home Cats How long does it take for a cat to have kittens?

How long does it take for a cat to have kittens?

Stages of the eye opening process in kittens

The opening of the eye in babies occurs gradually:

  • First, a small crack appears, often on the inside of the eye.
  • The iris becomes fully visible soon.
  • Even within a week after opening, the eyes remain cloudy, so it is undesirable for a kitten to go out into bright light. Usually, a mother cat herself carries the baby out of the shelter when the time comes, or asks the owners about it.

When I was 10 years old, the girls and I were nursing blind kittens, whose mother-cat died. We bottle-fed them. I remember well that the kittens’ eyes began to open unevenly. then I was scared that they were festering and the process was not going well. In fact, everything was normal, as our neighbor Baba Anya told us. And the next day we saw that the little ones’ eyes were completely open. True, the impression still remained that the kittens were blind. it took another week and a half for them to feel more confident.

long, does, kittens

If after 3 weeks after giving birth, the kittens’ eyes have not opened, then you need to contact your veterinarian


It is recommended to place the box with the cat and kittens in a dark place, since the little ones will open their eyes earlier here. But in a brightly lit room this will happen later.

All newborn kittens have dull blue eyes. Usually, by one and a half months, this feature disappears, and you can see the real eye color of babies.

When kittens open their eyes

Normally, kittens‘ eyes open on the 6-14th day. However, this process depends on several factors.

Photo gallery: cat breeds whose kittens quickly open their eyes

Usually, kitty girls open their eyes earlier than boys. However, soon the seals catch up with the cats, and sometimes open their eyes earlier, and the difference in the development of animals of both sexes becomes imperceptible. This feature is difficult to explain. this is evidenced by statistics.

Gestation time

When born at less than eight weeks of gestation, kittens will open their eyes at about the 14th day. If the cat carried babies, then they may well be born with open eyes, as mentioned above, or open them on the 5-7th day.

Fusion of the eyelids

A long absence of opening the eye in kittens may indicate a fusion of the eyelids. If this problem occurs, the doctor will recommend a light massage. If it does not help, then a simple operation will be required, which is done under local anesthesia. An anesthetic is injected into the corners of the animals’ eyes, after which the specialist cuts the eyelid with a sharp scalpel. At the end of the operation, the veterinarian recommends treating the eyes with a special solution (usually a 2% boric acid solution).

What determines the period of opening the eyes of kittens

Many factors affect the opening time of the eyes in babies.


It is genetically determined that in kittens of different breeds, opening the eyes takes a different period of time:

  • Newborn Ragdolls are characterized by extremely slow development of the organs of vision. pets begin to see at the 3rd week of life and later.
  • Maine Coons begin to see clearly 14-16 days after birth.
  • Cubs of pets of the Siberian breed open their eyes at 12-17 days, like the British.
  • Little Cornish Rexes can see for 5-7 days.
  • Kittens of Siamese, Abyssinian breeds and Sphynxes are sometimes born with open eyelids and vision is focused on 3-4 days.
  • Scottish Fold, British and Bengal newborns begin to see 7-9 days after birth.
  • Shorthaired kittens develop faster than longhaired.

In female kittens, the process of opening the eyes is faster than in cats. In addition, the stronger and more active the kitten is, the earlier they will open up. It is helpful to hold or pet the babies. The cat begins to lick the offspring more intensively and more often to get rid of the foreign smell, thereby accelerating the development of kittens.

When kittens open their eyes after birth?

One of the most exciting questions for owners of cute meowing creatures: when do kittens’ eyes open after birth?

After all, they come to this world absolutely helpless, deprived of the opportunity to see, hear and freely move in space. All their activities are limited to clumsy crawling and searching for mom’s milk.

When kittens open their eyes

Good eyesight is the main weapon of any cat. Most purrs retain vigilant vision until old age. But almost all kittens are born completely blind. In exceptional cases, babies can be born with their eyes ajar, but this is extremely rare. In this article, we will discuss on what day kittens open their eyes after birth.

Pregnancy period of mom-cat

On which day the kittens’ eyes open depends also on the gestational age of their mother. If the cat has had an early birth, it may happen a little later than usual. Conversely, if the cat “shifted in position”, it will happen faster.

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When kittens eyes open

Newborn kittens are small blind and deaf lumps that cannot fully move, except crawl weakly and turn their heads from side to side. However, it is still impossible to call even such crumbs completely helpless, since kittens from birth have relatively well developed senses of smell and touch. But until the ear canals and eyes open, the babies will remain not too active, depending entirely on the mother cat.

How many days do kittens open their eyes after birth? Most often, the process of opening the eye begins in cats at 10-12 days of life, but at the same time some pets see their eyes a little earlier, while others can remain blind up to 3 weeks of life. So, in Siamese cats, representatives of the Devon Rex and Cornish Rex breeds, as well as in hairless sphinxes, their eyes can open as early as 2-5 days of life, but in Ragdolls and Maine Coons. on 16-19 days. By the way, kittens begin to hear at about the same time when they begin to see (i.e., on average, after 12 days of life). Thus, kittens do not stay in the silent darkness for so long.

Based on the following data, you can roughly predict when kittens will have their eyes open:

    Mother’s age. Very weak kittens are often born in young first-born cats and in very elderly cats. They begin to see relatively late, slowly gain weight, are susceptible to various diseases due to weak immunity. First of all, kittens grow stronger and become sighted from healthy middle-aged cats;

Duration of pregnancy in a cat. The less time a cat spends carrying kittens, the later they will begin to open their eyes. On average, the duration of bearing offspring in females is about 63 days, but sometimes premature babies are born in cats;

Kitten gender. In females, the eyes begin to open a couple of days earlier than in males from the same litter;

  • Coat length. Short-haired kittens begin to open their eyes a little earlier than their long-haired counterparts (for example, almost bald sphinxes are sometimes born with their eyes slightly open, while the same fluffy Persians remain blind for the first two weeks of life).
  • We have already found out that kittens open their eyes after birth by an average of 10-14 days. Blind eyelids do not open completely immediately. First, a small slit appears between the lower and upper eyelids, but after about a week it will be possible to see what the baby’s eye shape will be.

    In all kittens, in the first week after the beginning of the opening of the eyelids, the eyes remain cloudy, their color is gray-blue. During this period, small animals do not clearly see everything that is happening around them. But they can already distinguish light from darkness, large objects from small ones. The approximate permanent (adult) color of the eyes of a kitten is established only by 3 months of age. And already at 6 months you can find out with accuracy what color your pet’s eyes will be.

    What to do when a kitten’s eyes won’t open?

    After the birth of a kitten, three days or more should pass before the eyes are opened. For the first couple of weeks, don’t worry. If for two weeks newborn kittens do not open their eyes, try rubbing them gently with a strong infusion of regular black tea without sugar and then gently open them.


    If all else fails, do not be persistent, it is better to contact your veterinarian for advice and advice. The developmental stages of vision in cats can also differ depending on the breed.

    How many months does a cat’s pregnancy last?

    The question of how many cats are kittens worries many owners, especially inexperienced and novice breeders. An exact answer to this question cannot be given, since each animal individually tolerates pregnancy and the term of birth of kittens is different for each female. The gestation period is on average about 9 weeks, that is, a pregnant cat walks for 2-2.5 months. Pregnancy in a cat can be premature, full-term and post-term, depending on how long she carries kittens.

    The gestation period of a cat, during which she must bear offspring, in days is from 60 to 75 days.

    In one litter, a cat can give birth from 2 to 6 kittens, the number of cubs depends on the genetic characteristics and age of the animal. The cat’s uterus has two branches, after mating, the eggs are attached to the walls of the organ in several pieces at once. It is considered rare for a female to carry more than six cubs at a time. Cats retain high fertility until late age and can reproduce offspring until old age.

    First pregnancy in a cat

    The first pregnancy can occur at the time of the first estrus, but it is better for the female to become pregnant after 2-3 estrus has passed. Early pregnancy in animals is fraught with a deterioration in their health and well-being, because for a young and fragile organism, pregnancy is a strong stress and shock. And the period during which a cat carries kittens is difficult and unpredictable.

    Experienced breeders recommend that a cat gets pregnant at the age of 1-1.5 years. At this time, the female is completely ready for the appearance of offspring and carries kittens for 2 months, giving birth according to the rules. month a month.

    On average, according to statistics, a cat carries kittens for 2 months, the period may move several weeks later. If she carries kittens for a long time, a month later, then she must be shown to the veterinarian. If the cat does not become pregnant after its age of two years, this can also negatively affect its condition and subsequent pregnancies.

    How to determine if a cat is pregnant and its term

    The first month the cat is carrying kittens will show the owner if a pregnancy has occurred. Usually, after 20-21 days, the female’s nipples swell, behavior changes, drowsiness appears and appetite increases. In the second month, pregnancy becomes more noticeable. the belly is rounded and lowered. When the second month comes, the female will give birth. This usually occurs at the end of the second, beginning of the third month of pregnancy in cats.

    • The first month. In the first month of gestation, the conception and formation of embryos occurs. They attach to the uterus, their sex and color are finally determined.
    • Second month. In the second month, there is an intensive growth and development of embryos carried by the cat. At this stage, the skeleton and muscular system of animals is formed, the brain develops, the production of hormones begins.
    • Third month. By the middle of the third month that the cat is carrying kittens, labor should have taken place. The cubs are already ready for independent life, they have grown up enough, their body has already been covered with wool.
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    By the time of birth, while the cat carries offspring, the kittens reach 15-18 cm, they have a tail and teeth, and the genitals and visual organs are sufficiently developed. In the same litter, kittens are of the same or different colors. This is due to the physiological characteristics of the female. If mating occurs with one male, the kittens are usually of the same color. If an animal mates with several males at once, then the color of the kittens is different. with different color combinations.

    How many cats do kittens?

    Pregnancy is an important and difficult period in the life of a pet and its owner. A responsible and caring owner should know how many months a cat has been carrying kittens, which may affect the period during which the female carries offspring. Indeed, during this period, the breeder organizes good nutrition and care for a pregnant cat, monitors her condition and health.

    Factors that can affect the duration of pregnancy

    A cat carries kittens in different ways, this period can be from 2 to 2.5 months. Among the factors affecting how long a pregnancy lasts, the most prominent are the breed, the specificity of the organism, the age and number of offspring. In good conditions, the female carries kittens for a shorter period than if she would have carried them in worse conditions.

    It is normal if the cat carries kittens 7-10 days earlier or later. If the period during which she carries offspring is delayed for more days, then the animal will need the help of a veterinarian.

    The breed has a great influence on which month the cat will give birth to kittens:

    • a British breed cat carries cubs for 60-70 days;
    • a female Scottish breed carries kittens from 65 to 75 days;
    • the Persian breed bears offspring for about 70-75 days;
    • Maine Coons give birth to kittens when the second month of the term comes to an end.

    With hereditary breeding, owners must record the mating period so that in case of pregnancy it is possible to calculate the exact date and determine the approximate date of how many months your cat will bear offspring. It is better to write down the exact dates of mating pets. If childbirth begins a month ahead of time, then the cubs risk being born dead or not surviving after birth. The month of birth may be delayed if the cat experiences stress due to moving, change of residence and other circumstances.

    How puberty and pregnancy in cats are related

    A cat reaches puberty when she is 6-7 months old. At this time, females flow for the first time and become capable of pregnancy and childbirth. To obtain healthy and strong offspring, it is better to wait a month, then another, for 2-3 estrus to pass, only then forcibly mating the female with the male or letting the cat free. If the appearance of kittens is undesirable for the owner, then when the cat is 7-10 months old, it can be taken to a veterinary clinic for sterilization. Then the animal will never get pregnant and give birth again.

    A full pregnancy can only be in a healthy cat when its age reaches 15-17 months.

    A cat’s pregnancy lasts approximately 65 days from the date of coverage. It is bad if labor starts too early or, on the contrary, is delayed. In either case, this poses a significant risk to the life of kittens and mother cats. At 6-7 weeks (2nd month), pregnancy is already clearly visible and the cubs can be felt by palpation, touching the cat’s belly. By this time, while the female wears them, they move well, all organs and systems are fully functioning for them.

    When you need urgent help from a veterinarian:

    • If at the end of the term the cat begins to refuse food and this continues for more than two days.
    • If the female has copious discharge, colored green or brown, with an unpleasant odor.
    • The cat has miscarried or has been in labor for more than one week.
    • The cat carries kittens and her body temperature rises.

    Pregnancy in a cat is a crucial and difficult stage, which its owner will safely help the animal to go through. The health of the mother and offspring largely depends on the care and maintenance of the animal, on the creation of the necessary conditions.

    Some funny cats

    • Put on medical gloves, lubricate the animal’s vagina with petroleum jelly.
    • Take the kitten with a clean cloth and gently pull downward, swinging slightly from side to side. Paws should not be pulled.
    • Pull the kitten out by the paws.
    • Allowing a cat to eat more than 2 placentas.
    • Use human antiseptics.
    • Hold newborns in your arms for the first hours.
    • Turn on a bright light in the room. This leads to the development of cataracts in kittens.

    How to tell if a cat is in labor

    At about 7-9 weeks of pregnancy, kittens are actively moving in the mother’s belly. When the animal is at rest, movements can be seen even from the side. Immediately before giving birth, the cat becomes restless. Breathing is quickened, appetite is reduced. The animal rushes about, looking for a secluded place.

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    There are other signs of approaching labor:

    • Rectal temperature about 37 degrees 1-3 days before offspring are born.
    • Redness of the genitals.
    • Swelling of the mammary glands. A few hours before giving birth, the cat periodically hunches over. This phenomenon is called training contractions.
    • Decreased appetite (drinking regimen remains the same).

    If all of the above signs are expressed, this is a signal that your pet will soon give birth.

    The first stage of labor in cats.

    Essentially, the first stage is reduced to relaxation of the cervix, vagina and the beginning of uterine contractions. These contractions (contractions) usually alternate with periods of relaxation, otherwise the kitten’s blood supply will be impaired. The cat’s pelvic muscles relax and the perineum (the area between the anus and vulva) becomes softer and larger. Contractions of the uterus are not yet noticeable, although the movement of the kittens can already be felt through the abdominal wall. Signs of labor are not yet visible, with the exception of unusual cat behavior, such as frequent visits to the future feeding place, as well as the obvious desire of human society. If the cat begins to rummage in the box prepared for the kittens, it is difficult to breathe. this can be considered a sign of the completion of the first stage of labor. Vaginal discharge is rare and is usually licked quickly by the cat. If this is the first birth for a cat, the first stage can last for a very long time. up to 36 hours, this is not considered a deviation from the norm.

    Duration of labor in a cat

    At the first stage, the cervix is ​​weakened and uterine contractions begin. Contractions alternate with relaxation. The pelvic muscles are relaxed, the perineum is enlarged. Childbirth as such has not yet come, but if you put your hand on the belly of the pet, the movement of the kittens inside is felt clearly. The cat is restless, breathing heavily, runs to the box and fussily rummages in it. The duration of the first phase in firstborn cats is up to 36 hours.

    It is characterized by painful and frequent contractions. The first kitten is getting ready to be born. At the edge of the perineum, the amniotic membrane is visible. After it bursts, some liquid flows out. At this stage, the cat is pushing, helping the kitten to be born. Duration of the second phase: 5-30 minutes.

    This stage begins after all kittens are born. The placenta is born. As a rule, the amniotic membrane comes out with the next kitten, but sometimes there is a delay, and when the next baby is born, 2 membranes leave at once.

    How Long Are Cats Pregnant?

    Large fruit stuck

    You can extract a kitten yourself:

    The fetal bladder did not burst

    In this case, proceed in this order:

    • Rip open the fetal bladder under the baby’s nose.
    • Take the kitten in your palm, press it lightly with your fingers and shake it slightly. If there is no reaction, clean the newborn’s nose using a syringe.
    • Rub the baby gently with a clean cloth and then shake again.
    • Place the baby on the mommy cat to lick it.

    If the baby does not show signs of life, hold it (not by the paws!) Upside down to stimulate breathing.

    Preparing a cat’s birthplace, what needs to be collected for childbirth

    The physiology of cats is such that in most cases childbirth is easy, without complications. However, you need to prepare for the birth of babies in advance. Provide a resting place where it feels safe. The place must be protected from drafts. The woman in labor should not be disturbed by children and other pets. Transfer the tray, feeder and drinker to the lying area. At the same time, it is important to work proactively so that the woman in labor does not “build a nest” on the shelf of the closet or in the sofa. Try to let the cat out into the street less (this is especially true for those living in private houses).

    Prepare a set of tools and materials in advance:

    • Box for placing newborn babies.
    • Medical sterile gloves.
    • Sterile thread.
    • A small syringe (to remove mucus from the mouth).
    • Cotton buds.
    • Antiseptic.
    • Pure textiles.
    • Surgical scissors.
    • Antiseptric ointment (levomekol).
    • Vaseline oil.
    • Oxytocin. an agent that stimulates labor.
    • Dehydration drug. Ringer’s solution.
    • Dishes for water.
    • Powder mixture (milk replacer).
    • Water tank.

    Sometimes childbirth is accompanied by spontaneous bowel movements, so keep cleaners ready. It is possible that you only need a clean cloth and a kitten box, but you need to be prepared for sudden complications.

    When is it necessary to contact a veterinarian

    You should immediately consult a doctor in such cases:

    • Premature birth (pregnancy less than 51 days).
    • The kitten has prolonged contractions, but the kitten has not been born for more than an hour.
    • The fruit is not flowing properly (back) or is very large.
    • The cat’s body temperature is less than 37 or more than 39.5 degrees.
    • Profuse bloody discharge from the vulva with an extremely unpleasant odor.
    • Abnormal heart rhythm.
    • The cat is weak, does not attempt to expel the fetus, breathing is weak.

    Call your veterinarian if you are unsure if everything is going well. Better to play it safe and bother the doctor than to waste time.

    Sometimes labor activity stops for a while. The cat licks the kittens already born, and the rest are born later. This is a variant of the norm if there are no visible signs of poor health.