Everything You Need To Know About 3 Week Old Kittens
If you have been around my blog then you know that I have recently rescued and fostered an orphaned kitten.
We estimate that we got her around three weeks and had a big awakening throughout the process. I wanted to walk you through the information that I gathered for each of the different weeks of a new kittens life. Todays topic, three week old kittens.
I want this to be a complete guide for caring for a kitten week by week. If you find a kitten, you want to try your hardest to keep with them with their mothers. Their mothers will be able to nurse them, keep them warm, and protect them.
Mothers know how to care for their babies so if they can be left with their mothers, they should for at least 8 weeks.
Orphan Kitten Feeding Guideheres What To Avoid
If youre raising an orphaned kitten, dont give them random treats as they can cause stomach upsets. Avoid B.A.R.F. snacks, like raw chicken, pork, or eggs, because pathogens in raw treats can be disastrous for your kitty. Its also not good to give them cured meat like bacon because of high sodium levels.
Its better not to share fruits and vegetables with kittens as they cannot digest cellulose. You can give them bite-sized pieces of sweet fruits like apples, bananas, and strawberries when theyre older than three months but as occasional treats only. Never feed them grapes, cherries, onions, nuts, or green tomatoes as they are toxic to felines.
If you are looking for safe homemade snacks, consider preparing a meat and fish soup or bone broth without seasoning. Older kitties can also enjoy other human foods, albeit in tiny portionsyoghurt, cheese, and ice cream.
Weaning woes? Check whats up with your kittenstress levels or anxiety?
Five Weeks Old Kitten
Showing their independence, Darling, Denby, Corduroy, Tweed, and Wembley are beginning to demonstrate their individual personalities: Darling is a talker Denby is always up for adventure and a good wrestle Corduroy is brave and confident Tweed is sweet and loves belly rubs and Wembley is a cuddle bug and full of silly mischief.
Corduroy, brave and confident!
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How Do You Deworm A Kitten At Home
If you want to deworm a kitten, there are several options. You can use over the counter deworming medication , or you can use a paste-like Panacur which is often recommended by vets but not FDA-approved for kittens under four weeks of age. Another option is to make your own paste using wormer powder and water, which is also not FDA-approved for kittens under six weeks old. If youre comfortable with administering medications and making pastes at home, these are all viable options.
Kitten Development From 3 To 6 Months
Nandini Balial is a writer and fact checker specializing in a variety of lifestyle topics, including film/TV, literature, and feminism, with work appearing in Slate, Wired, Pacific Standard, and more prestigious outlets.
A kitten is born, its eyes and ears open, it gets teeth, and then weans from nursing to eating solid kitten food. There are a lot of changes that happen in just the first couple of months of a kitten’s life. But the next few months are also full of changes and new experiences for a growing kitten.
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Week : Starting The Weaning Process
Kittens will be walking around freely at this time and starting to play with their siblings. They will be developing a new sense of independence, although they may not stray far from their mother or their littermates. This will be a very good time for them to socialize with humans.
Kittens may be introduced to canned food at this time. Select a quality brand of kitten food with a named meat source as the first ingredient . Ideally, they should be given the same kitten food given the mother cat, as the kittens will quickly accommodate and eat mom’s food. Use a shallow plate and expect their first experiences to be messy.
Although the mother cat will try to wean the kittens, they still need the nursing experience to satisfy their suckling needsat least until they are eight or 10 weeks old, by which time the mother cat will have gradually weaned them.
Kittens can also learn litter box basics now. They need a smaller, separate box, one that will be easy to access and exit, with only an inch or two of litter. A shallow plastic storage box or lid to a shoebox might work for starters. As human babies experiment by tasting everything, so will kittens. Avoid their ingestion of harmful substances by using a natural litter such as one made from corn cobs, paper, or wood chipsnever use clumping clay.
Can 3 Week Old Kittens Use A Litter Box
Fun fact, cats actually dont need to be trained to use the litter box. It comes naturally for them.
The biggest thing is getting a litter box that is the right size for them.
For Binx, we used the box that the canned cat food comes is. This was small enough that our other cats didnt have a desire to use it, but big enough for her to feel like it was her little litter box.
Another IMPORTANT! IMPORTANT! thing you should know about the litter box is that kittens cannot use clumping litter at this point. Kittens are like babies where they want to put nearly everything in their mouth.
If your kitten eats clumping litter, it could cause bowel obstructions and serious harms to your already sensitive kitten. You want to get a non-clumping litter, check out my favorite non-clumping litter.
You can really go with any non-clumping litter.
I have had a lot of success with Yesterdays News. I also really like the name which was why I tried it in the first place. ITS THE SIMPLE THINGS GUYS!
You will want to change this out a little more often than clumping litter to keep if clean, but I think your kittens health is worth it
As I mentioned before, they could start having accidents.
This does not mean they do not need stimulated anymore. You still want to stimulate your kitten to use the bathroom by at least a half hour after they are done eating.
I like Desitin because that is why my mom recommended, and sometimes you just know mother knows best.
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Need More Help Sexing Kittens
I hope that my kitten sexing guide helped you determine the sex of your kittens. If you need any further help sexing your kittens then please feel free to contact me via the contact page, social media or by using the comments section below. If you can send me photos of your kittens sex organs as in the photos above then I should be able to let you know the sex of your kitten.
About the author
Ross writes extensively about cats and kittens and has been featured in magazines such as Your Cat and Our Cats and has also guest authored on newsletters for various cat organisations. He is also a guest speaker at cat seminars.
Leave a Reply
Thanks for the great article. I have a nearly ten week old kitten that I was told was a female when I got her but Im not too sure now. I dont think her genital area really matches either sex perfectly! If I send you a picture, would you be able to clarify if she is definitely female or if I actually have a little boy?
Send me a picture and I will take a look for you.
I have sent you an email that you can reply to.
Send me a picture and I will take a look for you.
I have sent you an email that you can reply to.
I am more than happy to help.
I have sent you an email which you can reply to.
It is always hard when you are just looking at one kitten rather than a litter. No chance for comparison.
I have sent you an email which you can reply to.
Can I Hold The Kitten
Vets recommend not touching kittens unless you have to while their eyes are still closed. You can check on them to make sure theyâre healthy and gaining weight, but try to limit direct physical contact.
The kittenâs mother will also let you know how comfortable she is with you handling her babies. Itâs important to take it slow, especially at first. If the mother cat seems anxious or stressed, give her and her babies some space.
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What To Feed A Kitten At 3 Weeks Old
- May 25, 2018
- Fact Checked
A 3-week old kitten is a sight to behold. They are a cute bundle of fur, with distinctive lanky limbs and a round potbelly. Their insistent mewling is a signature of this developmental period, as they learn to communicate and explore the world around them. At 3 weeks old kittens are completely mobile and will spend much of their time exploring the world around them. When they arent exploring, they will probably be eating or sleeping. Their growth and development place an enormous caloric burden on them. Your kitten will need to be fed well at this time to keep up with the demands of his body.
3 weeks is also the time when kittens begin to transition to solid food, making it incredibly important for them to be transitioned to a food source that provides adequate nutrition to support their continued growth. When figuring out what to feed a kitten at 3 weeks old, there are a couple of important things you should take into consideration.
Week : Tiny Food Processing Factories
The newborn kitten weighs just ounces and easily fits into the palm of your hand. Its umbilical cord will fall off within two or three days, but its eyes and ear canals will not be open yet.
Kittens are very helpless at this age, but the mother cat instinctively knows their needs. She feeds them, keeps them close by for warmth, and bathes them with her rough tongue, which also stimulates their digestion and helps them urinate and defecate. Mother cats are very protective of their little ones and will move them to another location if humans intrude too much into the nest.
Provided the mother has been vaccinated or has natural immunity, the kittens will receive this same immunity for the first 24 to 48 hours through her colostrum, and it will last until they are old enough to get their kitten shots.
Newborns will weigh an average of 3.5 ounces at birth and may double their weight by the end of the first week. It’s a good idea to weigh them and monitor their weight to ascertain if they are getting adequate nutrition. They are simply little food processing factories at this point, and their only activities are nursing, sleeping, and passing waste. There is very little social interaction at this age, other than competing for their favorite nipple, where they will suckle while kneading with their tiny paws.
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Three Week Old Kitten Body Temperature
At three weeks, they still require some form of heat source as they cannot create heat on their own. I know some people will place a heating pad under a blanket to help keep the kittens warms, and some will use heat lamps.
I selfishly like the heating pads because when the little kitties arent using it, I love to steal it for myself.
The biggest thing with this to call out is that they need a spot to keep warm, but also areas that arent directly in the line of heat in case they get too hot. You want the kittens to be comfortable so providing them both heat, and indirect heat is always recommended at this age..
At this age, sometimes a blanket or warm article of clothing can suffice for heat sources but you want to watch the kitten and make sure they dont get too cold. Multiple kittens can sometimes use each other to keep warm as well.
So watch your kitten, if they seem chilly, add a heat source. If they seem uninterested in the heat source, may start to work towards taking it away.
Caring For 3 Week Old Kitten: Hygiene
With them being more active, a few issues may starting to arise. Hygiene is one aspect we must always put on the our priority list. Notice that mother cats always lick their kittens to keep them scrupulously clean?
This state of cleanliness must be continued despite the absence their mother. Wiping the kitten with a clean washcloth which has been submerged is usually enough. However, if you find feces on their body, you must give them a bath.
Simply use a mild soap such as Dawn and warm water, gently clean the kitten and completely dry them right away. To dry, use the towel before shifting to blow dryer using its lowest setting. To avoid burning during blow-drying, put your hand between the dryer and the kitten.
Flea is another issue that you may find during this stage. They must be removed immediately because if left untreated, these bloodsucking insects may cause serious health issues. To remove fleas, avoid using chemical products.
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General Approach Investigating Kitten Mortality
Determining the cause of fading kittens can be very difficult, and many cases are multifactorial. Clinical signs are also generally non-specific and the small size of kittens makes collection of samples difficult. Generally, concern should be raised when pre-weaning kitten losses exceed 20%, post-weaning losses exceed 10%, the number of losses suddenly increases, or a particular cause of death is seen more frequently. Careful records of all animals should always be kept in a breeding cattery, and all diseases and deaths should be noted.
Investigation usually involves looking at the entire cattery. In many cases it is possible to improve some aspect of the environment, management, and/or nutrition of the kittens. A full investigation will include looking at:
- The background and history of the cattery
- Evaluation of the environment
- Evaluation of cattery management, including hygiene, disinfection, stocking density, feeding, vaccination, worming etc.
- Examination of both sick and healthy kittens
- Potentially collection of blood samples or swabs from kittens, and/or a post-mortem examination of any dead kitten the latter can be particularly helpful
- Examination of breeding queens, particularly the mothers of any fading kittens
Week : Growing And Developing
Your kitten is continuing its growth at an astonishing rate, by at least 10 grams per day. The mother cat should be fed a quality canned kitten food to help replenish the nutrients she loses through nursing. Later on, the kittens will be introduced to the same food.
Its eyes will start to open and will be completely open at nine to 14 days old. All kittens’ eyes are blue and will remain so for several weeks. Their vision will be blurred at first, and their pupils don’t dilate and contract readily, so they should be kept from bright lights.
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Kitten Careweeks 3 To 5 And Beyond
Weaning can take several weeks, especially if a kitten is physically or mentally stressed, which is often the case with orphans. Here are some tips to ease the process:
- Offer them fresh food and water as unpleasant odours can agitate kitties
- Make their sleeping space warm and safe
- Place their litter tray in a quiet and private area if theyre nervous every time they need to go
- Use bonding tactics like caressing, gentle grooming, and a comforting voice to calm them down
- Dont bathe young kittens as its uncomfortable and triggers a fight-or-flight responseget a vets opinion if you feel your kitten needs a bath
Most Important Guidelines To Care For Kittens
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Nutritional Density And 3
When a kitten is 3-weeks old, it is at the point of transitioning to solid food. This means you are to start adding increased amounts of kitten food into the diet of your kitten to aid the milk it gets from its mother or an artificial source.
At this point, you might want to ask how much formula should a 3-week old kitten eat? While the answer to this question is relative, it is crucial for you to know that kittens must be fed different meal from adult cats.
The food formula of a kitten is in line with a much more rigorous nutritional profile than the normal food for adult cats. The reason is that when kittens are adjusted for body weight, they require about two times the amount of calories that adult cats need.
In order to meet the caloric demand of kittens and provide them with the necessary minerals and vitamins to enhance adequate development, the food of kitten is formulated using more nutrient dense food sources.
The food of a kitten is designed to surpass thresholds put in place by the AAFCO . This means foods that are specifically designed for kittens are supposed to meet the adequate development needs of a kitten.
Hence, if you are looking for food for your kitten, you need to opt for one that has been studied and approved by the AAFCO. This is a sign that the food is nutritionally dense to support your kitten through its developmental phase.