5-Month-Old Kitten Behavior: A Full Guide For Cat Lovers
If you have a 5-month-old kitten you may be keen to understand what you should expect and some pointers going forward. Keep reading for the full guide.
What Can You Expect For A Kitten At 5 Months?
At 5 months old, a kitten is shifting into puberty. Cats reach milestones pretty quickly in their lifetime, and their development is much more rapid than most animals.
This will be an important time to set expectations with your kitten in terms of behavior. Training a kitten can be more difficult than other animals, considering they are more solitary. However, the younger you can train them, the better.
What Changes In Activity Can You Expect?
Your kitten’s behavior and energy levels are bound to change at this age. They will become more active as their hormones start to rage.
Your kitten will have much more energy to burn at this stage of their life, and they may become restless or act out if they don’t have a way to exert that energy. This makes playtime and opportunities for exercise especially important to help tire your kitten out.
How Big Is A 5-Month-Old Kitten?
The size of your kitten at 5 months old will vary depending on their breed. Some kittens that are taken away from their moms too soon aren’t given the opportunity to develop normally and end up staying small.
In your kitten’s first 6 months of life, it’ll feel like they grow substantially every day. This is the period of time where you will probably notice the most significant change in their size. Generally speaking, a healthy 5-month-old kitten tends to be between 5 and 6 pounds.
Are There Any Expected Changes In Aggression?
It is possible that at 5 months, your kitten might be at its most aggressive stage. A lot of changes are happening and they don’t always know how to respond to them.
It’s important to understand that your kitten’s aggression isn’t an act of defiance, or because they don’t like you. They are trying to establish where their territory is in their home, and they might subconsciously lash out if you’re in the area they are trying to dominate.
If your kitten doesn’t feel like they are getting enough attention or doesn’t have the ability to burn off some of their pent-up energy, they might also become aggressive. They might start scratching at your furniture or batting at things because they don’t know what else to do.
You want to ensure you are playing with them get them toys they can play with on their own. They should also have scratching posts so they have something to scratch instead of your furniture.
Can You Leave A 5-Month-Old Kitten Alone?
It’s important to examine your kitten’s behavior before making a decision whether or not to leave them alone. It is also a really smart idea to go throughout your home and make sure that nothing dangerous is within their reach.
You might want to have some doors closed if there are areas with breakables or items that could hurt your kitten.
However, kittens and cats don’t usually mind being alone, and they tend to sleep the majority of the day. While they might prefer for us to be home, they can adjust to us being out of the home for a few hours with ease, so long as they have some food and water available.
Will A 5-Month-Old Kitten Have The Urge To Mate?
At the 5-month-old mark, your kitten is going to start puberty, which means their natural instincts to mate are going to be very strong.
You will be able to notice a distinct change in behavior in your kitten when they are in heat. They will frantically be searching for a mate, meaning that they may try to escape the home to find another cat, especially if they are the only cat at home. If you have another cat and they are not fixed, you might have to keep them separate for some time.
How Often Do You Feed A 5-Month-Old Kitten?
You’ll probably notice that your kitten is more ravenous than they were when they were younger. This is partly because they have more energy than they will be burning throughout the day.
Another reason your kitten may want to eat more is that they are growing at such a fast pace. This is an important stage of growth for your kitten, so ensuring they are getting proper nourishment is key to your kitten growing into a strong and well-developed cat.
Should You Be Spaying Or Neutering A 5-Month-Old Kitten?
It is possible that your kitten will be ready to get spayed or neutered at the 5-month mark. Your vet will most likely perform a check-up with your kitten to make sure they are healthy enough for the surgery. The surgeries are minimally invasive and are much quicker and easier on a young kitten than they used to be.
Getting your kitten spayed or neutered young will help prevent them from potentially mating, especially if there are other cats in the home. An unwanted pregnancy could result in many new kittens that could overcrowd shelters if you cannot raise them yourself.
Should You Let Your Kitten Sleep With You?
For the most part, deciding whether or not your kitten should sleep in your bed is personal. You might want to establish an area specifically for them to sleep, even if it is in your bedroom, so you can get a feel for their sleeping patterns at night.
One thing to keep in mind before making your choice is that your kitten might occasionally have an accident. Since they are still young, they might not be experts at using the litter box and cleaning themselves up afterward.
Some pet parents may be concerned about potentially rolling over on a kitten or accidentally pushing them off of the bed. This is a bigger worry if your bed is high off the ground. One thing to consider is that your kitten will land on its feet.
Furthermore, cats don’t tend to fall into a deep sleep as we do, so they will get out of the way before you roll over on them.
If your kitten is fussy or super active at night, you might not get much sleep if you let them into your bed. On the other hand, if your kitten won’t stop crying for your cuddles at night, you might just want to give in.
What Training Is Needed?
You will most likely have to train your kitten which surfaces they are and are not allowed on. Cats are curious beings, and they like to explore things and see areas of your home from different perspectives.
Your cat might also scratch and claw at certain things. This is one of the biggest frustrations for many cat parents. Since declawing is extremely unethical and harmful, you want to shift their focus from your couch and bed to a scratching post or scratching toys.
You don’t want to yell at or punish your kitten, as they are learning, and they are trying to get comfortable with their home. Instead, just simply tell them no and move them, and reward them when they do what you ask of them.
Chances are, you aren’t going to have to do too much to litter train your kitten. Kittens are pretty good at using their litter box once they know where it is located.
When Should I Let My Kitten Roam The House?
There should always be a room or an area designated for your kitten to go when they are overwhelmed or need to be alone. This is especially true if there are other animals in the home, or if you have children. Until your cat is comfortable with everyone, you should supervise them when they roam.
You shouldn’t let your kitten roam until you are sure you’ve removed as many potentially harmful obstacles from each room as possible. Once you notice they get used to each space, you can let them roam as you wish.
Is Playtime Important For Your 5-Month-Old Kitten?
Playtime is absolutely crucial for any cat regardless of age. When your kitten is around the 5-month-old mark, playtime is essential to let them burn off some energy.
It’s recommended to implement daily playtime with your kitten as part of your daily routine. Even if you can only fit in five minutes some days because of your busy schedule, that is perfectly acceptable.
Playing with your kitten is also a very important way to bond with your cat. It can also be a nice stress reliever for you, giving you a pocket of time to be silly with your kitten.
Where Should I Put My Kitten At Night?
Your kitten craves warmth and a cozy surface to sleep on at night. If they don’t have an option for where to sleep, they will most likely get restless and might keep you awake. Your kitten won’t mind an elevated spot either, such as a cat tree with a nice, cozy shelf or hollowed-out area for them to get nestled into.
It can be more difficult to get a kitten interested in a bed than a dog, but if you get them one that is cozy with plenty of room, they are more likely to like it. They might also enjoy a sheltered bed as it’ll help them feel safer.
Consider adding a blanket, some toys, or a soft pillow to their bed to give them a sense of comfort. They might even enjoy cuddling up with one of your shirts as it’ll carry your scent.
What Diet Is Needed For Your Kitten?
A balanced diet with plenty of water is vital to ensuring your kitten grows into a happy and healthy cat. Kitten food with a healthy amount of protein is essential. Their food should also have some fat and some carbohydrates. This combination of three essential nutrients will give your kitten sufficient energy and aid in proper development.
Your veterinarian will most likely have some good recommendations for foods that will suit your kitten to ensure they get the vitamins and nutrients they need. It might also be helpful to do a little bit of research regarding the options available for kittens so you know which brands are reputable and don’t use harmful ingredients.
Are Vet Checkups Important For 5-Month-Old Kittens?
You should be bringing your kitten to the vet at least once every year at the bare minimum. When your kitten is young, you may have to go to the vet a little bit more frequently for vaccinations. During these vet trips, your vet will do a general check-up to make sure the kitten is growing properly.
You will most likely be getting your kitten fixed around this time, or perhaps a couple of months later, depending on what your vet recommends. If your kitten is developing well, it might be healthy enough to get fixed at 5 months. This will be another opportunity for your vet to check out your kitten to make sure they are healthy.
There shouldn’t be any need to take your kitten to the vet outside of getting fixed, getting a vaccination, or getting their yearly check-up unless they are showing signs of having a health issue. It can be difficult to know whether or not your cat is sick, as they can’t always show us they don’t feel well, and they often like to pretend everything is okay.
There are some telltale signs that your kitten may not be feeling well. If you notice a decrease in energy or appetite, this could be a sign something is wrong. You also want to keep your eye on their litter box in case they are having diarrhea or loose stools often. If they are vomiting somewhat frequently, or for more than a day, a trip to the vet is warranted.
While vet trips can add up in terms of cost, it’s always better to be safe and get your kitten checked out instead of ignoring the issue and having a preventable situation get worse.