A kitten weight chart or growth chart is an important tool to help gauge proper kitten development. With or without their mother cat, a kitten should grow steadily, at certain rates, and a variety of changes should occur within a certain time frame. The biggest indicator that a kitten is developing properly starts with weight gain, according to a kitten weight chart.
Kittens grow very quickly during the first 12 weeks of their life, and with or without their mom’s, it’s important for us pet parents to oversee their proper development. Mom cats do a wonderful job feeding their babies the proper amounts, grooming them, and helping them grow and learn. Humans left to care for orphaned kittens need to do the same.
Regardless, in either scenario, certain steps can be taken to catch problems earlier rather than later. Early detection of problems, like failure to thrive, can make the difference in life or death for a helpless kitten.
Why Follow a Kitten Weight Chart
A kitten weight chart is a great way to gauge your kitten’s growth. In fact, it is recommended that all kittens, with or without mom, get weighed on a regular basis. If a kitten is failing to grow or thrive, this can indicate serious problems with your kitten’s health.
To keep track of kitten weight, it is often easiest to use,of all things, a kitchen food scale. Once weekly, kittens should be weighed, and their weights recorded and tracked. The weight range providedin the kitten weight chart below covers both male and female kittens, as well as a large number of breed builds, but your particular kitten may not fit perfectly into the weight ranges.
Even more important than your kitten falling within a perfect range, week after week, on the above chart, it is important toensure that kittens are gaining roughly ¼ to ½ an ounce every day, or 1.75 to 3.5 ounces every week.
What Does My Kitten Growth Chart Mean?
Weight can be the number one indicator of problems in many cats, but where kittens are concerned, this is especially true. Kittens growvery rapidly, because in the wild, they would be expected to be weaned and fending for themselves by the time they are 12-16 weeks old. A kitten that is not growing is usually sick or may not be getting enough nutrition.
If kittens are still with their mom, it’s possible that there’s a health problem with mom as well. If you’re feeding orphaned kittens, you may not be doing so often enough and/or there could be an issue with your formula, for instance. In any case, if a kitten is not gaining 1.75 to 3.5 ounces every week, he or she should be examined by your veterinarian right away.
Furthermore, it has been my professional recommendation that kittens are spayed or neutered when they weigh roughly 4 pounds. As you can see from the growth chart provided above, this generally means that your kitten will be 12-16 weeks old by the time I would recommend neutering. While shelters often do so earlier, it is my professional opinion that weight until a kitten is roughly 4 pounds is safest.
If you're caring for kittens without mom, please see these additional helpful articles for other important kitten care info: