Estimating age

The approximate age of a kitten can be estimated by a few external characteristics. This gives indications how often and how much the kitten should eat and about its normal development. The following external characteristics can be used as clues:

Umbilical cord

  The umbilical cord begins to shrivel short after the birth and will fall of around the third until the fifth day of the kittens life.


  The eyes will open when the kitten is about seven to fourteen days old.

Baby teeth

  The milk teething's can be felt when the kitten is about three weeks. First the canine tooth (which are hook shaped) will break through, rapidly followed by the rest of the teeth. The teething's will be complete during the sixth week. The kitten will have fourteen teeth in the upper jaw, and in the lower jaw will be twelve teeth.

Permanent teeth

  When a cat reaches the age of fourteen weeks, it will change it milk teething's for a permanent teething. The canine teeth will be the last to be replaced. At the age of six months, the permanent teething is complete.


  At birth, the ears will be folded against the head. As the kitten ages, the ears will get an upright position. By the fourth week the position of the ears will almost be normal.


  The tail of a kitten looks like a short antenna, and is compared to the rest of its body rather small. When the young one reaches the age of five weeks, the tail will get its normal proportions.


  Since the bodyweight can vary this is not a good clue to estimate the age of a kitten. The birth weight alone can vary between the 60 and 140 grams. Normally a kitten will grow from 50 to 100 grams or even more each week. However, if the kitten gets ill or has diarrhea, the growth will be less.