When do Kittens Open Their Eyes?

Kittens Open Eyes

Regardless of whether you like cats or not, you surely can’t deny that tiny kittens are some of the most adorable things you can find in this world, especially when they are small, vulnerable, and yet to open their eyes. And of course, they will continue to be adorable even after opening their eyes. But have you ever asked yourself when should kittens open their eyes and what will happen if they open them too early? This article will give you important information about when should kittens open their eyes, as explained by professional veterinarians. I will also go through what would happen if a kitten opens its eyes sooner than it should, naturally.

So when do baby kittens open their eyes? 

As you might know, at birth kittens are not only blind but also deaf. It will take them a couple of weeks for them to open their eyes. It will usually take just below two weeks, most kittens needing just 8 to 12 days to use their eyes for the first time. Although all new kitties come with very bright blue eyes when they are young, as they grow older they will usually experience an eye color change. Even so, there are cats that will keep their blue eyes, and this is usually because they have a gene responsible for this. The gene is also responsible for white coloration, which is why cats that will retain their blue eyes will usually have very light-colored fur, even white in some instances.

You might also like my articles on why are cats staring at you, when kittens’ eyes change colors, and why are cats meowing all the time.

What happens when a kitten opens its eyes too early?

There have been a lot of instances of kittens opening their eyes even as early as three days old, although most of the time it will take them closer to two weeks. Young cats are very susceptible to infections around their eyes and the eyes of a very young kitty are also very sensitive to light. This means that opening their eyes too soon can cause cats to experience severe damage to their vision.

If you notice your young cat having her eyes wide open within the first few days of her life, take her to a dark room to protect her sensitive eyesight, and then contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Although the hearing and vision of your kitten might seem weak at first, don’t worry. She will get to the point where she’ll see six times better than you at night and will also develop amazing hearing in just a few weeks.

Should you force a kitten’s eyes open?

Never try to open your kitten’s eyes by force if she is not ready to do so. This is because you’re not only putting your cat in danger of developing an eye infection, but you can also damage her vision for good. Some of the most common eye infection symptoms are:

  • Flaking or dry discharge around the eyes
  • Eyelids sticking closed
  • Pus or other discharge from the eyes
  • Swelling and inflammation

If you have any reason to suspect an eye infection, make sure to take your cat to the vet. An eye infection left untreated can easily turn your cat permanently blind or even worse while treating it in time with antibiotics can have it disappear completely within days.

How will a kitten’s vision develop

Not a lot of people know this, but the eyes of a kitten will continue to develop even after they are born. Although they will at some point open their eyes, the small kittens will still need a couple of weeks for their eyes to develop, during which they will still be considered functionally blind. At first, the eyes of a cat will look pretty much opaque, being surrounded by protective fluid, but once this fluid goes away, the vision of the pet will gain acuity.

Steps to take in the event of an infection

Kitty Eyes OpenA cat can develop an eye infection even if you do everything you’re supposed to and she opens her eyes right when she has to. The most important thing you can do to help your kitten if you suspect she has developed an eye infection is to take her to a vet. He will be the only one able to do a proper checkup and prescribe medication if the infection is confirmed. Most of the time, the infection will be in the form of antibiotic eye drops. The eyes might get crusty and require periodic cleaning with a cotton pad soaked in warm water, and the kitty should be kept in a safe, dark room, with bedding changed regularly, to prevent the infection from spreading. It’s very important to remember not to use cleaning solutions, or even soap, around the eyes of a kitten.

Keeping an eye on any other cats you might have around would also be smart, because eye infections are very contagious. You should only isolate a kitty if the vet says so, because separating kitties from their mothers, in general, could be very damaging to their health, especially if the mother is still nursing. It is also vital for the proper development of a kitty to socialize with her mother and her siblings at an early age.

Take care of your kitten

Although it might seem pretty hard to care for a newborn kitten, the bond this would create will be very strong and will last a lifetime. Remember to never force your cat to open her eyes and wait for her to do it on her own. Also, keep your vet’s phone number at hand and call him as soon as you notice anything off.

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