Here’s an interesting note about our feline friends: we call the babies of smaller, domestic cats kittens, but when larger cats have offspring, we refer to them as cubs. Of course, no matter what you call them, baby felines are absolutely adorable! In honor of National Kitten Day, which is coming up July 10th, a Sandstone, MN vet goes over some basic kitten info.
Little Fluffy is born blind and deaf, and she’ll stay that way for at least a week. Kittens’ eyes and ear canals both usually open 7- 10 days after birth. At this early stage, little Fluffy will mostly be interested in eating and sleeping. Kittens at this age are extremely vulnerable. They can’t regulate their temperatures, so heat or cold can easily kill them. Even flea infestations can prove deadly. At this point, Mama Kitty’s colostrum is crucial for both nutrition and building immunity.
After about two weeks, little Fluffy will figure out how to stand up. It may take her another week or so to get the hang of walking. Her first order of duty? Completely captivate any and all humans around. Kittens are known for not only scampering and pouncing on, well, everything, but also for being so darned adorable that you can’t help but melt. Socialization should start at this stage, though much early socialization comes via littermates, rather than human companions.
Mama cats usually wean their kittens at about 8 or 9 weeks. However, you really shouldn’t take little Fluffy away from her mama the day she is weaned. Giving her another week or so can help tremendously with socialization. This is when your furry friend will really learn how to behave with other cats.
Nine weeks is generally considered the minimum age for little Fluffy to go live with her humans. Before bringing your little bundle of fur home, you’ll need to do some careful petproofing. Remove or secure potential hazards, such as toxic plants, plastic bags, wires and cords, and small or sharp items. You’ll also want to have the basic necessities, such as food, litter, toys, and beds ready. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures. That adorable stage will be over before you know it!
Do you have questions about kitten care? Contact us, your local Sandstone, MN pet clinic, today!