Skip to main content

PawTracks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

When can you expect kittens to start walking? What first-time owners should know

Adopting a new kitten is an exciting — and sometimes stressful — event. While seasoned pet parents usually know what they can expect from their new fur baby, first-timers may be confused by the stages of a kitten’s development. If you’ve recently adopted a young kitten, you probably have a lot of questions you need answered. When should her eyes open? What should I feed her? When will she start walking? While we can’t answer every single question, we can tell you when kittens start walking and how you can prepare your home for a newly mobile pet. 

A closeup of three white, blue-eyed kittens on a man's lap.

When do kittens start walking? 

The third week of a kitten’s life is one of the most fascinating. When your kitten reaches that age, her deciduous teeth begin to come in, though they won’t fully erupt until she’s around eight weeks old. The majority of kittens also begin to walk at around three weeks of age. Your kitten won’t be very coordinated at first, but that’s part of what makes watching her take her first steps so adorable. 

Related Videos

How long does it take for a kitten to learn to walk?

Just like human children, young kittens need time to gain a sense of balance and coordination. With non-furry babies, walking could begin as early as nine months, though some babies may take up to 18 months before they take their first steps. However, your fur baby’s onset of walking is a little more predictable. Once they take their first clumsy steps, kittens need an average of about a week to develop their coordination. Your kitten should be walking and playing with ease by the time she’s only four weeks old. 

Keep your kitten confined at first

Roaming a massive space can be intimidating for a little kitten. Some kittens are bold explorers from the moment they’re able to walk, but others are shy and prone to staying where they feel safe. We recommend keeping kittens confined to a single room for the first few weeks after they begin walking, especially if you have active children or other pets in your home. Not only does confinement keep your kitten safe, but it also makes it easier to litter train her and prevent accidents in your home. Before turning your fur baby loose, you’ll want to kitten-proof your home. Here’s what you need to know. 

Two kittens perched on the sill of an open window.

How to kitten-proof your home once a kitten starts walking

With their razor-sharp claws, needle-like teeth, and endlessly inquisitive nature, kittens can easily find themselves in a precarious position if your home hasn’t been kitten-proofed. Fortunately, there are a few easy fixes that will make your home safer for a curious little kitten. 

1. Give them something to climb

Kittens are insatiably curious about their environment, and they tend to feel safest when they can climb to a high perch and oversee their domain. Curtains, tablecloths, and even furniture are perfect for climbing. But your nosy fur baby will be much less likely to climb things she shouldn’t if she has a cat tree of her own. In addition to giving your kitten a safe perch, most cat trees come with scratching posts, which will help file her raptor-like talons into more-manageable claws. 

2. Make sure your electronics are put away

From phone chargers to cable wires, kittens love anything they can swat around with their paws, pounce on, and nibble. If you can’t eliminate wires altogether — or at least move them out of your kitten’s reach — you may want to wrap wires in durable tubing to prevent your pet from chewing them and getting the shock of a lifetime. 

3. Eliminate toxic plants and flowers

You may love the way tulips brighten your space and bring a touch of the outdoors inside, but tulips — like many other plants and flowers — are toxic to cats. In fact, tulips can actually be fatal to your kitten if ingested. We recommend printing out a list of toxic plants and flowers (or storing the list on your phone) before you bring home any new plant. Your fur baby will thank you for it.

4. Keep household items put away

Many of our favorite foods can make kittens extremely ill, and some — like chocolate and coffee — have potentially fatal consequences. Keep a list of foods that are toxic to cats on hand, and make sure you don’t leave those items unattended. Similarly, even over-the-counter medications can cause life-threatening reactions.

5. Use cat-friendly products around the home

Because consumption of many brands of cleaning products and insect repellent can kill your kitten, it’s best to switch to a pet-safe variety. 

6. Never leave kittens in the garage

Antifreeze is deadly to cats, so you should never allow your kitten to explore the garage or driveway. In fact, it’s best to keep kittens indoors to prevent them from getting into potentially toxic substances.

Kittens are small and sneaky, so you’ll need to take extra precautions when you’re coming and going from the house. The same goes for windows — even if you have screened windows, your kitten can easily claw her way outside.

A calico mother cat with three kittens.

Safety first

Kitten-proofing your home once your fur baby begins walking takes a bit of time and effort, but it’s well worth it to watch her play in a safe environment. If you have young children or other pets in your home, you’ll especially want to keep an eye on your kitten while she explores — at least until everyone in the household gets along peaceably. 

Editors' Recommendations

Expert tips for taking your puppy on their first walk
Is it time for puppy's first walk? Prepare with this expert advice
A brown puppy wearing a neon orange harness looks up

Bringing home a new puppy can be one of the most exciting times in a person's life, but that doesn't mean you'll have picture-perfect moments every time. In fact, helping your four-legged bundle of joy reach their milestones can be downright frustrating at times! It happens to the best of us, but we're happy to tell you that some of those milestones -- like walking your puppy for the first time -- can be reached with a shortcut or two. And that's where Lorna Winter comes in.

Winter is a veteran dog trainer and the co-founder of Zigzag, which is a puppyhood training app that you can customize to help you and your dog succeed. Since she's such an expert when it comes to all of a puppy's "firsts," we asked her for her best advice when taking a puppy on their first walk. As you might have guessed, it's a lot more complicated than simply putting on a leash and going for a stroll!

Read more
Can huskies be aggressive? It depends on the circumstances
Huskies can be hyperactive, but are they aggressive? Experts weigh in
A blue-eyed Siberian husky puppy sitting on grass

With their luxurious coats and striking blue eyes, huskies are an immediately recognizable breed. Given their size and stubborn personalities, many prospective husky parents wonder, "Are huskies aggressive?" According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standard, "The characteristic temperament of the Siberian husky is friendly and gentle [...] he does not display the possessive qualities of the guard dog, nor is he overly suspicious of strangers or aggressive with other dogs."

That being said, just because the AKC breed standard claims huskies aren't an aggressive breed doesn't mean they can't become aggressive in certain circumstances. We'll go over the different types of aggression in dogs, how to deal with your pup if he becomes aggressive, and -- most importantly -- we'll walk you through the warning signs of aggression, so you can nip it in the bud before it starts.

Read more
New Year’s resolutions that can make you a better pet parent in 2023
5 ways you can become the best pet parent this year
A woman strokes a blue-eyed white dog while outside

We all kick off the new year with resolutions, but for pet lovers, the goal to be a better pet parent is a resolution worth keeping. From teaching your fur babies to get along to helping your cat kick a treat addiction, there are plenty of things we can do to improve our four-legged friends' quality of life. We'll take a deep dive into the top New Year's resolutions pet parents should make to ensure their furry companions stay happy and healthy throughout 2023.

How to set a New Year's resolution you'll keep
We all start off the new year with the best of intentions, vowing to eat healthier, get more exercise, and spend less time doomscrolling on social media. However, by the end of January, the vast majority of people have already started to backslide -- or have given up on their resolutions altogether. But when you're setting resolutions with your fur babies in mind, keeping them is more important than ever. Try:

Read more