kittens, teaches them the basics of hunting and interacting with the outside world. The owner can also participate in this process. It is important to acquaint the kitten with new smells and sensations through toys and other safe items.

Period of socialization
This phase lasts from about three to ten weeks. During this period, the development of kittens is associated with the distribution of social roles. The owner may notice the established nature of the kids.

At this stage, the final formation of self-care skills and inoculation of cleanliness occurs when kittens learn to walk in a tray and wash themselves.

Around this time, the first vaccination of kittens and a medical examination takes place. A veterinary doctor can make a plan of complementary foods, as the animals gradually stop feeding on mother’s milk. But, despite the apparent maturity and independence, it is still not recommended to separate kittens from the mother.

The juvenile stage starts at about 11 weeks and lasts until puberty, that is, up to four or five months. The kitten becomes hyperactive and curious. The task of the owner is to ensure his safety during this period. At the age of three months, the kitten is perfectly oriented in space, knows its name, is accustomed to the tray and is not dependent on the mother. So, this is the best time to transfer it to the new owners.

The development of kittens for weeks ends about three months. Further maturation slows down. At this time there is a strengthening of the muscular system, the final change of teeth. There comes a puberty period. Adult cats become about a year.

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