Week By Week
I thought it would be fun to give you guys an idea about how our Sphynx kittens develop each week! I tried to include photos of the approximate age as well.
Sphynx kittens are born looking quite a bit like little naked rats :). They aren't exactly the smartest kittens at birth. With coated cats the only hairless spot on the mother is her nipples, so the kittens know to suckle on the hairless area to feed. Sphynx kittens will suckle on the mother's legs, stomach, back, and tail, as all these areas are naked. We have spent many hours reattaching newborn kittens to the mother's nipples to help them feed. The first 24 hours of feeding is very important to the kitten's lifelong immunity due to the colostrum produced in the mother's milk. Also if the mother has any illness it can be passed on to the kittens during the licking that is done while she grooms them. So the mother's health is extremely important! A "normal" kitten's eyes won't begin to open until between 9 and 14 days old. However Sphynx kittens tend to open their eyes 3 days or so after birth. We have had a couple kittens that were actually born with their eyes open! Kittens are born with a dark blue/green eye color that will lighten to blue within about a week and then slowly over several more weeks it will change to their adult color. It is not uncommon for Sphynx kittens to be born with some very thin peach fuzz, this will fall out within the first few days or weeks. It depends on the kitten .
Kittens are quite wiggly at this point, but they are only focused on eating and sleeping. We have also heard our kittens purr at this age. I usually take the first set of photos at this age and then take more photos every two or three weeks.
A Sphynx kitten's floppy ears will have "popped up" by this time, although if the kitten is going to have extremely large ears, it can take up to 4 weeks for their ears to lift fully. The ears will be setting rather low on the head at this age, and will continue moving up until the kitten is 8-10 weeks old. This makes it challenging to pick a show cat as you cannot be 100% sure where the ear placement will be as an adult. The weaning process usually begins during this time. Kittens also become more aware of the humans in their lives at this time. First precautionary deworming at this age and then they are dewormed every three weeks after this.
At four weeks our kittens begin trying to walk around (mostly following mom). They are very wobbly at this stage. They also begin drinking water from the bowl and nibbling food. They are still nursing from mom. Sphynx kittens also try to "play" a bit at this age, but they tire easily.
Our kittens are potty trained (using the litter box at this time). They are almost completely weaned and they will come to us when they see us.
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This is the time my kittens generally get their first "real" bath. They have been wiped down, had their ears cleaned and nail trims before. But this is their first bath in the sink or bathtub. They usually get baths every week or so after this. Our kittens are also completely weaned by this time. Mom's immunity in the kitten starts dropping at 6-9 weeks and a kitten's own immune system starts becoming stronger. Six weeks is such a fun time with kittens! I can really get a good idea of their personalities. And sphynx kittens are ready to play at this age!
Sphynx kittens become more playful at this age and really want attention from us. The bounce around with an adorable little "hop" like a rabbit. They also have nice little pot bellies!
Our kittens receive their first vaccination at this age. There are two different Vaccine protocals according the the Feline Veterinary Board. A kitten can receive vaccinations at 8, 12 and 16 week (3 vaccinations/4 weeks apart). Or they can receive a vaccinations at 6, 9, 12, and 15 weeks (4 vaccines/3 weeks apart). We do the three vaccination protocal. Around this age the kittens are also introduced to other kittens from other litters (if we have more then one litter at a time). Sphynx kitten's eyes are also changing from the blue color, to their adult color.
Don't let the photo below fool ya....these little gobblins are causing mischief and messes at 9 weeks!
It is common for Sphynx to have little scratch marks on their bodies from playing a bit too rough...but since the nails are trimmed, they are only light scratches. This is also when they begin going through their awkward stage and they get gangly legs and become quite clumsy (as if they weren't clumsy enough already!).
~*~Photo Coming Soon~*~
Just keep playing, just keep playing, la la la la la (Sing like Dory off of the movie "Nemo")!
The second vaccination series as well as the rabies vaccination is given. Our kittens are also spayed and neutered at this time. Click HERE to see our article about the importance of early spay and neuter. Some breeders will allow a kitten to go home at this age. Please beware of any breeder that allows their kittens to go home sooner then 12 weeks. Also, I do not know of a reputable Sphynx breeder that will allow a Sphynx kitten to go home prior to being spayed/neutered....so please take that into consideration when adopting your future baby! Typically our boy kittens can go home this week healing from a neuter is much faster (it is a less invasive procedure).
Typically our girl kittens can go home this week as the spay will be healed up and the kittens are ready to play play PLAY!!!!
Kittens are being spoiled in their new homes now :). Ideally this is when you will have your vet administer the last vaccine series. This injection can be given at 15-16 weeks, but 16 weeks is the best. At 16 weeks the mother's immunity is completely absent from the kitten and the kitten's own immune system is pretty much on its own. Kittens generally have their adult eye color by this time.