Caring for a newborn kitten | Royal Canin Club Malaysia

Caring for a newborn kitten

Over the first year of their life, your kitten will undergo significant changes. Here are five key milestones to look for, and how you can support them during each one.     
Your kitten in the first week    
As soon as she is born, your kitten will start to suckle. In the first three days of life each kitten will develop a preference for which teat they feed from and will stick with this throughout the time they're being fed by their mother. Suckling in the early days is very important as it’s how kittens ingest colostrum which helps to develop their immunity. At as early as five days old, they will open their eyes, and after around a week their umbilical cord drops off. They will start to gain between 10g to 30g of weight each day, so it's important to weigh them daily and monitor their mother’s behaviour in case she prevents them from feeding.    

Two weeks into a kitten’s life    
Your litter of kittens would have made their first attempts to stand by this point, but they'll also be sleeping for 90% of their time as their bodies are rapidly growing. Their first milk teeth will be coming through – 26 of them.     

A kitten at four weeks old    
By now, your kitten will be actively playing and walking around, and starting to socialise with their brothers and sisters. They’ll begin to show an interest in their mother’s solid food, so you can start to transition them from a milk-only diet to solid food with nutrient profile that is close to their mother’s milk such as the Royal Canin Mother and Babycat. This should be done gradually, with a rehydrated kibble – either in hot water or milk – so it’s easy for them to chew and digest.    

Eight weeks of your kitten’s life    
After two months, the litter should stop feeding from their mother and start to be completely independent with their food. You can move them fully onto a nutritionally appropriate, energy dense food that’s the right texture and size for them such as the Royal Canin Mother and Babycat. Make sure to do this step-by-step so you don’t overwhelm their digestive system You should also talk to your vet about vaccinations at this point.    

Your kitten at 12 weeks    
All of your kittens will now be growing very quickly. They need three times as much energy as an adult cat to help them begin their most intense weight-gain period at four to five months. At this stage, you can slowly transition them to a diet that can support their intense growth, such as the Royal Canin Kitten diet. Their sleeping patterns will be more like an adult cat, between 13 to 16 hours each day.    

Between 12 to 15 months into their life, your kitten will become an adult cat and reach their full size.