Kittens rank high on the cuteness scale. When kittens are first born, they're so adorable that your heart panders for a cuddle. As with any newborn animal or baby, they are extremely vulnerable, which means that they require lots of care from their mothers in the early stages and looked after correctly by their care givers. As their needs are very specific, we have listed below how to nuture for their needs.
The need for heat
During the kittens early weeks of their lives, they need to be kept warm in order to survive. They should be kept warm and kept within a temp of 90 degrees F. As well as keeping them warm, they also need enough room to move in order to cool themselves down when they get too hot. This is very important to prevent overheating.
Maintaining the correct weight
Normally when kittens are born they way around 110 grams and most often gain around 100 grams a week. Meaning that when a kitten reaches the age of 4 weeks they should weigh around 450 grams, For the kitten to grow healthy and properly they need to gain 450 grams very month until the age of 6 months.
The dependency on their mothers
Newborn kittens need the help of their mothers for the first days of their lives. When they're born their eyes are shut tight and their ear canals are closed. Their eyes normally open from the age of 7- 14 days old. They also start hearing between 10-14 days old. Rather interestingly their eye colour changes from blue to their normal colour when they reach the age of 8 weeks old. All of this means that they struggle in the early stages and require their mother to do most things for them.
Mother helps kitten to go to the toilet
Kittens are unable to go to the toilet without the help from their mother. The mother stimulates their need for going to the toilet by cleaning their back passage. If the mother isn't around for any reason, then this is the responsibility of the owner to clean with a moist, warm cloth.
Frequency of eating
Kittens need to eat every 2-3 hours after they're first born which they normally do by suckling of their mothers. If a kitten needs to be bottle fed, this means that they need to be fed at the same rate, whilst making sure their stomachs are faced down to help reduce the risk of aspirating the fluid. Around the age of 3-4 weeks the the kitten starts to eat solid food.
Kittens at the age of 10 days old should be able to stadnd and by the age of 21 days they should be able to walk around. kitten should start to play and become more active at the age of 4 weeks. Normally at this age you can learn your kitten new tricks.
Kittens baby teeth growth
Usually around the age of 3 weeks old the kittens baby teeth should have started to appear. They normally loose their firs teeth at 14 weeks old, which is when their adult teeth should start to be growing. At the age of 6 months they should have their full set of adult teeth.
Please visit our cat advice section for more information.