7 Cool Facts About Newborn and Young Kittens

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September 22, 2017
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Not many of us have had newborn kittens in our lives… but for those of us who have seen babies born, there are some amazingly cool things kittens are born with that help them grow and thrive in their first few days.

7 Cool Facts About Newborn Kittens

1 Kittens only weigh about 3 to 4 ounces at birth. They gain weight at a rate of about 4 ounces a week. At a month, a kitten may weigh about 1 pound and by 2 months of age, a kitten should hit about 2 pounds. This tapers off around the 6 month mark and from there a kitten will start to slow down with weight gain but will continue to grow till about a year. Some kittens grow till they are about 2 yrs old.

2 When a kitten is born, the first 24 to 48 hours are important. They receive colostrum from their mom, which contains antibodies that help create healthy immune systems. If a kitten is not able to be with its mom and has ended up in a rescue foster home, a vet may inject a serum from a healthy cat to boost the immune system.

3 Kittens can’t regulate their own body heat for the first few weeks of their life. This why you’ll often see them in a cuddle pile together. Their mom is also often spooning the kittens. The ideal temperature for a baby kitten is 90 degrees. Even though kittens need to stay warm, they also need some breathing room and a little space to crawl away to prevent overheating.

4 When kittens are born, they are deaf and blind. The ear canals are closed and their eyes are sealed for about a week to 2 weeks. After about 10 days the ears will open up. All kittens are born with blue eyes and by 8 weeks of age, the true eye color is seen. I have a cat that I found when he was 5 weeks old and his eyes were a bluish/green. Now, at almost 2 years of age, he has yellow eyes.

5 Kittens are born toothless and need assistance with eliminating. The mom cat will lick kittens to stimulate their system to eliminate waste. If kittens are in foster care, it’s up to the humans to gently rub the area with a warm, slightly wet cotton ball. If the area gets red or irritated, a vet may prescribe a salve to place on the area to help heal it. Also, the teeth of a kitten will not start to come in until they are about 3 weeks old. Then, at 15 or so weeks, the baby teeth begin to fallout. By 6 months of age, a kitten will have all its adult teeth.

6 Kittens start playing and romping around at about 1 month. By 10 days of age, a kitten will be able to stand and stagger walk. They may sometimes tip over or stumble but they will be steady by about 3 weeks. When a kitten is 1 month old, it will start to play with its siblings. If you’ve watched videos of kittens playing, you see them tumble and have uncoordinated wrestling matches. It’s incredibly cute and silly.

7 At 8 weeks of age or 2 months, a kitten is normally fully weaned and eating kitten food with no supplemental milk from its mom. Their teeth are in and they can chew and break apart hard kibble. Kittens will also drink water and know to use a little box or bury their elimination. At this age, most kittens are ready for adoption into their forever homes.

Photo courtesy of LoveMeow

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