I just received a great question from one of my friends from the waiting list, and I thought I'd start my blog by posting my answer here. While I often don't find time to update the website as regularly as I'd like, I do try and answer individual emails sooner rather than later! Maybe this will be a good way to do both. Please take the opportunity to ask additional questions, and I will post answers back.
Question from Lisa of Sturbridge, MA:
How much do the kittens usually weigh at birth?
Newborn kittens weigh anywhere from 56 (my smallest ever) to 95 or so grams at birth, and don't look like much more than tiny, furry mice. Their eyes and ears are closed. In this litter of four kittens (born 11/22/13 to Treya and Comet), they were all between 70 and 85 grams, which is great as there was no real runt. Sometimes they lose 2 or 3 grams in the first 12-24 hours, but mostly I like to see them gaining at least 10 grams a day, and ideally they should double their birth weight by the time they are a week old. This doesn't always happen, and is more a guideline than an absolute. The champagne male started off very slowly in the first 10 days, but has now eclipsed everyone and weighs over 310 grams, where the smallest (initially the biggest) is still hovering at 241. I know grams are not what we typically think of in terms of weight, but pounds and ounces just aren't useful when you are talking in such miniscule amounts. Usually I switch over to the English/American system once everyone tops 300 grams, which equals about 9 or 10 ounces if I remember correctly, and I don't weigh them as often - more like every 3 days. Also with kittens less than 10-12 days old there is really not much I can do if they start going down hill. Lord knows the vet and I have tried, but we do not have a single success with a newborn kitten once it started to fail. Long time breeders have also cautioned me not to go to extreme measures to save a failing newborn. So sad, but seems to be nature's way of culling out those that are born with major defects and ensuring the survival of healthy litter mates.
As they grow, they should ideally gain about 1 pound per month. So at one month they weigh roughly 1 pound, two months = 2 pounds, three months = 3 pounds, and so on. Females tend to be smaller, however, and a good weight for them at 3 months is closer to 2 1/2 pounds.