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They grow up so fast... (update on my cat's six kittens)

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d-pend
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27 days ago5 min read

They grow up so fast...

(update on my cat's six kittens)
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They grow up so fast...
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Happy Caturday! It's been a couple weeks since I gave an update on my cat and her six kittens, so I figured it was about time! They will be three weeks old tomorrow. Fitting that I became a "cat dad" on Father's Day, which I didn't even realize at first :-D

There are two male gold kittens, two female tabbies (one of them long-haired) and two dark females — one pure black and the other dark brownish-black with some gold and grey patches of fur. I have really enjoyed the experience so far of watching them develop and getting them used to human social interaction. It's a rare opportunity for me as I've never been responsible for newborn animals of any kind, and I had a very good relationship with Topaz, their mother, who is a stray I befriended and adopted earlier this Spring.

Since the mother is used to my scent and comfortable with me, I was able to touch and pick up the newborn kittens while they were only a few days old. If you ever find a litter of kittens in the wild and they are still very young (eyes still closed, especially) do not just immediately go up and touch them or assume they are abandoned. Mother cats normally go wander around for a couple of hours and then return to her offspring, and if she is not used to your scent, it can sometimes cause her to reject them.

Of course, Mom does most of the work, so I am just here to take care of her and socialize the kittens properly. The window of time between one and two weeks old is often considered the most vital period to get kittens used to human touch. Their eyes are generally still closed at the beginning of that and opened or at least beginning to open by the end. Once their eyes open they become less fearful of being held since they can see their surroundings.

Three-week-olds — getting more curious!
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At three weeks old they are beginning to display more and more "typical cat behaviors" such as trying to groom themselves and each other, stretching out and rolling around, and beginning to play with each other. Earlier than two weeks they don't do a whole lot other than nurse and sleep! They are beginning to improve at being able to walk without stumbling or falling as much, though they haven't begun to purr yet. Each kitten already has its own personality and some are more vocal than others.

Soon, I hope to partition off a section of the room they are in so they can have a larger safe area for them to explore, as they have been in a large cardboard box to prevent them from escaping and getting lost or hurt. I do take them out of the box several times a day and supervise them exploring now that they can walk decently and are becoming slightly more independent!

I hope to be as conservative as possible in terms of keeping them with their mother for a few weeks even after they are weaned so they are as socially well-adjusted as possible. I also hope to have them adopted in pairs as a preference (I already know my mom @violetmed plans to take two of them!)

After they are weaned, I will most likely need to get Topaz spayed as she is indoor/outdoor and cats tend to be quite fertile. I restrict her from going out more than an hour or two at a time these days and am observing for any signs she might be going back into heat as some mothers do so very quickly after they have their previous litter.

In the next couple weeks, once they can walk very well and their legs are strong enough to squat, they will learn how to use a litter box by observing their mother. They will also become progressively more playful and active, so I expect to have my hands full!

Animals are difficult to photograph as they rarely stay still, but I figured I ought to get some shots before they get even faster-moving! It was hard to do the lighting and take the shots myself, so I apologize in advance for less-than-perfect focus and overexposure. I have a bunch more shots still to edit, so I'll make another cat-blog soon.

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Happy Caturday and thanks for visiting my blog!
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writing and images by @d-pend
created for HIVE — July 11, 2020.


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