of the kitten
As a breeder, it is important that you know how kittens develop, so that you can ensure that the kittens are given the opportunity to develop optimally - both physically and mentally. Below is an overview of kittens' development in the first 12 - 14 weeks after birth.
During this period, the kittens are totally dependent on their mother. The kittens sleep and nurse most of the time. They cannot control their body temperature and so need each other and their mother to stay warm. The mother only leaves the kittens when she absolutely has to. The kittens cannot rid themselves of urine and feces. Their mother has to stimulate them to this by licking them on the belly and around the genitals.
Normally, kittens' eyes will open when they are 7-10 days old, but this can vary greatly – both between individual litters and between kittens within a litter. At the beginning, however, the kittens are not able to clearly distinguish their surroundings and orientate themselves with the help of sight.
After birth, the kittens move forward using their front legs, pulling their hind legs behind them. However, during the first two weeks, the ability to use the hind legs also develops. In the latter part of the period, the kittens gradually begin to crawl around and play with each other.
For the first 3 weeks I let the kittens and their mother rest. It is therefore only me who has to do with Mother Miss and the kittens.
I weigh the kittens 2 times a day, and keep records that they put on as they should and that the mother takes care of them as she should. If it is a large litter, it is supplemented with liquid KMR, and mormis drinks the rest. It is important that she has energy and does not lose weight.
The kittens' sense of smell is now fully developed. They can groom themselves and their play becomes more violent. In addition, they may begin to eat other than mother's milk. I feed raw with yellow MUSH to mother miss and kittens. The mother may decide to lay down a little away from the kittens and call to them.
During the period, the kittens' ability to distinguish objects from one another and orient themselves develops. In order for this ability to be developed normally, it is important that the kittens receive many different visual impressions, in that their surrounding environment is as stimulating as possible.
At the same time, it is important that they know where their Secure base is, so the playpen should not be too large. They start going to the litter box, but can also find a taste for the "cat litter", so I use coarse oatmeal or tiny wood pellets...
The kittens "fight" with each other in play, and they crawl around and investigate the immediate surroundings.
The kittens must start learning to hunt. The mother brings food - e.g. the day-old chicks - to them and shows them what to do with them. The mother is never away from the kittens for more than an hour. And the kittens nurse when she comes home or calls them.
The mother may occasionally walk away from the kittens for peace, but she steps in when the kittens' play with each other becomes too violent.
The mother continues to bring food to the kittens, but they also eat from the dish themselves. The kittens still nurse 4-5 times a day. They spend a lot of time playing with each other and with the mother, who however begins to reject them from time to time.
The kittens are still nursing approx. twice daily. However, this happens less and less on the mother's initiative, but the kittens are allowed if they insist, and there are cases where kittens nurse as late as 16 weeks of age. The mother takes longer and longer walks away from the kittens and she rarely lies down with them.
Kittens are thus very dependent on their mother for a long time. It probably depends, among other things, on along with cats having to learn to fend for themselves when they have to leave home and establish their own territory.
Kittens from CatsbyLove leave home when they are 16 weeks old. Experience shows that the last two weeks do wonders for the kitten's confidence. This gives us time to get them fully vaccinated and neutered, so that they are secured in the very best way before they move in with their new family. New owners are free from having to go to the vet to get the first vaccine and can use their time to make the kitten settle in well in its new home.