These big-eyed, cuddly furballs seem born to capture the human heart. Baby cats are adorable by nature, but adopting a kitten is a lifelong commitment to provide a fur-ever home.
When the time comes, a pregnant cat, called a queen, will look for a quiet place to give birth. The kittens are born in an amniotic sac. The mother will bite through the sac and the umbilical cord. Then she will lick the babies clean and dry. At birth, kittens can’t see or hear, but they instinctively know how to crawl and how to sniff out a nipple and nurse. The first few days are spent sleeping, eating and getting regular baths from mom.
Spay & neuter
It is a sad fact that too many kittens are born and never find good homes. Cats are prolific breeders. Just one unspayed cat is capable of having more than 100 kittens over her lifetime. All cats and kittens should be spayed or neutered by 5 or 6 months of age.
Did you know?
- A group of kittens is called a kindle.
- Ailurophiles (pronounced ay LURE uh files) are people who love cats.
- Between the ages of 2 and 7 weeks, handling the kittens is very important.
- It helps to socialise them, creating a trusting bond with people.
- Do not feed cats or kittens cow’s milk. It is not good for them and can cause diarrhoea.
- Almost a week old, these kittens cuddle together for warmth. Their eyes will open in another week or so.
- At three weeks old, the kittens are curious and playful, but their legs are still very wobbly and they don’t go far.
- Kittens are weaned when they are between four and eight weeks old.
- By six weeks old, the kittens are grooming themselves, eating solid food and using the litter box, but they are still too young for adoption.
- Kittens are not ready to leave their mother until they are ten to 12 weeks old. Wait until a kitten is old enough before adopting.
- When kittens play and stalk each other, they are practising the skills they need to hunt.
- Kittens need to be taught by their mother that prey is food.
- Kittens easily spend 20 hours a day sleeping.