maine coon kittens | buy kitten | breeder | south africa
 

Leroxcoon Cattery takes very seriously the placement of our kittens. If any breeder tries to let you take a kitten home less than 12 weeks of age, BUYER BEWARE! Most reputable kitten breeders will not let their kittens go before 12 weeks of age. Breeders selling their kittens younger than that are more interested in moving their kittens out and getting their money than producing happy, healthy and well adjusted kittens.

The first 12 weeks of a kitten's life are crucial to its healthy development. If a kitten that leaves its environment before 12 weeks of age, the kitten may experience social, emotional and health issues for throughout its lifetime.

Let's break down the kitten development process and you'll then understand why getting a kitten less than12 weeks of age is not beneficial to both the kitten and you as a buyer.

Week 1: Weight 210-240g

kitten development week 1


When kittens are first born, they rely on their mother for both warmth and feeding.

The umbilical cord will fall off within two or three days but their eyes and ear canals are shut making them basically deaf and blind.

Kittens at this age are very helpless but they have mom to give them what they need and she does it instinctively.

She keeps them clean by licking them with her rough tongue and this also stimulates both the kitten's digestion and assists them to urinate and defecate.

At this age, kittens do little more than nurse, sleep and pass waste.

There is little social interaction with their siblings except competing for the kitten's favourite nipple.

A kitten purring at this young age is not unheard of.


Week 2: Weight 320-360g

kitten development week 2
A kitten's eyes will start to open usually between 7 to 10 days old.

The eye color is blue and will stay that way for several weeks before it starts to change (around 6 weeks) to their adult eye color.

Kittens have blurry vision at first since their pupils do not work correctly yet.

At this time their sense of smell starts to develop and the kitten will seek out its favourite teat by scent.

The kitten will become more aware of his siblings as its senses develop more.


Week 3: Weight 440-480g

kitten development week 3
Ear canals will open up and their sense of hearing will start to improve and the kitten can be startled by loud sounds. 
Their ears start to become fully erect as to the floppy ears you see for the first 2 weeks of age.

Other milestones at this age include:

• The kitten's sense of smell will become well developed.

• Kitten's will go to urinate and defecate on their own. Mom will still continue to clean the kittens until they learn their own grooming skills.


Week 4: Weight 560-620g


Kittens will start to stand between the third and fourth week. They will attempt the "wobbly" walk.

Their bodies are out of proportion as opposed to what their adult body will be like.

With their little stiff tails and "meatball" heads which are too large for their bodies and legs causes them not to be to steady on their feet.

They will eventually get the process down and be getting out of their nesting box to explore their surroundings.

Kittens will continue to nurse regularly from mom and may even be introduced to the litter box.

They will play and even eat the litter at first but eventually develop proper litter box habits over time.

The kitten's baby teeth will start coming in.

Below is a general timeline of kitten teeth development by age.

Keep in mind all kittens are individuals and some may develop faster or slower than others.

26 Deciduous Teeth  • 12 Incisors—2 weeks  • 4 Canine—4 weeks  • 10 Premolars—6 weeks

30 Permanent Teeth  • 12 Incisors—4 months  • 4 Canine—6 months  • 10 Premolars—8 months  • 4 Molars—Present only in adult cats or older teenage kittens

Teething

Kittens go through a teething process as new teeth emerge and old teeth naturally fall out. Kittens may experience mouth pain, sore bleeding gums, and loose teeth. You may notice that your kitten seems more irritable and refuses to eat. Feed your kittens soft non-abrasive foods while it’s teething. There are also kitten teething rings available to help numb your kitten’s gums. 


Week 5: Weight 710-780g

kitten development week 5
Kittens will now be walking around and starting to play with their siblings.

The will not wander very far from mom or their siblings for a sense of security.

This is a good time for human and kitten to interact to begin the socialization process.


Other milestones at this age include:
 

• Kittens can be introduced to a good quality kitten food and expect their first tries to be messy ones with the kitten standing directly in the food. The kittens will still need to nurse from mom until eight to ten weeks of age which is the time the mother should be successfully weaned of her litter.

• Kittens learn the litter box basics at this time. They need a smaller and shallower litter box than the adult cats


Week 6: Weight 880-930g

kitten development week 6
The 1st deworming treatment is given as a precautionary measure.

Playtime with the kittens has become part of their daily lives.

Different kinds of toys, teasers, balls and stuffed mice are used at our cattery to help the kitten develop and socialize with humans.

Scratching posts are introduced at this time so the kitten can begin to learn from mom and assisted by the human handlers where the proper place to sharpen claws is.









Week 7: Weight 1040-1110g


The weaning process from mom is well under way and the kittens nurse from mom less and less as time goes on.

Playtime continues with the kittens building agility, running faster, stalking and pouncing on siblings more efficiently not to mention the occasional attack on the human caretakers!








Week 8: Weight 1200-1280g

kitten development week 8
Kittens learn from their mother and siblings how to interact with other cats.

It is during this period that the kitten learns how to recognize and interpret cat body language.

A kitten that misses this important step may not ever learn how to interact with other cats.

This causes huge problems if the kitten is going to live in a multi-cat household.

In addition during this time, more playtime is spent with the kitten by us.

This human interaction only grows as the kittens get older and are about to leave the cattery at 12 weeks.



Week 9: Weight 1400-1470g

kitten development week 9


Playtime continues, the weaning process is either over or about to end since mom doesn't always want full sized kittens with sharp teeth trying to get milk from her!

More playtime with the "human caretakers" and socialization process is in full swing.











Week 10: Weight 1500-1650g

kitten development week 10
The 1st series of vaccinations are given.

Before 10 weeks of age, the kitten's immune system has not fully developed nor has the kitten received all of its necessary shots.

Consider this when getting a kitten from a breeder at less than 12 weeks of age!

The 2nd deworming treatment is given as a precautionary measure.

Nails are also trimmed at this time so that the rough play with their siblings doesn't cause anymore issues than need be.

 






Week 11: Weight 1660-1870g

kitten development week 11
The kitten continues to interact and socialize with both its littermates and human companions with play.

Sometimes the play gets quite rough when a more aggressive kitten sometimes asserts their dominance over another sibling to let them know who's boss.

It is at this time that whiskers get chewed off during these scuffles and sometimes a few minor scratches can occur.

The good news is that the scratches will heal and the whiskers do grow back.







Week 12: Weight 1880-2000g

Lastly, the kittens paperwork will be sent to you once you have sent us proof of neutering or spaying.

Even if you never buy a kitten from us, now you know why it is important to pickup that little ball of fur at 12 weeks to take home and we ask that you insist on it! You will have a healthier, happier, and better socialized feline friend because of it.

To assist with your kitten's transition from our home to yours please read the Bringing Your Kitten Home article which includes information related to your new kitten and the transition process. Enjoy!