Welcome to Week Three
Week three is full of exciting things and a big leap for the kittens. In week three we can hear, smell, walk, play, and potty on our own!
In week three mom get a little "me" time. Their work with the kittens is becoming easier and easier by the day especially when it comes to potty training. Kittens digestive systems are developed now and this allows them to defecate on their own. Now, mom still helps out when needed especially in the grooming department. Mom shows the babies everything they need to know and that's including bath time. By watching their mom groom herself, and their litter-mates the kittens pick up on this activity which teaches them how to clean and groom themselves. At this time, you should start introducing the kittens to their litter box. You should ALWAYS use a non-clumping, natural litter when they are kittens. Think about it... Since mom is teaching them to clean up after themselves, they know that after being in the potty box they need to clean up, including their paws. Now, if you have a clumping litter + kittens cleaning their paws = clumped litter in their bellies! This is NOT something you want your kitten to go through, it is much easier to get a natural litter like pine pellets or non-clumping clay to keep your kitty happy and healthy.
Can You Hear Me?
Kittens ears are now standing in the upright position and their ear canals will be completely open. Your kittens are hearing new things for the first time and they may get startled by loud noises since their hearing is yet to be fully developed. Try and keep it down a notch so the kittens feel comfortable in their environment.
The little fur monsters are now starting to move about and play with their litter-mates. Their movements are still wobbly and aren't completely stable but this will improve throughout the week. This is the time to start socializing. Starting at week three, to week seven, is the most crucial time for socialization. It is recommended that you play with all the kittens for a few hours out of the day to ensure they are getting the most out of that human interaction. The babies LOVE toys so get stocked up and play with them as much as possible. Although kittens still cannot retract their claws, you never want to use your hands to play. They don't stay little forever! This will teach them the bad habit that your hands are toys, and as they grow its not so fun for you anymore. Toys are for playing, hands are for feeding and petting. At week three they can even start to purr so don't be surprised if you hear a little something when settling down after playtime.
Kittens bodies are also changing a bit at this time. If you notice your kittens beginning to chew on things you may consider some plastic chew toys. Their teeth are coming in and the chewing helps ease the discomfort. You can also tell the gender of the kitten at this time, so if you do not know how to tell GOOGLE it. HAHA just kidding. The males will have what would look more like a colon ( : ) they have a hole instead of a slit and it is farther away from the rectum. Most male kittens will not have visible testicles this young but that doesn't mean they won't. The females will have more of an upside-down colon ( ; ), sorry I can't figure out how to make it upside down but you get the idea. Their vaginal opening is more of a long slit rather than a hole and its much closer to the rectum. But for real... if you can't figure out just google it.
Another thing that changes is their fur, especially in Savannahs. The kittens go through what we call the "Fluffy" Stage. All kittens fur will get fuller and fill in but Savannahs they get really fluffy and their spots are disguised and often have a grayish color on the tips of the fur. We believe they get this trait from the Serval. In the wild, Serval kittens develop much like the domestic cats and at week three they start to roam and play about. Their coat changes to that fluffy grayish color to disguise them from nearby predators while playing outside the den. When the kittens are about six months old their mothers have taught them how to hunt on their own and can protect themselves from nearby danger. During this time, their coat loses the fluff and becomes more pronounced again. Savannahs are very similar in this aspect.
Do you have any special techniques to help socialize your kitten?
Until Our Next Cat Convo