Kittens come to our world with blind, deaf, but dendrites. As soon as all the litter is born, the cat will lie on its side, surrounding the kittens with its body, and will stay with them literally every minute of the first day after birth. Even after she carefully rinses them, she will continue to lick them and poke at them with a muzzle, encouraging them to suck. On average, newborn kittens weigh only 100 g. Although newborns are almost completely helpless, they are still much better developed than newborn babies of many other mammals. For example, they are already covered with hair, while mice and rat are born hairless. With normal nutrition, the kitten daily adds in weight from 10 to 20 g. It doubles its mass at birth in one week.
Heat and food for newborn kittens are the most important factors of the well-being of the first days of life. The first few days the kittens alternate feeding and sleep and do almost nothing else. They turn in a dream, perhaps because they see dreams. The so-called “quiet” sleep, alternating with sleep accompanied by dreams, will gradually appear in the next few weeks. Newborn kittens cannot maintain a constant body temperature on their own, and this is one of the reasons why it is so important that they lie for the first few days, huddled against the warm belly of their mother. When a cat for a very short time leaves the kittens, they try to slip into the so-called “sleeping heap.” This helps them to store heat more efficiently.
If for some reason, the kitten is supercooled, it should be warmed not with a hot water bottle, but with your own body, since too rapid a rise in temperature can only damage the baby. You can not feed a frozen baby, because the stomach and intestines do not function, and the food will not be digested. In this case, the kitten can be given a 5-10% percentage solution of glucose (4 ml every hour), honey solution or sent water (1 teaspoon per 3 ml). The solution should be slightly warm. If the cat is nervous when you touch the kittens, then try to inspect the nest in its absence and do it in case of emergency, otherwise, the jealous mother can pull the kittens to find the most secluded corner inaccessible to the annoying hosts.
In the first week, kittens are able to move a little, “rowing” their forepaws (they develop faster than the rear ones). This mode of travel is enough to allow the kittens to reach the mother’s belly if they are accidentally pushed off, for example, during a particularly energetic cat attempt to lick their hair. Newborn kittens are very weakly able to perceive the world in which they are. Their eyelids are tightly closed, their ears are clogged with folds of skin. However, their sense of smell and touch are already fully developed, and in this period is all they need to find a mother and suck on her milk. On the 5th day of life, the ears of the kittens begin to hear normally, and they have the first elementary reactions to loud enough sounds.
Despite their limited opportunities, kittens begin to accumulate information about the outside world, starting from the second day. Sucking at first is purely an instinctive action, but now it is associated with the smell of a cat. Kittens also recognize the smell of the nest, which they can begin to sniff out to find their way home if they are pushed out or drop out of the nest. If the kitten was left alone, frozen or bruised, he calls for help, issuing a surprisingly loud alarm signal, causing an immediate reaction in the cat. Tiny kittens are able to recognize the touch of other people’s hands. By the end of the first week, the kitten can crawl up to half a meter. He will also try to stand on the feet if his body is carefully supported from below with the palm of his hand.
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