Newborn baby kittens are some of the most precious critters on the planet. Their small, fuzzy bodies, high-pitched squeaks and tiny cries only add to their enormous attraction. Kittens make great pets for most animal lovers, and your little ones will unleash their inner tigers as they grow and mature.
The Early Days
Your little group of kindles is a miracle in progress. At birth, kittens are entirely reliant on their mothers for food and warmth. Their tiny bodies can’t regulate temperature very well and they often crawl over each other in a pile of kitty warmth. Kittens' eyes and ear canals are closed during their first few days of life, rendering them unable to see or hear one another. Newborn kittens spend their first weeks eating, sleeping and cuddling in order to survive.
Sights and Sounds
Between the ages of 10 and 21 days, your little fuzzballs will be able to see and hear the world around them. Their tiny eyes open, and while their sight remains clouded for another couple of weeks, they can finally see their siblings. Cats can see colors, although not as vibrantly as humans do. A kitten’s sense of smell also develops during this time, and she will begin to sniff her way around the room. Kittens are the perfect source of conserved energy, sleeping as many as 18 hours a day.
From the day they’re born, kittens love to make noise. Kittens meow, squeal and purr throughout their lives, and each of these sounds means something slightly different. The long, drawn-out kitten squeal means that your little one feels lost or lonely. A series of shorter cries typically indicates that your kittens are hungry and looking for a meal. Purring can indicate a number of things, including a happy kitten, a scared kitten or a kitten in pain.
Kittens grow incredibly fast. By the time your kindle is 4 weeks old, they will start sampling their mother’s food. Kittens at this age can also be introduced to a litter box and may play in or taste cat litter as they continue to explore the world. Play time is a vital part of kitten development, and your little ones will bound around and pounce at each other to establish who’s the king or queen of the house.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.