Unlike wild cubs, young ones of domestic cats are affectionately called kitty, kitty cat or kittens. A kitten is a juvenile house cat. After being born, kittens are totally dependent on their mother for survival and do not normally open their eyes until after seven to ten days. After a week or two, kittens quickly develop & begin to explore things outside its den. Domestic kittens are highly social animals and enjoy human companionship.
Some Essential Kitten facts
Though it is best that the mother takes care of the kittens to provide them proper nutrition and antibodies required it is beneficial to know essential kitten basics. And if you have a litter of new born kitten and a situation where they get orphaned, here are some facts to help you understand and care for them.
- New born kittens will open their eyes only after 7 to 10 days after birth. Usually the mother will keep her kittens hidden away from sight, until she thinks they are ready to come out and face the world.
Note: Unable to defecate or urinate without stimulation from mother, the mother’s tending is very essential in the early days of a kitten. Improper tending, lack of physical stimulation can lead to a fatal situations.
- Kittens need warmth and high requirement of fluids to help fend them from infectious diseases like hypothermia. It is important to keep always maintain the temperature not less than 27°C.
- Kittens are unable to see like adults until about 10 weeks because their retina takes time to develop.
- Between two weeks to seven weeks, kittens will develop most quickly.
- Their play-fight improves their coordination and strength. It is also a way of exploring the world outside the den with their mates. Hunting and stalking techniques learnt while playing games.
- They learn to clean themselves and also face its prey as the supposed mother brings prey that is alive to the den. They have innate ability as predators as well.
- The kittens can be fed with cat milk replacement rather than cow milk until they are weaned and can eat solid food. They will develop their complete set of adult teeth by 9 months.
- They will lose their baby teeth only by 4 months. But it is also important to keep the animals to suckle from time to time until from mother. Weaning is usually completed by 6 to 8 weeks.
- Kittens are highly interactive and need to spend their waking hours interacting with play-mates and other animals.
- Kittens like to hide in dark places – a clue to their hiding place when cannot find one is therefore warm and dark places.
- Kittens only reach full maturity or adulthood in a year.
- It is wise to worm kittens against roundworms by about 4 weeks of age.
For a Pet Lover Who is Considering Adoption
Kittens are delicate when they are very young and also most adorable indeed. If you are up for adoption, bear in mind, human reared kittens are surely more complicated and they may be underweight depending on how early they were orphaned by their mother. Due to lack of antibodies, they even have health issues later, even heart conditions and more susceptible to infections. But having said all these, nursing a new born kitten is quite rewarding as you learn to care for it in the proper way, the kitten will learn to be more affectionate wit humans. Besides you can always seek medical care even though they are more susceptible to infections; there are a good many antibiotics that is good to go.
I tell you, having to go through all the trouble of tending and immunizing the cat, it is an undeniably lovable sight to see your kitten puzzle over a mirror reflection of its own every now and then.