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What Does It Mean When a Kitten Is Born With Its Eyes Open?



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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Most kittens are born with their eyes closed. This is why most pet parents are in shock when they see some of their kittens born with their eyes open.

Immediately, a worried parent will think that there is something wrong with their kitten. So what does it mean when a kitten is born with its eyes open?

Key Takeaway

  • When a kitten is born with its eyes open, it is considered “precocial” and able to see and interact with its surroundings immediately, which is a rare condition that requires close monitoring for potential health complications.
  • If a kitten’s eyes open too early, it can lead to serious health complications such as neonatal conjunctivitis or “sticky eye,” corneal ulcers, and blindness, necessitating immediate veterinary attention.
  • Most kittens open their eyes between the ages of 2 and 16 days after birth and not right at birth.

What Does It Mean When a Kitten Is Born With Its Eyes Open?

What Does It Mean When a Kitten Is Born With Its Eyes Open

A kitten that is born with its eyes open is said to be “precocial.” This means that the kitten is able to see and interact with its surroundings from a very young age.

Precocial kittens are typically born in litters of two to four, and they are able to walk and climb within minutes of being born.

Precocial kittens are born with their eyes open and are able to walk within minutes of being born. They are also able to eat solid food and take care of themselves very quickly.

While most precocial kittens are born healthy and without any problems, there are some that may have birth defects or health problems. If you think your kitten may be precocial, it is important to take them to the vet for a check-up.

Kittens that are born blind or with their eyes closed are called ” altricial.” Altricial kittens require more care from their mother and littermates, as they cannot see or move around on their own. These kittens typically open their eyes between seven and 14 days after birth.

Precocial kittens are those that are born with their eyes open and are able to walk within minutes of being born. These kittens need special care, as they are very vulnerable at this stage in their lives. Here are some tips on how to care for a precocial kitten:

-Provide a warm, safe environment: Precocial kittens need a warm and safe environment to thrive. This means keeping them away from drafts and other cold sources of air. A heating pad placed underneath their bedding can help provide the warmth they need.

-Feed them frequently: Precocial kittens need to eat often, as they have fast metabolisms and high energy needs. It is best to feed them small meals several times a day rather than one large meal.

-Handle them with care: Precocial kittens are very delicate, so it is important to handle them with care. Avoid picking them up by their legs or tails, and be gentle when petting them.

What Happens If a Kitten’s Eyes Open Too Early?

What Does It Mean When a Kitten Is Born With Its Eyes Open

If a kitten’s eyes open too early, it can lead to serious health complications and require immediate veterinary attention.

As a veterinarian, I have seen cases where kittens’ eyes open much earlier than expected, usually due to premature birth or infection.

This condition is called neonatal conjunctivitis or “sticky eye” and can cause the eyelids to stick together, leading to corneal ulcers or blindness.

If left untreated, the infection can spread to other kittens in the litter or even to the mother cat, causing further complications.

Therefore, if you suspect that your kitten’s eyes have opened too early, it is crucial to bring them to a veterinarian who can provide prompt and appropriate treatment.

Treatment may include antibiotics, eye drops, or cleaning the eyes with saline solution. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct any complications.

Remember, early intervention is key to ensuring the best possible outcome for your furry friend says WebMD.

How Many Days After a Kitten Is Born Do They Open Their Eyes?

Kittens open their eyes six to ten days after they are born. Before a kitten’s eyes open, they are sealed shut with a thin membrane.

Once the kittens’ eyes start to open, they will gradually gain more control over them and will be able to see better. It can take up to two weeks for a kitten to have full vision.

During this time, it is important for the mother cat to clean her kittens’ eyes frequently with her tongue. This helps stimulate blood flow and prevents infection. It also helps the kittens learn how to use their eyes properly. When the mother cleans the kittens’ eyes, she is also teaching them how to groom themselves.

Kitten’s eyes develop rapidly during gestation, and they are usually born with their eyes closed. After birth, kittens’ vision continues to develop and sharpen for the first few weeks of life. By the time they are eight weeks old, kittens’ vision is fully developed.

However, their color vision does not develop until they are around four months old. Kittens rely heavily on their sense of smell and touch in the early weeks of life until their vision matures.

After a kitten’s eyes are fully open, it will start to explore its surroundings and will start to play with toys. Kittens are very curious creatures and love to investigate everything around them. This is why it is important to kitten-proof your home before they start exploring on their own.

It’s amazing to think about how much development occurs in such a short period of time! Kittens’ eyes go through so many changes in such a short span – from being completely undeveloped in the womb to being fully developed within just a few months after birth.

Do Kittens Open Their Eyes Right After Birth?

No, kittens do not open their eyes right after birth. It generally takes about a week for them to be able to open their eyes.

During this time, they are still very dependent on their mother and need her for both food and warmth. Once they are able to open their eyes, they start to explore their surroundings and learn how to move around. Kittens are very curious creatures and love to play!

If you have ever wondered how old a kitten has to be before it can see, the answer is about one week. Most kittens are born with their eyes shut tight but within six to twelve days, most will have cracked open those baby blues (or greens or browns).

Kittens’ vision develops quickly—within two weeks they can see well enough to begin stalking and pouncing on their littermates. At four weeks old, kittens’ eyes are fully developed and they can see as clearly as an adult cat.

So, if you have a kitten that is less than four weeks old and its eyes are still shut, don’t worry—this is normal. Just give it a little time and soon that kitten will be running around the house, looking for trouble!

Why Has One Kitten Been Born With Its Eyes Open?

There are many different theories as to why some kittens are born with their eyes open while others aren’t. One theory is that it’s simply a matter of genetics and that some kittens are just more likely to be born with their eyes open than others.

When it comes to eye-opening genetics in kittens, there are a variety of explanations. One theory is that the gene responsible for blue eyes (SVPA) is also linked to early eye-opening. Another possibility is that the Siamese gene (CS) causes early eye-opening.

However, it’s important to note that not all blue-eyed or Siamese cats will have kittens with their eyes open at birth – it’s simply more likely. So, what does this mean for kitten litters? If you have a blue-eyed or Siamese cat, be prepared for the possibility that some of their kittens may come into the world already peeking around!

Another theory posits that it has to do with the mother cat’s diet during pregnancy; if she doesn’t consume enough Vitamin A, her kittens may be born with their eyes open.

Kittens can be born with their eyes open because of the mother cat’s lack of vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for eye development, and without it, kittens are born with their eyesight undeveloped. If a kitten is born without enough vitamin A, it will likely have trouble seeing properly and may even go blind. This is why it’s so important for pregnant cats to get enough of this nutrient.


Q: How can I care for a newborn kitten?

A: Caring for a newborn kitten includes providing warmth, feeding them kitten formula, and gently cleaning them. It is important to keep the kitten in a safe and warm environment and to handle them with care.

Q: When should I start feeding a newborn kitten?

A: Newborn kittens should be fed every two to three hours. It is recommended to use commercial kitten formula and a feeding bottle specifically designed for kittens.

Q: How can I weigh the newborn kittens?

A: To weigh the newborn kittens, you can use a digital kitchen scale or a small scale specifically made for weighing animals. Make sure to weigh the kittens regularly to monitor their growth and development.

Q: What signs should I look for in the mother cat to ensure she is taking care of the kittens?

A: The mother cat should exhibit behaviors such as nursing the kittens, cleaning them, and staying close to them. She should also have a calm and nurturing demeanor towards the kittens.

Q: Should I be concerned if the mother cat doesn’t want to care for her kittens?

A: If the mother cat shows no interest in caring for her kittens or if she is neglecting them, it is important to seek veterinary assistance. In some cases, the kittens may need to be hand-fed and cared for until they can be weaned.

Q: Can a newborn kitten regulate its body temperature?

A: No, newborn kittens cannot regulate their own body temperature. It is important to keep the kittens in a warm environment, around 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit, to ensure their body temperature is maintained.

Q: How long should I keep the newborn kittens with their mother?

A: The newborn kittens should stay with their mother for at least eight weeks. During this time, they will learn important social and behavioral skills from their mother and siblings.

Q: Can newborn kittens receive vaccinations?

A: No, newborn kittens cannot receive vaccinations. They rely on antibodies from their mother’s milk to provide them with temporary immunity. Vaccinations are usually given starting at around eight weeks of age.

Q: How can I learn more about caring for newborn kittens?

A: There are many resources available, such as books, online articles, and veterinary advice, that can provide detailed information on caring for newborn kittens. It is important to seek reliable sources and consult with a veterinarian if you have specific concerns or questions.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, the birth of a kitten with its eyes open is not a rare occurrence and does not necessarily indicate any health issues.

It is a natural process that occurs in most mammals, including cats. While it may seem unusual to some, it is completely normal for kittens to be born with their eyes open.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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