So you found a litter of kittens… or how to tell the age of a young cat

We’ve had an interesting week here at the rescue.  A few weeks ago we had gotten a call about two long hair  kittens that needed to go into foster. One of our foster moms picked up the pair this week, and, well, they were not long hairs, and they were definitely not 8 weeks old.

It ended up that the cats were about 5 months old- as said by the vet who looked at the cat’s molars.  Mind you one of the kittens- a beautiful black cat named Jackson- is 7lbs.  Jackson found his forever home today, and his sister Jilly will be available for adoption soon.

So how do you tell the age of a young cat?  Most of us haven’t gone through vet training, so looking a teeth isn’t something we can readily do or draw conclusions from.

The general rule of thumb is that a kitten gains one pound per month. A 1 pound kitten is about 4 weeks old, 2 pounds is 2 months old, 3 pounds is 3 months old, etc.

Another good way to tell is that if a kitten has blue eyes, its generally younger than 8 weeks.  This isn’t true in all cases, as there are some breeds of cat that have blue eyes, but most kittens that you find will have their eye color change and settle around the 6 to 8 week mark.

If you are still unsure, please take the kitten(s) to the vet- they can not only help determine the age of the animal, but can also tell how healthy it is.

Please remember that cats reach their (sexual) maturity between 5 and 6 months of age. Cats can be spayed/neutered when they are at least 3 pounds or 3 months old.  If you have a cat that is within this age range please go have him or her fixed to help keep the cat population down and to help you as owners with any issues that might arise from having an intact cat in your home.