There might not be anything cuter than a newborn kitten. With velvety soft fur and tiny paws, the sight of this delicate masterpiece can easily melt your heart. During the kitten's first weeks on earth, he will go through many changes as he develops and grows while exploring his new world.
Closed Eyes and Ears
A newborn kitten may look like he is in a constant state of sleep. For the first week of their lives, kittens are completely helpless and totally dependent on their mother. With closed eyes and ear canals, they are blind and deaf during this fragile stage of life. Their ears will appear folded down. All a kitten needs to do to stay healthy during his first weeks on earth is to eat, sleep and pass waste. The stimulation of Mom's sandpaper-like tongue aids in digestion and passing waste.
Eyes Start to Open
Between his 9th and 14th day, a kitten's eyes will begin to open. At first, his view of the world will be quite a blurry one. His eyes will be a beautiful blue at first, but this will start to change later on. The sense of smell also comes into play during week two and this ultra important sense for a cat will help him in many functions during life including finding his food and the litter box.
Attached Umbilical Cord
A kitten's umbilical cord will remain intact and will likely fall off on its own after three days. Mama cat knows exactly what to do with the umbilical cord when giving birth. Newborn kittens are very tiny and weigh only approximately 3.5 ounces, according to the ASPCA. By the end of his first week, the rapidly developing kitten should double in weight.
Round and Sleek
Round and plump, a newborn kitten will look much like a small ball of fur. When he is done nursing, his tiny belly will seem bigger and rounder. With his sleek, shiny fur, he will appear silky soft. Fur will cover his entire body, but the amount of fur may vary. More fur will grow in as he grows and develops. To maintain his body temperature, staying close to Mom is imperative, as he depends on her for warmth, food and stimulation.
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.
Pamela Miller has been writing for health, beauty and animal health/welfare publications for seven years. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication from MTSU.