Cat life: at what age do kittens open their eyes and begin to hear
Without a mother or person nearby, newborn kittens would not be able to do anything for themselves and would not have the opportunity to survive. That is why it is so important to take good care of them at this early stage of their lives.
The pregnancy of a cat lasts from 58 to 67 days, that is, about 2 months after conception, kittens are born in a cat. The number of newborn kittens can vary greatly, but usually between 3 and 9.
From birth, kittens can vary greatly in weight and size, but they are all born completely dependent on their mother. They are blind, deaf, they have very limited taste, smell and touch abilities, as well as mobility.
This first stage of a cat's life, which lasts about 9 days, is known as the neonatal period. During this time, the kittens will not be able to move away from their mother and will do nothing but eat and sleep. If they were separated from their mother for any reason, they would hardly be able to survive.
Even when they start moving, the kittens will be very clumsy. You will often hear them squeal, especially when they scream at their mother when they are hungry. Of course, the cat will be completely immersed in them for the first few months.
Why do newborn kittens have their eyes closed?
We have already mentioned that one of the features of the neonatal period of kittens is that their eyes remain closed: during their first stay in the world, cats simply do not see anything. But what does it have to do with it?
The reason is that a kitten's eyes are not fully developed after birth. They are still in the process of forming and their delicate tissues can be damaged if they are not protected by eyelids.
In fact, it's not that kittens don't want to open their eyelids immediately after birth, but that they are incapable of doing so: they remain closed until the outer eye is fully formed.
These days, the little eyes of a kitten will be extremely vulnerable, so in no case do not touch them, let alone try to open them yourself by force. If you notice anything strange in them (inflammation, discharge, etc.), contact your veterinarian immediately.
At what age do cats open their eyes?
The blindness of newborn kittens is, of course, temporary. The opening of the eyes occurs at the end of the neonatal period, that is, between 8 and 15 days of life.
Some kittens take longer than others, and the process varies. For example, in some cases two eyes open at once, while in others only one eye opens at first.
Since the kittens' eyes have just formed at this point, they are all blue in color and will take about 3 weeks to a month to reach their final color. For the same reason, it often happens that kittens who have just begun to see develop strabismus, but this will improve with time.
How do newborn kittens see the world?
Cats have excellent eyesight, especially in low light conditions. However, kittens do not see perfectly from the very beginning, but gradually gain visual acuity.
At first, kittens have rather fuzzy vision, and they can hardly identify the creatures and objects around them. From the age of two weeks, when the period of socialization begins, kittens begin to recognize their mother, brothers and sisters, and also begin to explore the world around them.
A kitten's eyesight will be almost fully developed when it reaches the age of the first month. Then the stage of discovery and entertainment begins for him, in which he will often try to reach for and play with every object within reach.
When do kittens start hearing?
Hearing in cats develops a little earlier than vision: kittens will begin to hear when they are 8-9 days old.
When does a kitten's umbilical cord fall out?
The umbilical cord in a kitten falls off between the fourth and fifth day of life. At this time, they squeak and whine a little, but there is nothing to worry about - this is normal.
When do kittens start moving and walking?
Kittens begin crawling at the age of 2 weeks. They will take their first steps clumsily at 14 to 20 days of age.
When do kittens erupt teeth?
In addition to being unable to see or hear, kittens are born toothless and can only feed on breast milk for the first few weeks of life.
Milk teeth begin to erupt from the third week of life.
When should a kitten be vaccinated?
Primary vaccinations should be given between 7 and 8 weeks of age, when the natural protection the mother gives to kittens begins to wane.