Friday, November 6, 2009

What’s a KitTEEN?

Anyone can recognize a fluffy little kitten, and it’s easy to spot a grown-up cat. But what about that murky, transitional phase in between?

I’ve got a great new term to share with you: KitTEEN, accent on the TEEN, because that’s what these little cats are! This word was dreamed up by a clever friend of mine, and then bequeathed to me. So, since we invented it, whatever we say goes about kitTEENs.

All About KitTEENs
Conveniently enough, kittens move into the kitTEEN zone at about thirteen weeks, so it’s easy to remember when this coming of age takes place.

Like their human counterparts, cat teens go through an awkward stage. Their limbs may be disproportionately long, and growth spurts leave them looking slightly rangy. Their kittenish faces may develop a more striking, mature bone structure, and you’ll notice that your once-clumsy kitten is quickly becoming more nimble.

For example, they don’t have to mountain-climb up the comforter to hop onto the bed—now they can jump! Watch out, because kitTEENs have the smarts and the strength to execute some pretty wild maneuvers around the house.

I foster kittens, and I have always felt a rush to get little ones back to the shelter before they entered the KitTEEN stage. If someone is specifically in the market for a kitten, logic follows that they’d want the littlest one. Others come to the shelter in search of an adult cat, because it’s easier to judge temperament when a cat’s full grown.

I argue that a kitTEEN is the best of both worlds. They are still young enough for you to experience the pleasure of watching them grow big and strong, but they’re old enough to have quite the purrsonality already.

And so, since a picture says 1,000 words… may I please present my favorite kitTEEN of all, the very kitTEEN that inspired the term… Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…


I have a theory that if shelters began to use the term kitTEEN, it could help the “old” kittens get adopted, since it takes the stigma away. Who wants to be an “old” anything? Three cheers for kitTEENs!!!


  1. That's a funny term! Very clever indeed. My KitTEEN is currently crazy! She has never-ending energy and never stops running around. I hope she calms down sometime soon! Please!

  2. Very appropriate! I like kitties at that age ... spunky, yet curious! Unfortunately, we are all "geriatrics" better known as "geezer cats" ...