Kitten to Cat timescale

A brief look at the main stages of development from kitten to adult cat

Young Kitten and older cat


Straight after birth kittens can move around although they are not very mobile. Their eyes are closed and all they can really do is sleep, call and feed.

1 week

Eyes start to open but eyesight is very poor. Staying near mum, staying warm and getting plenty of rest and milk is important.

2 weeks

Eyesight is much improved and movement is much stronger. wobbly exploration starts, but mum should keep the litter all close

3-4 weeks

At this age kittens are lively and active, able to play and explore but still dependant on mum for nourishment and protection. Litter training can start.

4-6 weeks

This is when the transition from mothers milk to solid food should take place. It is also a good time to start showing the kittens new things, like the outside (brief and supervised) or different toys.

6-8 weeks

By this age kittens are fully functional and should be active and agile. Plenty of play and human interaction should take place. Now they are on solid foods, mum should be less required and happy to let kittens out of sight for longer periods

8-12 weeks

Around this time kittens should be wormed and vaccinated and they should be fully independent, requiring no help from mum. At 10-12 weeks they can be separated and re-housed

12-20 weeks

In a new home this period will be spent adjusting to a new environment, spending lots of time playing and interacting, and learning the rules. Kittens should also be neutered at this stage.

20 weeks to one year

During this time your kitten will grow considerably and requires feeding on a specialised kitten diet

Kitten to Cat?

Depending on your sources a kitten is deemed mature at anywhere between 5-8 months, has most of its growth during the first year, but may not stop growing/maturing until 2 years old. In terms of diet a kitten can be considered an adult cat at one year old.

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