Bundle of joy alert! Kittens conquering the world
Anyone watching how a small kitten makes its way in the world can’t help but be inspired. Clumsily underway on its big paws, tussling with its siblings and soon to be undertaking its first excursion – in the early period up to the fourth month of its life, a kitten develops with breathtaking speed.
The first week of life
The earthly existence of a kitten commences at birth. It comes into the world in a birth (amniotic) sac where its mother is waiting to bite through the umbilical cord and lick her baby clean and dry. The first week of life begins! The little ones are still blind and deaf and stick close to their mother. They weigh up to 130 grams at the start. They orientate themselves to the “milk bar” by feeling their way to the teats and begin suckling. The flow of milk is stimulated by gentle “kneading” movements against the mother’s belly. Many cats retain this kneading behaviour even to an advanced age and exhibit this when they’re feeling at ease and being fondled.
The eyes open
Between day seven and day twelve, a big event happens with kittens: the eyes open. They can now observe their surroundings and begin to show an interest in this. Their weight doubles during this period and, from the second week of their lives, the kittens get really active and they begin to discover their environment. No holding back now, they crawl around the litter encampment taking a good look at everything. They already recognise their human owners, too.
The surroundings are investigated
From the third week, conquering the outside world becomes a must-do. The kittens leave their base camp and take their first, lumbering steps. This is when they make a start with playing and get their milk teeth. These enable them, as early as between the third and fourth weeks, to eat their first solid food. Their mum shows them how they have to use the cat loo.
Amazing what that thing contains
And when do the wee ones start to play and romp around for real? From the fifth week! This is when the kittens practice their life skills: hunting and pouncing, rolling around and scuffling, all of which is enormous fun for them and at the same time hones their skills for later life. The mother encourages this, she brings her prey to the children and they can use this to practice how to kill mice and birds. The little ones now become more and more independent and self-confident until finally, between the third and fourth month of their lives, the time has come… the kittens leave the safety of their home to be given away. A new, exciting phase in their life is about to begin!
Call into your local store today to discuss your cats’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.