to Pet Health Network or

Answers from vets about your cat:

Kitten Care for Growing Kittens

Reviewed by Dr. Peter Kintzer, DVM, DACVIM on Friday, April 24, 2015
Posted April 24, 2015 in New-Cat Checklists

Anyone who has watched the plethora of videos online or seen the calendars and cards that line the shelves of bookstores knows just how cute kittens (or for that matter any baby animal) can be. Think about those eyes, full of energy and wonder—ready to explore. One of the reasons baby animals are so cute is that in spite of their vulnerability and relative helplessness they are in constant motion and ready to take on the world.

orange and white kittenTo know cats is to love cats
Many times I have had people tell me that they really don’t like cats only to, some weeks later, be totally enamored with their own little ball of energy. Many times I have heard or said myself, “I wish they would stay kittens!” I believe that is one of the realities of cat collectors; you know—the people with dozens of cats? They are simply hooked on cuteness!

Unfortunately for photographers, children grow up and animals mature. Kittens become cats and, while still lovable, they lose that razor edge of “adorable.” On the plus side, your bond with your cat grows stronger every day. What happens along the way?

An adaptive environment during kitten development
For starters, kittens get bigger. That tiny kitten that once peeked out at you from inside your shoe can no longer fit in these jack-in-the-box size spaces. Keep in mind that even big cats still like to hide, explore and be left alone, but now we need to provide them with bigger hiding places and gymnastic equipment. Those itty bitty claws that facilitated climbing up our pant legs now have the potential to shred furniture, drapes and skin alike. You’ll need more durable toys and higher climbing equipment. As nature intended, cats will want to climb ever higher.

Click here to learn about exercising with your kitten.

Related symptoms: 

Share This Article

Mike has more than 35 years of experience in companion animal veterinary practice and is a valued member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team since 2013.