About Newborn Kittens
All cat lovers seem to agree that kittens are amazingly adorable. Kittens are simply extremely lovable. Now we need to look at a few facts about these delightful little creatures.
The average number of kittens in a litter is four. The record for the largest cat litter is 19 kittens. A cat by the name Tarawood Antigone gave birth to one female, fourteen male and four stillborn. This happened on August 7, 1970 in England. The cat was owned by Valerie Gane.
The word “kitten” comes from the Turkish word for cat: keti/ kedi.
A cat is normally considered a kitten until it is nine months old.
At birth the kittens are around 5 inches (13 cm) long and weigh about 4 ounces (115 gram).
Kittens are born with their eyes closed. They will open their eyes when they are about one week old.
Cats are born with blue eyes. The color their eyes will have will not be obvious before they are three months old.
Newborn kittens are deaf when they are born. Their ear canals need a few weeks to clear and open. This is a gradual process.
Newborn cats do have a very strong sense of smell and are extremely sensitive to touch.
The teeth will start to break out when the kitten is about one month old. When they are about five months old, they will shed their milk teeth.
When they are around one month old the kittens will show the first signs of playing with each other. When they are two months old they will become very playful.
Cats are considered entirely independent when they are six months old.
How the Mother Cat Cares for her Newborns
During their first month their mother will provide warmth, safety and milk. Their mother will be the sole reason the kittens survive.
The mother cat will keep close watch over her newborns and examine them regularly. She will keep them clean and protect them.
The mother cat will also stimulate the gentiles of her babies frequently by licking and this will in turn help the kittens to discharge their excrement. They are in this matter dependent upon their mother.
If the mother cat does not see to it that the urination and defecation process is set in motion, the kittens would simply die.
The mother cat will eat/lick any excrement the kittens produce, keeping the place very clean. She will continue with this until her babies start eating solid food.
As they start their second month, the kittens may taste solid food for the first time. Do not feed them dry food.
The digestive system of the kitten is very sensitive. A kitten should never be fed cold food. The food needs to be warm.
As the kitten eats more solid food it will start to use the litter box. This will happen when the cat is about 6 weeks old.
Even though they have slowly started to eat solid food, they still need milk from their mother. The process of weaning is gradual.
The mother cat will continue to give her little ones milk until they are well into their third month. From this point the kittens will have to eat regular food and drink water on their own.