Kittens are heavily reliant on the mother for the first few weeks after they're born, and they cannot see or hear. They learn to walk at three weeks, and learn to respond to other cats. They have full coordination at seven weeks, and can become fully independent by 12 weeks. At 15 years of age, a cat is considered the equivalent of a 73-year-old human.
Newborn kittens flock to their mothers for warmth because they lack fur when they are born. They also use their sense of smell to find their mother.
They begin to see anywhere from two to 16 days after birth, and they begin to learn socialization skills from the mother at two weeks. Kittens learn to play during the first two weeks of life, even before walking.
At three weeks, their ear canals are fully developed, allowing them to respond to their surroundings, and they develop toilet preferences at this age. Kittens are still with their mothers at four weeks, but they are not as reliant on their mother's milk.
Their socialization period ends at seven weeks, but they do not stray too far from their nesting area until eight weeks. The kittens must have interactions with humans at this point to become more sociable.
They have greater independence by 12 weeks. After 15 years, a cat becomes less active, and jumping and climbing become more difficult.