[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][heading]Persian Kitten Growth and Development Chart[/heading][vc_column_text]
When shopping for a Persian kitten and anticipating your new arrival, learning about the stages of development is very important. Usually, Persian Breeders denote that their kittens for sale are ready for their permanent residences around eight weeks old. At this age, the majority of the crucial developments are completed and they are equipped with the skills necessary to separate from the mother and littermates. However, the eighth week does not mark the end of growing and changing. The kitten will not only continue to grow physically, but will carry on maturing and developing mentally. Although each week, even each day, comes with changes and growth, the developing characteristics make it easy to group the developments into five distinct sections.
The first stage is the neonatal stage and spans from birth to about two weeks old. This will involve crawling and the beginnings of standing. The kitten will display characteristics similar to that of a newborn baby at this age, predominantly including a tremendous dependency on the mother. Though they are born with their eyes shut, they are able to hear and will begin to orient towards sound. Their eyes will slowly begin to open and will usually be fully open by the two week mark. All kittens are born with blue eyes that will gradually change and are sensitive to bright lights, as their pupils do not dilate and contract readily yet. An indication of competition for rank and territory will begin to emerge. At this point, separation from the mother or litter mates could result in poor learning skills and even aggression towards people and other animals. The primary concentration of the first week is feeding and growth, as the kitten will double their birth weight in the first week alone!
The second stage lasts from around two to seven weeks of age and can be termed the socialization stage. Sometime in the middle of the second week, the kittens will begin to test their wobbly legs. By the third week, they will be slightly steadier on their feet and venture a little further away from the mother. Their sense of smell is well developed, ear canals are completely open and sight has developed enough to locate the mother by the third week. The kittens will begin to socialize now: with other kittens, the mother, and even humans. By the fourth week, interaction with the littermates will dramatically increase and teeth will begin erupting. They will begin to gain weight rapidly and, following the example of the mother, will start to clean and groom themselves. They will begin to walk well, gradually learning to avoid stumbles. The fifth week brings major changes, as the kittens will become increasingly playful. They will learn to run, avoid obstacles, stalk, pounce, and more. They can be introduced to canned kitten food, but it is not necessary and if chosen, it should be introduced in small, shallow dishes. This is also the time when litter-box skills can be developed. The sixth and seventh weeks will bring new adult sleeping patterns and an even greater increase in socialization. Personalities will begin to emerge as the kitten slowly matures.
The time between seven and fourteen weeks can be considered the most active play period. They will continue to actively play not only with other animals, but objects and toys as well. With litter-mates, the mother, or other cats, playing will include belly-ups, ambushing, licking, and hugging. If cat toys are available, they will display an avid interest in them by pawing, tossing, scooping, mouthing and holding them. By eight weeks old, the kitten is mature enough to be separated from the mother and littermates and establish a permanent home.
Although eight weeks marks a maturity developed enough to separate from the mother, it does not mean the end of growing and changing. The time that spans between three and six months of age is the ranking period. This is the time when they are most influenced by other animals, whether it be litter-mates if not separated, or another household pet. Playmates will now include companions of other species. Beginnings of “ranking,” including domination and submission, will emerge in the household, even among humans.
Much like a newborn baby, tracking the growth of a kitten can be fun and exciting. Everyday brings new changes and surprises that make a newborn kitten that much more special. If you are purchasing a kitten, many Persian breeders will keep you constantly updated on your kitten through phone calls, e-mails, photos, and even visits. Take advantage of every opportunity you receive to learn more about your rapidly changing kitten. After all, they are only young once!
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