This is your complete guide to the 4 month old kitten. You’ll find out how big your kitten should be and what they should look like, along with information on their diet and litter training. We’ll look at what to expect in terms of their behavior, and help you to take care of your four month old kitten. Together we will support you as you continue to raise your kitten to be a happy, friendly cat.
A 4 month old kitten has usually been living in their forever home for around eight weeks. That means they’ve spent as much time there as with their mom and breeder. Pet parents are likely to be getting a pretty good handle on their new feline’s personality by now. In this article, we take a look at the milestones your 4 month old cat has already hit, and the ones still to come.
Your 4 Month Old Kitten
This article contains information about:
- What a 4 month old kitten looks like
- How big they should be?
- What do cats eat at 4 months old
- How much do 4 month old kitten eat?
- Kitten teething at 4 months old
- How do 4 month old kittens behave?
- What vaccinations does your kitten need at 4 months?
What Does A 4 Month Old Kitten Look Like?
Three month old kittens still look distinctly kittenish, but four month old kittens are starting to look more like scaled down copies of adult cats.
Their limbs are starting to get longer in proportion to their body, and their features are starting to get more refined. They still have their soft fluffy baby coat, but make the most of it while it lasts now. At around 5 or 6 months old, it will start to be replaced by their adult coat, which is thicker, sleeker and glossier.
4 Month Old Kitten Size And Weight
How much should a 4 month old kitten weigh?
A kitten’s size at four months old will depend upon factors like their breed, how well they’ve been nursing from mom, and whether they’re a boy or girl. In many breeds of cat, males are larger than females. This difference is present from birth, but hard to see at first, since it’s only a matter of grams.
At 4 months old, a female kitten from a small breed like the Singapura might have only just clocked up their first kilo. Whilst a male Maine Coon cat might already weigh 2.5 kilos! If you got your cat from an experienced breeder, or a rescue center, they should be able to advise you on what size to expect your kitten to be at this age. However, assessing their overall body conditions might be a better indicator of how well they’re thriving, than relying on numbers on a scale.
What To Feed Your 4 Month Old Cat
Whether you plan to feed your kitten dry food, wet food, home cooked meals or raw food, it’s important to make sure the diet you choose for them at every stage of growing up is complete and nutritionally balanced. Cats need at least one third of their diet to be protein from animal sources. However, even kittens fed an entirely raw meat diet can suffer nutritional deficiencies.
If this sounds counterintuitive because wild cats only ever eat a raw meat diet, then bear in mind that even wild cats can suffer nutritional deficiencies if they eat unbalanced raw diets!
At four months old, kittens still need their diet to contain more calcium and phosphorous than most adult cat foods provide. So, if the range of food your choose has separate products for kittens and adults, stick to the kitten version for the time being.
How Much To Feed A Four Month Old Kitten
Always feed your kitten according to the feeding guide on the packaging of their food, unless your vet has advised you otherwise. If you’re using treats during the day to reward good behavior, or form positive associations with activities like grooming or wearing a harness, remember to deduct a little from their dinner to avoid overly-rapid weight gain. As a rule of thumb, treats should only account for 10% of your kitten’s daily calories.
4 Month Old Kitten Teething
As your kitten reaches four months old, you may well start to notice their adult teeth coming through. This process usually starts shortly after they turn three months old, and continues until they are around 6 months old.
Your cats new front teeth will come through first, followed by their molars at the back. You might even find some of the baby teeth left dropped on the floor or in their bed. But they’re tiny, and quite a few get swallowed, so don’t worry if you don’t spot any!
Your kitten might get especially ‘chewy’ at the moment, if the eruption of their adult teeth is causing them discomfort. Keep some robust teething toys on hand, and redirect your kitten to them whenever he chomps down on something he shouldn’t.
4 Month Old Kitten Behavior
By now, it’s likely that you really feel you’re getting to know your kitten’s personality. Hopefully you’re celebrating their quirks, and revelling in discovering all the things which make them unique.
At four months old, kittens enjoy a rich and varied repertoire of games. Their favorite games are likely to include play hunting toys, and they’re probably getting much more co-ordinated at it.
Watching a kitten wiggle their bum in the air as they prepare to pounce is adorable. But if you’re still using your hands as “prey”, make the switch to interactive cat toys now, before you end up with nasty bites and scratches!
Cats love their little routines, and by now they’ve probably made it clear where they’ve picked as their favorite scratching spot in your home. Was it on a designated scratch post, or did they choose your floors or carpets?
Cats instinctively scratch in places people pass by regularly – like doorways and busy thoroughfares. Scratching is a form of communication, and this ensures it reaches as wide an audience as possible! So a frequent reason kittens have started scratching in an undesirable place at this age is because their owners tried to position the scratching post somewhere discreet and out of sight.
If you’re still struggling with teaching your kitten to use the litter box reliably, don’t be embarrassed to ask for help at this age. Soiling in the house is the most common reason why cats are surrendered to animal shelters. There’s no point struggling with this alone until you reach a point where giving up your cat feels like the only option for you too.
Ask your vet to rule out underlying physical causes, such as urinary tract infections, and if that comes back clear, ask a behaviorist to help you understand why your cat is still toileting inappropriately. Common reasons include your cat being uncomfortable with the location of the litter box, having it covered, or uncovered, the litter you’ve chosen, having to share it with another cat, or the litter box already being soiled.
What Vaccinations Does A 4 Month Old Kitten Need?
Amazingly, the antibodies your kitten received from their mom’s milk have still been protecting them against infection all this time, and their effect is only just wearing off at 4 months old. But since it’s coming to an end. It’s important to make sure you complete their course of core kitten vaccines this month.
Kittens’ final booster shots for rabies, viral rhinotracheitis, feline calcivirus, and panleukopenia fall due around 16 weeks old. So if they haven’t already been administered or scheduled, book them in now. Most kittens also receive a booster shot against feline leukemia virus at the same time, although it’s not considered one of the core vaccines.
Neutering Or Spaying A 4 Month Old Kitten
If your vet hasn’t already discussed neutering your male kitten, or spaying your female kitten with you, they’re almost certain to at the appointment for their 4 month shots. Choosing whether to go ahead, and when, is ultimately something only you can decide.
Factors to bear in mind include:
- One study found that spaying female cats before they reach 6 months old reduces the chances of them developing aggressive mammary tumors by over 90%.
- In males cats, there is evidence that neutering reduces risky behaviors such as roaming and fighting with other males. It can also reduce antisocial sexual behaviors, such as urine spraying.
- In both sexes, neutering has been shown to reduce metabolic rate. This is a risk factor for obesity in the future, but further studies haven’t proven a link between neuter status and obesity, which shows that proper diet management can prevent it becoming an issue.
- Your kitten’s size. Runts and very small kittens who have been slow to put on weight might still be too small to operate on safely at 4 months.
4 Month Old Kitten – Summary
At 4 months old, your kitten should be settling well at home, and changing by the day. Fill your phone with photos, because it won’t be long before their baby looks give way to much more grown up features.
Your kitten is still likely to be seeing the vet regularly for check ups, shots and neutering, if you choose to do this. These are great opportunities to ask about other areas of their development too, if you’re worried.
Is Your Kitten 4 Months Old?
What will you remember as the greatest highlights and the biggest challenges of this age? Let us know in the comments box down below!
This article is a part of our detailed series on kitten development. If you missed any stages so far, or you’re ready to skip ahead, here are the links:
- 8 week old kitten – coming home
- 9 week old kitten – learning not to bite
- 10 week old kitten – eating, sleeping and having fun
- Your 12 week old kitten
- Your 6 month old kitten
References And Resources
- Hemmings, Nutrition for kittens, The Veterinary Nurse, 2019.
- Yates & Leedham, Prepubertal neutering in cats and dogs, In Practice, 2019.
- Hamper et al, Evaluation of two raw diets vs a commercial cooked diet on feline growth, Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery, 2016.
- Orsini & Hennet, Anatomy of the Mouth and Teeth of the Cat, Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, 1992.
- Seksel, Preventing Behavior Problems in Puppies and Kittens, Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, 2008.
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