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The objective of this study was to assess the utility of using body weight for age determination in kittens.


Medical records were reviewed for serial body weight measurements collected from neonatal kittens (up to 8 weeks of age) from a breeding colony of specific pathogen-free domestic shorthair cats and for single-point body weight measurements of privately owned pediatric kittens (6–20 weeks of age) presenting for elective sterilization. Body weights were compared with known dates of birth and age assessed by dental eruption in combination with developmental characteristics.


The coefficient of determination (R2) between age and body weight in longitudinally sampled neonatal kittens was 0.88, while that for pediatric kittens sampled at a single time point was 0.54. Among neonatal kittens, predicted age based on the 1 lb (0.45 kg) of body weight gain per month of age guideline corresponded to within 1 week of actual age for 243 (98.8%), 234 (95.1%), 203 (82.5%) and 191 (77.6%) kittens at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks of age, respectively. Among pediatric kittens, predicted age based on this guideline corresponded to within 1 week of actual age for 24 (77.4%), 411 (67.5%), 170 (57.0%), 96 (46.6%), 23 (28.8%), 15 (27.8%), one (25%) and five (17.9%) kittens at 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 weeks, respectively.

Conclusions and relevance

Body weight was an effective means of predicting age in kittens through 10 weeks of age. Factors other than body weight should be considered when estimating kitten age beyond that time point.