How To Tell Kittens Age? Pictures Anyone?

orange&white

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I was out mowing this morning and got about 2 feet away from running over a feral kitten whose mother had made a nest around the base of a rose bush. Then I saw there was kitten number 2. I picked one up, and then saw the momma coming over, so I put it back down.

I'm going to guess that these kittens are 2-3 weeks old, but I'm horrible about guessing. They may be older. Can people post photos of kittens and identify the number of weeks old?

The kitten was young enough not to be afraid of me, even with a feral momma, but old enough to be getting around on its own, though fairly slowly. Maybe between the "post-crawling" and "just starting to walk" stage?

Sorry...I know it would be easier for me to post a photo of the kittens, but I don't have a working camera.
 
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orange&white

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Problem half-solved already. Some visitors were at my neighbor's door right after I had carried one kitty over to a gap in their back gate (where momma cat had rushed one of the kittens through after she saw that I had disturbed her nest). I talked to them a few minutes and they picked up the kitty. They were talking about bottle-feeding, but said they had 7 cats and couldn't take another. I said, "Well if you know anyone who wants a kitten, they're not my cats."

Right after I posted this thread, I went outside (I was going to put some kitten food out) and the couple who lives next door were talking about "gray momma cat", and I said "Oh, did you take the kitties?" The lady said, "One of them. I just have to sweeten' up my husband on the idea, and I'm asking around work for a home for the other one."

So within minutes, one kitten has a forever home and the adopter is trying to find a home for #2.

Now if I can get them to help with the TNR for momma, we're in great shape.
 

Kieka

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Slowly getting around with ears up and eyes open is 4-5 weeks old. Still too young to take from even a feral mom. Ideally you would want to trap Mom with kittens and leave them be with some human interaction for 2 weeks. Then TNR Mom and home the kittens.
 
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orange&white

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Thank you...that's very helpful. Yes, I think right at 4 weeks from those pictures.

I told the people who were visiting the neighbors that the kittens looked like they needed to stay with momma cat at least a couple more weeks, when they mentioned bottle feeding, but sounds like they talked the young woman who lives there into taking a kitten into her house regardless. I'm not sure if she took them both in or just the one she wants to keep. She did say she is trying to find a home for the second.

I wonder how long a momma cat mourns the loss of her babies when they are taken before they are weaned.
 
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orange&white

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Thank you, Tom. I'm back to thinking 3-4 weeks. The kittens were moving around on their own, but they didn't look very confident on their feet. They definitely were too young to run. Hopefully the neighbor knows how to raise an unweaned kitten.
 
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orange&white

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Update: I just spoke with the husband next door (whose wife to one of the kittens inside to adopt).

On the age thing... He said his wife tried feeding the kitten with a dropper and by just putting food on the tip of her finger, and the kitten didn't eat until this morning. He said this morning, the kitten ate "a lot" on its own without any help. Does that information help with the age of the kitten?

The other update: I asked if his wife took in both kittens, because I was planning to offer food to the mother cat if the other kitten was still outside and nursing on her. If the neighbor had taken in both kittens, I was going to stop putting food out since I usually don't feed the ferals. He said that they never saw "the orange kitten" and that his wife only took in "the grey one with one spot of orange on its face". They are keeping that one, because the 2-year old child is already attached.

I only saw two "twin" light orange kittens, which means that there are at least three kittens and the mother had carried away all but the two I saw on Tuesday.
 

tabbytom

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Kittens can eat solid food as early as 3 - 4 weeks old.

Well, there could be more than two kittens as you put it.
 
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orange&white

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Thanks again. I keep trying to make the kittens older than 3-4 weeks, but that's what I keep coming back to. The neighbor took the kitten inside too soon, and I hope she doesn't have the behavior problems later from not having the kitten socialized by its mother and siblings. I'm happy one kitten has a home (for now), and I hope she keeps it for its lifetime. I'm afraid if the kitten starts rough-housing the two year old child, it will be back on the streets ill-equipped to defend itself.
 

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Thanks again. I keep trying to make the kittens older than 3-4 weeks, but that's what I keep coming back to. The neighbor took the kitten inside too soon, and I hope she doesn't have the behavior problems later from not having the kitten socialized by its mother and siblings. I'm happy one kitten has a home (for now), and I hope she keeps it for its lifetime. I'm afraid if the kitten starts rough-housing the two year old child, it will be back on the streets ill-equipped to defend itself.
One of our cats came to us that age and is fine other then his propensity to think he is human. But he doesn't have any of the common negative behaviors you get with orphans. Probably because my Mom held him non stop and he got corrected when he did act out.

Can you talk to the neighbors and let them know if it doesn't work out you will take the kitten? Then you could find it a home and not worry about that aspect.
 

tabbytom

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Yea, you are right about taking away fro momma cat too early. Maybe you can explain that to them so they understand it and let the kitten be fully weaned from their momma.
 
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orange&white

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Do you think the mother cat would still nurse the kitten or reject it now that it's been over 2 days? Also, I have not seen hide nor hair of the two orange kittens since Tuesday (which is why I was asking the neighbor if they had both). If we disturbed her nest, between me mowing around the rose bush and the neighbor taking a kitten, would the mother abandon the entire litter? I have seen momma every day, but no kittens.

One of our cats came to us that age and is fine other then his propensity to think he is human. But he doesn't have any of the common negative behaviors you get with orphans. Probably because my Mom held him non stop and he got corrected when he did act out.

Can you talk to the neighbors and let them know if it doesn't work out you will take the kitten? Then you could find it a home and not worry about that aspect.
Thanks! That makes me feel better...like I'm worrying over future things that haven't happened and may not happen.

I can't commit to taking the kitten. I adopted a feral kitten that we (ironically) trapped at work in January, so I have a full house. I say "ironically" because I told my boss that if I had been looking for another cat, especially a wild feral cat, that I have my choice of dozens every year in my own backyard, thanks to the "Feral Feeder-Breeders" in the apartments behind my yard. :frown:
 
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orange&white

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Update:

The mother cat has gone missing and apparently abandoned at least one of the kittens (or she and the other kitten(s) were killed). Yesterday the kitten crawled up into my car engine, and I thought it was a younger cat from a different litter. Sadly, it is one of the same kittens from last Tuesday, but has gone from a healthy, nursing kitten to skin and bones.

Last week the kitten was too young to run away. Now, even though it's weak, it is capable of running quite fast. It's also more skittish and "feral" than one week ago.

So I'm thinking 4-5 weeks old now, probably closer to 4.

I'm going to try to catch it and feed it so it doesn't starve to death, but I don't have any room left in my house so I'm going to have to keep it in a large kennel on my back patio...if I can catch it. Hopefully I can socialize it and "fatten it up" and then have the shelter adopt it out to someone. It ate some watered down wet food overnight and this morning. If it's on solid food, do I need to buy some KMR or is that "optional"?
 

tabbytom

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You can get some KMR and add to the wet food so give him the nourishment he missed getting from momma cat. Wet food is better as its proteins and not carbs.

Prepare the kennel in advance and have the feed nearer and nearer each day to the kennel. Unless you can borrow a humane trap and do the same to trap him.

Hope that you'll be able to trap and socialize him.
 
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orange&white

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I trapped the kitten this evening. It is a male and its eyes are no longer blue if that helps with determining kitten's age. They were blue one week ago yesterday (Tuesday). He is scrawny, skin and bones, with a distended belly which indicates worms. I don't know if the kitten is 1-2 weeks too young to give a wormer like Panacur.

I had to set up an outdoor shelter as I have no room inside my house. He's in a 4x4 wire playpen on my patio with a portion hanging over the patio on the grass. I added a tarp on top this evening since it's supposed to rain for 3 days. I put an ice chest on its side inside the pen with a blanket, and obviously added water, food, litter and some toys. Instead of KMR, I purchased some goat's milk, Greek yogurt and gelatin which I mixed with an egg yolk (from several recipes for kitten formula) and canned cat food and water.

The kitten has pooped one time and it was runny, then he sat down in it, getting running poop all over his hind legs and tail. I brought him in and cleaned him in a diluted blue Dawn dish soap bath with several clean rinses. Then I snuggled him in a microfiber towel until he was close to dry.

This is the first time I have ever had a kitten under 3-4 months old in my care. This kitten should still be nursing but the momma is gone. I'm feeling in over my head, but felt like he was going to starve to death or a dog would eat him if I didn't step in. I'm doing the best I know how. Lord, help me do the right things for this little one. Let him live and thrive until he finds a forever home.
 

tabbytom

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Oh that's great! Thank you for rescuing him! :clap:

I think around 2 - 3 weeks old they can be dewormed but I don't know is if there's a dosage strength for kittens. Better confirm this before giving it to him.

At 3 weeks old, he can eat wet food which will be good for him as it's full of proteins. When my boy was rescued, he was three weeks old and I mixed goat's milk powder and wet food together for awhile till he was stronger. He was wobbly and skinny when he first came home.

Hope that his stools will be firmed soon. Photos please!
 
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orange&white

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He had a firm poop this morning, then proceeded to scratch around in the litter so much that he broke it all into little pieces and tracked it out. :crackup: I foresee lots of cleaning in my near future.

I didn't think wormer could be given earlier than 6 weeks? The only "fat" on the kitten is his distended belly, and I do think that's worms, not "fat".

When I bathed him yesterday, I saw 2 live fleas. (Surprising that there were only 2). He can't get flea product before 6 weeks either, can he?

Last night I weighed him at 17 ounces. He happily lapped up one saucer of "kitten gruel" this morning. He played quite a while with a little sisal toy I hung from the top of the kennel.
 
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orange&white

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I'm going to set the kitten's birthday at April 10th, making him 5.5 weeks today. After reading about eye color change and cutting baby teeth...and "inspecting" the kitten, that's where I'm calling it. As for what I'm calling him, I named him Shilo.
 

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For de-worming you can give 1/10 ml of pyrantel pamoate (50 mg/ml suspension) per pound of weight, and that's safe for kittens as young as 3 weeks. I'm not sure about panacur at that age.

If he really is 5 1/2 weeks old, he's undersized :(, but that's no surprise if his mama has been gone for a week.

I'd add the goat's milk glop/KMR to his canned food for several more weeks, but it's probably not strictly necessary. I just feel like it gives them better nutrition and a better start in life.
 
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