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At What Age Do Cats Open Their Eyes?

 
By Ameera Mills. Updated: July 29, 2018
At What Age Do Cats Open Their Eyes?

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Like human beings, newborn cats are totally dependent on their mother at birth. Since they have not yet opened their eyes and their senses of: smell, taste and touch are very limited, at this stage. they are especially delicate and require special care.

Among several doubts, many new cat owners tend to ask wonder at what age their kittens will open their eyes. If you want to know more about your kittens, take a look at this AnimalWised article where we will be discussing at what age cats open their eyes. We will also be covering the prenatal and neonatal period, informing you about other important kitten care facts you should know.

Kitten Prenatal development

A cat’s pregnancy period is especially important, as it can directly influence the kittens. It is important to understand that a pregnant cat which is suffering from stress and anxiety or is consuming a poor diet, can have an effect on the health of her kittens. Such things can cause kittens to develop health and behavioral problems in their later stages.

It is fundamental that a pregnant cat has a space to rest, this space needs to be comfortable for before, during and after the weaning of her kittens occurs. An ideal place would be a space where the mother can feel calm and safe. We recommend setting her up in a comfortable corner, away from loud noises, people traffic and/or elements which could put her well-being at risk. This does not however mean that you should keep her isolated from her home environment.

So that your pregnant cat is not forced to move to much, we suggest placing her water and food nearby. Remember that feeding a pregnant cat a high quality diet is crucial for her milk production and the development of her babies. In addition, this space should not be excessively warm or cold, as it can harm the health of the cat and her litter, especially during and after their birth.

At What Age Do Cats Open Their Eyes? - Kitten Prenatal development

Neonatal period in cats

The birth of kittens occurs between day 57 or 68 of a cat’s pregnancy, at which time cats usually give birth to an average of between four and five kittens. In some cases up to six kittens can be born, and in rare situations, a pregnant cat can birth a minimum of two kittens.

Are cats blind when they are born?

The neonatal period in kittens begins during birth and ends at around day 9 of their life. At this time, the kittens have their eyes closed and their locomotor system (which includes muscles, bones, joints, ligaments ) are very limited. In this period, the kittens should not be separated from their mother, as they will struggle to survive.

When do the umbilical cord fall to cats?

Newborn cats usually lose the umbilical cord around the fourth or fifth day after birth. At this time they are likely to cry or whine more than usually, this is normal.

When do the kittens start to hear?

Contrary to popular belief, during the neonatal period, kittens cats already have slightly developed senses. These senses include, taste, smell and touch. These senses allow for their survival as without them, kittens would not be able to find their mother and/or feel stimulated at the time of suckling. So, at what age do kittens begin to hear? Kittens begin to hear before nine days of age.

At What Age Do Cats Open Their Eyes? - Neonatal period in cats

When do kittens open their eyes?

During their first days, kittens are somewhat clumsy and practically unable to move. Because they still cannot move easily, it is common to hear their screams in search for their progenitor; especially when they are hungry.

Unlike what happens with humans, cats do not open their eyes immediately after birth. But do not worry, this blindness is only temporary. Kittens finally open their eyes during their transition period, usually between 9 and 15 days of old. In some cases, this period can be longer. In addition, all kittens are born with blue eyes, and little by little, their eye color changes.

What can kittens see after opening their eyes?

When kittens open their eyes, their vision is not as sharp as an adult cat. In spite of that, their sight begins to develop quickly. This allows the kitten to begin to use its senses to explore the world and start its period of socialization.

The period of socialization begins around two weeks old. This however varies according to the individual. From then on, kittens will: recognize their mother and siblings, begin to identify objects and explore the world around them. At this stage, it is not strange that they will try to make contact with everything they see. As they still do not have enough agility , you will find that your kitten will walk clumsily and at times, stumble.

Once they are a month old, a kitten’s vision will be developed enough that it will be able to distinguish everything around it. You will also notice improvements in their agility, and they will therefore become more; playful, independent and adventurous. During this stage, they will begin to explore outside of their ‘‘nest’’.

Your responsibility is to remain attentive to their basic needs, making sure that the kittens are in a safe environment and all dangerous objects have been removed. The mother will take care of her litter most of the time, but there is no harm in helping her.

At What Age Do Cats Open Their Eyes? - What can kittens see after opening their eyes?

Weaning kittens

Kittens develop fast, especially compared to dogs. So, one may wonder, when are the cats weaned? Weaning generally occurs between 4 and 10 weeks of life. It is a progressive process and varies according to the individual and their environment. Take a look at our article on; How soon can kittens leave their mother, for more!

If you want to read similar articles to At What Age Do Cats Open Their Eyes?, we recommend you visit our Basic care category.

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