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Decoding Kitten Behavior catipedia_behavior.png

Why do kittens do what they do? No doubt your first response might have something to do with being irresistibly cute. And while no respectable cat lover would disagree, the behaviors kittens engage in actually have another purpose. That is, to help them develop into healthy, well-adjusted cats.

We think of kittens as tiny, purring puffs of fur. But even when they appear to be full-grown they're not yet adults - at least not for the first two years. To start this developmental period off right, it's helpful for kittens to be gently handled by people for at least 15-40 minutes each day. Kittens handled like this during their first seven weeks are more likely to develop larger brains, become better learners and more exploratory, playful companions.

Nutrition plays an important role in a kitten's development too. Purina® Kitten Chow® Nurture is rich in protein and other nutrients kittens need to grow and thrive.


During their first seven weeks, kittens are already becoming social. By their third week, they can see well enough to find their mothers. By week 4 they are seeking out their littermates. And by week 5, kittens actually start to groom themselves and other cats - quite an accomplishment, considering that some human children grow into adulthood long before they master this.

Around this time they start running, stalking and pouncing, all with a fierceness that is frankly adorable. This gives them the opportunity to learn appropriate social behaviors, like the difference between a play bite and a real bite, and how to keep play wrestling playful (and not painful).

WEEKS 7-14

Once week 7 arrives, the play behaviors really ramp up. Before, your kitten was limited to her mom and littermates… but now the world is her toy box. Literally. If she can stalk it, chase it, pounce on it, bat it around or catch it in her mouth and claim victory, she's ready to try it (something to keep in mind as you kitten-proof your house).

Weeks 7-14 are usually the most active play period for kittens. But while it might look like your kitten is all play and no work, remember that all of these kitten behaviors are actually helping her learn about her world, and sharpen her instinctual hunting skills. They also help her develop that signature feline balance and agility.

To encourage her eventual awesomeness (and give yourself some inspired cat entertainment), this is a great time to introduce toys that entice hunting and play activity. Once you do, get ready to enjoy a show.


During these three months you'll see your playful kitten start to recognize the hierarchy in your household. Yes, she'll actually be ranking the members of her family, both feline and human… and you'll know your place in her organizational chart by the way she acts around you.


Now your kitten is a teenager. Which means you'll see more exploration, and even some experimenting with dominance… including challenging members of her human family. So be prepared to set some boundaries, and to parent with love.


As your kitten grows into and through the different phases of her childhood, remember that random and quirky though they may seem, every behavior really does have a purpose. And that eventually, all of them will combine to make your kitten the uniquely entertaining, intelligent, charismatic (and occasionally exasperating) cat she was born to be.



  • The Humane Society of the United States. "Kitten Behavior Basics."
  • Houston SPCA. "Developmental Stages of Kitten Behavior." <>
  • VCA Animal Hospitals. "Kitten Behavior and Training - Play and Investigative Behaviors." <>



Below you'll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our company, our products and caring for your cats. If you have a question that isn't addressed here, please feel free to contact us.

Q: How can I email or talk with the Purina Pet Care team?

A: If you would like to talk with us, please contact us here or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

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Q: How are Purina Cat Chow products different from other healthy pet foods?

A: Inside every bag of Purina Cat Chow you'll find a selective blend of protein, fat, and fiber. Everything we use in our premium cat food formulas has a place in your cat's healthy diet.

Q: How can I be sure of the quality of the Purina Cat Chow products?

A: Our top priority is the quality of the food that nourishes not only your pets, but the pets we share our lives with, too. So from source to bowl, the quality of our food is assured by taking the following steps:

Ingredient Sourcing

  • Purina ingredient sourcing and processing meet or exceed FDA, USDA or AAFCO standards for pet food. And every supplier of ingredients for Purina products must meet our stringent standards for ingredient specifications, product safety, sanitation and manufacturing practices.
  • Ingredient Testing
  • All of Purina's North American manufacturing facilities have on-site quality assurance laboratories and staff. And we're working to expand the use of technology to further screen ingredients for quality assurance.
  • Ingredient Tracking & Control
  • 99% of all Purina pet food products sold in the U.S. are made in Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities and Purina's sophisticated tracking system ensures important measures of control: All raw ingredients are tracked from time of receipt at our plants, through their inclusion in finished products, and on to retail stores.
Q: Where is your food manufactured?

A: 99% of all Purina-branded pet food products sold in the U.S. are made in Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities. Purina's sophisticated tracking system ensures important measures of control: All raw ingredients are tracked from time of receipt at our plants, through their inclusion in finished products, and on to retailers.

Q: I am unable to find a particular product in my area. Can you help me locate it?

A: Yes, we can help. Although distribution of our Purina Cat Chow products is national, not all stores carry all sizes and varieties. Contact our Customer Service department via our Contact Us page or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

Q: Do you offer coupons?

A: We offer coupons in local papers, through direct mailing programs and via emails to registered members. We don't have a regular section on our website itself. We suggest you watch for sales or promotions at your local retailer.

Q: Where can I find articles and information about my cat?

A: We believe there's always more to learn and to share and that discovery should be fun. It's one more way we're helping you and your cat share a better life together. Visit Catipedia for articles and information and... a little bit of fun.

Q: Where can I find articles and information about my cat?

A: We strongly recommend talking to your veterinarian for immediate answers to urgent situations. While is an excellent resource of information provided by cat care experts, your veterinarian can provide the best care for your individual cat.