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Development of a Siamese/Oriental Kitten

This table shows the development of a Balinese kitten, but it is the same with any Group 2 kitten.


1st day
The new born kitten is deaf and blind
- Has active sense of touch
- Sense of smell is partly developed
- Crawling is possible
- Can distinguish between temperature differences of more than 10 degrees - makes it possible to find their mother and to build a bunch

Make sure that all kittens drink after 1-2 hours and that the cat family is on a warm and calm place.
During the first days the mother produces a special milk (colostrum) which contains antibodies that help to protect the kittens against infections.


after 1 week
The kitten is drinking and sleeping the whole day long
- Eyes beginning to open
- Auditory canal beginning to open
- Kneading the mother's nipple area to stimulate milk flow starts

The kittens should have doubled their weight after one week. It is highly recommendable to measure the weight of each kitten every day during the first 6 weeks. They should now gain about 10 grams per day.


after 2 weeks
First attempts at standing and locomotion:
- Eyes are open
- First teeth are visible
- Visual orientation starts
- Reaction of 'following others' starts
- Acoustic orientation is possible
- Essential period of socializing with other cats and humans starts

Keep the kittens away from bright lights during this period and make sure that the eyes are free of any infection


after 3 weeks
The kitten is interacting more with its environment:
- Sense of smell perfect
- Visual location of mother becomes possible
- Signs of internal regulation of body temperature
- Individual characteristics are more obviously developing
- Kittens already start to use the litter box


after 4 weeks
The kitten is playing its first social games:
- Ability to stand becomes perfect
- Auditory senses are developed very well
- Running and jumping begins
- Weaning begins
- Locomotion is visually controlled
- Able to avoid obstacles and openings


after 5 weeks
The hunting and stalking behaviour are starting:
- Reflexes during free-fall are perfect
- Eyes fully open and clear
- Kittens start to eat semi-solid food


after 6 weeks
- Movements and locomotion skills are fully adult-like
- Eye colour changes to the specific colour for the breed (siamese & balinese keeps the blue eyes)


after 7 weeks
- Weaning is finished (although this may be delayed)
- Adult-like regulation of body temperature using internal controls
- Playing with objects starts
- Essential period of socialising with other cats and humans is finished


after 8 weeks
- Reacts to social stimuli like an adult
- Sleeping pattern is adult-like
- Eye colour has the breed specific shade

It is time for the first vaccination by the vet


after 10 weeks
- Inborn behavior traits, apart from sexual behavior, are complete


after 11 weeks
- Co-ordination of movement perfect

The second vaccination should be given by the vet


after 12 weeks
- adult teeth start to appear

The cat is ready to go into a new environment with its new owner unless it is going to be desexed


after 10 months
The cat has developed its full personality with individual characteristics
- Growing period is finished
- adult teeth complete
- Sexual behaviour starts

Kessler M. (1998): Die Entwicklung der jungen Katze. Katzen Magazin 3, RORO-Press Verlag AG, Zürich.
Turner D.C. und Bateson P. (1988): The domestic cat: the biology of its behaviour. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Bradshaw J.W.S. (1992): The Behaviour of the Domestic Cat. CAB International, Oxon UK.
Mueller-Girard C. (1988): Lexikon der Rassekatzen. Nebel Verlag, Erlangen.

This article has been reproduced with the very kind permission of Dr Mirjam Kessler,
Balinese & Siamese of Blue Moon Cattery http://www.balinesen.ch/

© Dr. Mirjam Kessler, all rights reserved
The usage of this article for any kind of publication is forbidden without permission of the author.