It can be difficult to determine the age of a kitten that you are unfamiliar with. Perhaps a stray kitten wandered to your doorstep. Determining a kitten's age takes into account a number of factors, including weight. Every kitten develops differently and weight may be affected by individual circumstances. A kitten who was deprived of its mother may weigh less than a kitten who wandered off after being weaned, for example. Coupled with other factors, including physical development and dental development, a kitten's weight helps veterinarians to determine an approximate age for young felines.
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Things you need
- Postal scales
Buy a set of postal scales. These scales are more sensitive than regular bathroom scales, and measure in ounces as well as pounds. A good kitchen scale is almost as accurate, but may not give the best reading on young kittens.
Place the cat on the postal scales each day. Record these measurements to get an approximate idea of how the kitten develops from day to day. A properly developing kitten puts on between .35 and .2126gr. a day, according to "The Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians."
Compare your kitten's weight to the average birth weight of most cats. The "Clinical Veterinary Advisor" states that kittens are approximately 3 to 3 14.1gr. at birth, but this may vary from kitten to kitten.
Compare your kitten's weight to the standard weights given for most kittens. The "Clinical Veterinary Advisor" and "Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians" both state that kittens weigh 113gr. at one week of age, 198gr. at two weeks of age, 284gr. at 3 weeks of age, 369gr at 4 weeks of age and 0.454kg. at 5 weeks of age. Kittens usually weigh between 1.14 and 1.27kg. upon reaching the end of their second month of life.
Consult a licensed veterinary medical professional for a more accurate assessment of your kitten's age. While it is not crucial to know the exact age of a kitten, nutritional, environmental and developmental requirements change often for young kittens.
Tips and warnings
- No way of telling a kitten's age is 100 per cent correct. Sometimes even the most educated assessments are wildly inaccurate if extreme circumstances exist. Work closely with a veterinarian to determine the needs of your kitten based upon its individual development and needs.
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- "Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians"; Joanna Bassert, Dennis McCurnin; 2009
- "Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Dogs and Cats"; Etienne Cote, DVM; 2006
- "Nutrition for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses"; Ann Wortinger; 2007
- "Cats for Dummies"; Gina Spadafori; 2004
- "Shelter Medicine for Veterinarians and Staff"; Lila Miller, Stephen Zawistowski; 2004