When Do Newborn Kittens Open Their Eyes? All You Need To Know

When Do Newborn Kittens Open Their Eyes? All You Need To Know

Author WCF Staff


If you ask us, there is nothing cuter than a newborn kitten. When kittens are born, their eyes are still closed, but we think these tiny bundles of cuteness are just as adorable once they do open their eyes. Many cat breeders and owners want to know, "When do kittens open their eyes?" or, "What will happen if they open their eyes too early?" You should never force kittens to open their eyes before they're ready. Luckily, our team of experts can tell you all you need to know about kittens and eye opening.

When do kittens first open their eyes?

It takes about two weeks for the kitten's eyes to open. They are born blind and deaf. Most kittens will fully open their eyes between eight and twelve days. When your new puppy or kitten is born, they will have bright blue eyes. However, as they get older, they are more likely to change their color. This is something that happens a lot, but it is not a strict rule. Some cats, especially those with white or light-colored coats, are more likely to retain their baby blues. The gene that causes their white coloration is responsible for the eye color and is a dominant gene.

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What if a kitten opens their eyes too early?

Three-day-old kittens opening their eyes are not unheard of, but it's rare for kittens for that to happen so early in their life. Because their eyes are so sensitive to light, newborn kittens are particularly at risk for eye infections of various kinds. Your kitten's vision could be permanently damaged if they open their eyes too early. Make an appointment with your veterinarian, and keep your kitten in a dimly lit room to protect their delicate eyes. Initially, a kitten's vision and hearing are poor. Still, within a few weeks, your new furry buddy will have night vision and hearing six times better than ours.

kittens closeup

Is it possible to make a kitten open its eyes?

Do not pressure a kitten into opening their eyes earlier than they're ready to do so. You run the risk of not only permanently damaging their vision but also causing an infection that can have fatal consequences. The following are signs and symptoms of an infection in the eyes:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pus coming from the eyes
  • Eyelids sticking
  • Flaking

If you suspect your kitten has an eye infection, take them to the vet. If an eye infection is left untreated, your kitten may lose one or both eyes. Luckily, we have antibiotics on our side. They can be used to treat eye infections and are usually very effective.


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The development of a kitten's vision

It's important to remember that your kitten's eyes continue to grow even after birth. Cats are considered blind for the first two weeks of their lives, even when their eyes are open. Though their eyes will initially appear slightly opaque, your kitten's vision will improve as the protective fluid surrounding their eyes begins to become transparent. When your kitten's eyesight improves, they'll be able to jump up on your feet in the middle of the night and make a frantic plea for food.

Is there anything to do if an infection occurs?

Even if your kitten's eyes open when they should, and you take all the proper precautions, eye infections can still occur. You should take your kitten to the vet if they develop an eye infection so that they can be prescribed antibiotic eye drops. As a precaution, change their bedding frequently to prevent the spread of infection, keep the kitten in a dark, safe area, and gently clean their eyes if they become crusted. Avoid getting the solution in the eye when washing your kitten's eyes with soap or any other cleaning solution.

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Keep an eye out for any other cats living in the house. If you're caring for a Queen and her kittens or already have a cat from another litter in your home, you should know that eye infections are incredibly infectious. Do not isolate your kitten unless your veterinarian specifically instructs you to do so. When kittens are nursing, separating them from the mother could be harmful, even fatal. As your kitten grows, they need to interact with their littermates.

baby kitten

In conclusion

There are many benefits to caring for an infant kitten, including a lasting relationship with your pet. When your kitten opens their eyes, your face will be one of the first things they see, and they'll associate you with safety and love as a result. Unfortunately, research shows that cats do not believe we are their parents. Never force your kitten's eyes open; instead, give them time to do so on their own. If anything goes wrong, call your veterinarian right away.

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World Cat Finder Team

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