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When do kittens open their eyes
Cat Fun FactsCats Behavior

When do kittens open their eyes

A kitten is born blind and helpless, but in only six months, it becomes an active and agile teenager, a small but well-armed predator with strong instincts that help him avoid dangers and survive in a complex and unpredictable world.

The first month of a cat's life can be compared to the first year of a human child's life. The kitten goes from complete dependence on the mother to partial independence. By the end of this period, he is able to establish the first contact with the outside world.

If you’re specifically wondering when kittens open their eyes - some do as early as the second day after birth, others only on the 15th. Most often this happens at a week of age or a little later. From this moment on, the little cat becomes more independent, tries to crawl on its paws, and explores the world around it.

two kittens laying on top of a blanket
two kittens laying on top of a blanket

Veterinarians and experienced pet breeders agree that when newborn kittens open their eyes, they are around 12 days old, and in the interval from five days to two weeks, their eyelids gradually separate wider and wider. Kittens that are kept in a dark place open their eyes earlier than those that grow in the light. It also depends on the size of the animal, breed, and gender. Usually, male kittens begin to see before female ones and long-haired cats - later than the short-haired ones.

An important detail is the period of gestation of kittens. If they are born later than the due date, it is quite possible that the kittens will be born with their eyes already open, or they will open them much earlier.

The health of both the mother and the kittens is important. If they are healthy and well-fed, there will most likely be no delay in the opening of their eyes. Conversely, an increase in this period may indicate the presence of diseases and it is important to pay attention to the timing. 

Carefully examine the kitten, and look for traces of suppuration, mucus, or any discharge from under the eyelids - this may indicate problems. If everything is alright, and there are no signs of inflammation, perhaps you should still wait a bit more.

Generally, after opening their eyes, the week-old kittens are already trying to walk - at first clumsily and cautiously, but after another two weeks, they reach mastery in this simple task. By the end of the first month of life, the kittens begin to run and play.

During this period, the most important thing for them is their relationship with their mother. Brothers and sisters are only competitors for food. The mother is the center of their world, feeding and keeping the kittens warm.

By the way, we know most of our readers might not know this, but all little kittens have the same eye color - blue or gray-blue. It changes only after a while according to the characteristics of the breed. This happens in about 3 months, but the period can sometimes be shifted in the case of some specific breeds.