Some kitten facts to keep you entertained. Some of the experiences a kitten has will shape her behavior and stay with her for a lifetime.
- All kittens are born with blue eyes and don't develop their true eye color that they will have as adults until they're about 3 months old.
- All kittens are born with their eyes closed and don't open them until they are between 6 and 12 days old, with some Siamese cats having been known to open them in only 2 days. They can't actually see until about 2 or 3 days after they open their eyes.
- At about 10 weeks of age, a kitten's sense of sight is fully developed.
- Kittens use their paws to rhythmically tread and put pressure on the mother's belly. This kneading action massages the mother cat's breasts and stimulates the release of milk.
Adult cats repeat this kneading action, often when they are purring and seem content. We don't know why adult cats do this for certain. Perhaps there is some residual memory of kittenhood, or maybe it's just a built-in physical response.
- Newborn kittens have no way of regulating their own body temperature. Blind and deaf, they follow their sense of smell (and possibly vibrating purrs) to reach their mother to suckle. They rely on momma cat and piling on top of each other to stay warm. When they're too warm, they spread out to cool off.
- When they are about 3 weeks old, kittens begin grooming each other and their mother. Among friendly cats, this mutual grooming behavior carries into adulthood.
- Although they may number up to 15, the average litter of domestic cats is 4.
- Siamese cats often have large litter sizes (above 4).
- A mother cat will ordinarily begin to wean kittens by refusing them milk somewhere between 6 and 8 weeks of age.
- "Morris" is a finicky cat. To prevent kittens from becoming finicky adults, offer a wide variety of foods at a young age.
Once a kitten starts eating solid food (about 6 weeks of age), you can start wiping different types of foods on their lips so they'll lick it off. Continue offering a varied meal plan as they age.
- To get kittens adjusted to specific feeding times, give them 10 to 15 minutes to consume their food, then take it away.
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