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Call for kitten photos!: I'd love to add more newborn kitten photos to this page. If you'd like for your newborn kitten photos to be up here too, please email them to me at email@example.com. Just take out the "_no-spam" part.
are blind, deaf and weak; they can crawl only a few inches at a
time. Their only desires are for food and warmth. When mom leaves
the nest, they will cry, sounding like a chorus of tiny trumpets.
kitten is only one
She is nice and plump, so she has a good chance for survival.
then the eyes
a close-up of five-day-old
kittens. Aren't they sweet little guys? As you can see, their
ears are still flattened to their heads.
are able to make a hissing sound even before they open their
eyes. They can recognize their mother and humans by the smell,
so if they don't recognize the smell of who is near they will
sometimes hiss with their mouth opened and even spiteven
at one week old.
Shorthair kittens begin to open their eyes at 5-8
Longhair kittens do not open their eyes until 10-14
Isn't that strange? So if some of your kittens don't have their eyes
open yet, but the others do, it may be because they are longhaired.
All kittens' eyes are beautiful deep orbs of blue at first. They will
look like this until the kittens are three
Then the iris and pupil will form and the kitten's permanent eye colors
will slowly emerge. At first, although the eyes are open, the kittens
are still almost completely blind.
three weeks, the ears will be completely erect...
can hear a little bit, but they do not orientate to sound yet.
They also will have the newly-found ability to purr.
Their baby teeth are starting to come in, which will make the
mother cat increasingly more reluctant to feed them. Weaning
should begin at four
weeks of age.
they will try to stand...
few days later, they begin to wobble-walk...
short, shaky little legs. See how the tail is still short and
stiff? It will become longer and flexible when the kitten is
or five weeks old.
You will also notice that their heads are disproportionally
large, their torsos are very short and their legs are stumpy,
especially their front legs. This adds to their clumsiness.
they will be walking on all four legs, but they aren't coordinated
yet. They will also orientate to sights and sounds. They will wobble
and fall over for no apparent reason. They will escape the nesting
box and wreak havoc on your house.
to seven weeks of age.
At first, they will just play in the litterbox, doing everything
but going potty. The kittens may have some accidents. Eventually
they will make the connection.
It is advisable to avoid using clumping cat litter with kittens
until they are four months of age. The problem is that sometimes,
kittens consume too much of the litter, and this can cause
serious health problems.
Litter labeled "scoopable" is okay, but avoid the
clumping. Also watch out for the "pearl" litter, it
seems to get stuck in kitten mouths.
to solid food...
occur at four
to seven weeks
of age. They will stand in their food (as demonstrated here
by Looie) and track it on the floor, making a big mess! Start
leaving a shallow dish of water on the ground for them as
well, starting at three
is best to let the kittens stay with their mother until ten
to twelve weeks of age. Otherwise, the kittens cuold have psychological problems (see my suckling survey results for more detail).
thanks to Heather, for collaborating with me on this website and
supplying me with pictures of her beautiful kittens for this
site (Many of these pictures are of chyna and annika). Heather foster
cares for homeless mother cats and their kittens, as well as sick
adult cats, so that they can receive the care and attention they
If you have orphan kittens or kittens that have been rejected by their mother, czech these links out:
care of newborn kittens | tube feeding | raising orphans
(clicking on these links will take you out of this web site)