Can newborn kittens hear?

Newborn kittens are totally deaf or nearly deaf for a short while.

I believe that the answer to the question is more nuanced than you will see on many websites. At the time of writing this, October 1, 2023, the top ranked site according to Google states that for the first four days kittens are both blind and deaf. And the pet MD website states that …

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Signs of illness in kittens – developmentally immature, chilling, worms and feline herpesvirus

Single newborn kitten cuddling up to mother

Kittens are susceptible to various disorders, from digestive ailments to the deadly feline herpesvirus. People should familiarise themselves with the following symptoms as they may indicate something is wrong with a young cat. Many kittens suffer from roundworms; tapeworms and hookworms are also common internal parasites (endoparasites) in kittens and cats. Diarrhoea is one …

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Two hormonal issues which help create a bond between mother cat and her young kittens

Newborn kittens

There are two hormonal issues which help to ensure that the bond between mother cat and her kittens is strong and that the kittens are trusting during their first few weeks after birth. Mother Firstly, the nursing mother receives a wave of the hormone oxytocin which is produced in the hypothalamus and is secreted …

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Do mother cats eat their kittens’ poop?

Single newborn kitten cuddling up to mother

Mother cats might eat their kittens’ poop for the first three weeks of their kittens’ lives during anogenital stimulation which is a form of tactile stimulation by the mother to encourage her kittens to urinate and defecate. When she does this she might eat their poop. In other words she might cleanup. It’s important, …

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A nursing mother’s nipples are labelled like school lockers for her kittens

Mother nurses her kittens two of which care black

The language I’ve used in the title comes from that wonderful writer, Desmond Morris. He is also a great animal behaviourist. I would say that he is still the best. He explains why kittens don’t squabble when feeding at their mother’s breast. Soon after birth kittens have an attachment to their own nipple. It’s …

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The story of a kitten who died of fading kitten syndrome

Mia's death

Let’s call the kitten Mia. Her mother was a stray cat. She was often hungry. She suffered from parasites, poor diet and an inadequate supply of food and nutrients. Mia was born underweight. Fortunately, her mother was not infected with toxoplasmosis, or other major infectious diseases such as feline infectious peritonitis. Mia therefore was …

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