Embark Upon a Foster Experience
Last night I brought home a shelter kitty and her 5 brand-new babies to foster for LAPCATS. She–I’ll call her “Mama” for now—is estimated to be 1 year old, barely more than a kitten herself. I will pick a better name for her once I get to know her. She came into the shelter as a pregnant stray on November 6th, and delivered her babies November 9th. She had 3 white, 1 calico, and 1 tabby kittens, sexes to be determined later. Mama is very sweet and affectionate, and a good kitty mother. I’m feeding her pretty heavy as the kittens will really zap her energy and resources.
Kittens are born with their eyes closed. The eyes begin to open at 8 days and are completely open by 14 days. According to my cat book, the eyes of shorthaired cats open sooner than those of longhairs. All kittens are born with blue eyes and adult colors do not appear before 3 weeks or longer. The ear canals, which are closed at birth, begin to open at 5 to 8 days and the tiny folded-down ears become erect by 3 weeks.
Kittens are sight and sound-oriented at 25 days. They usually begin to crawl by 18 days and can stand at 21 days. Soon after, they begin to walk and can feed from a bowl.
Mama and her kittens are housed in a large wire kennel in our back bedroom, away from our own dogs and cats. I put the carrier in the kennel and that is where Mama is keeping her babies, all snuggled up to each other in a warm fleece blanket.
Please follow along with me and watch the kittens grow. I’ll report on their development weekly, and together we’ll turn Mama and her babies into beautiful, socialized, adoptable cats.
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