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Tracking Kitten Development: The First Six Weeks

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Week 5: Starting the Weaning Process
kittens eating canned food

Kittens can eat canned kitten food now, and use the litter box

Franny Syufy
Kittens will be walking around freely at this time and starting to play with their siblings. They will be developing a new sense of independence, although they may not stray far from their mother or their littermates.

This will be a very good time for their beginning to socialize with humans

  • Kittens may be introduced to canned food at this time. Select a quality brand of kitten food with a named meat source as the first ingredient (chicken is good). Ideally, they should be given the same kitten food given the mother cat, as the kittens will quickly accommodate to eating mom's food. Use a shallow plate and expect their first experiences to be messy.

    Although the mother cat will try to wean the kittens, they still need the nursing experience to satisfy their suckling needs, at least until they are eight or ten weeks old, by which time the mother cat will have gradually weaned them.

  • Kittens can also learn litter box basics now. They need a smaller, separate box, one that will be easy to access and exit, with only an inch or two of litter. A shallow plastic storage box or lid to a shoe box might work for starters. As human babies experiment by tasting everything, so will kittens. Avoid their ingestion of harmful substances by using a natural litter such as one made from corn cobs, paper, or wood chips - NEVER clumping clay.

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