The appearance of offspring in a cat brings both joyful moments for the owners and certain troubles. From birth to moving to a new home, kittens completely depend first on the mother-cat, and then on the owner. The owner of newborns needs to know when do kittens start walking in order to prevent possible pathologies.
when do kittens start walking
when do kittens start walking depends on the development of the musculoskeletal system, genetic predisposition, breed, individual characteristics, and proper care.
Like everything after birth, kittens are absolutely helpless creatures. Their ears are pressed, their eyes are closed, the muscles of the extremities are not developed, they cannot walk and maintain their body temperature, therefore it is difficult to orient themselves in space and they need maternal care. All these functions develop with age, but for now, they are replaced by the mother-cat. In the first days, she feeds them, protects, licks warms them with her warmth, makes sure that the kittens do not crawl away. At this age, babies should not be picked up without special reason, since the cat may refuse to feed them because of someone else’s smell.
In the first days of life, most of the time, animals cannot walk and are in a dream, interrupting it only for eating. Since they have developed sucking, swallowing reflexes and the reflex of “shelter” (they hide the muzzle and nose in warm and soft places).
Starting from the 8th day of life, cats develop sensory functions and open their eyes (they become fully sighted by two weeks), which adds confidence, and they begin to develop paws. After 14 days, babies already begin to rise on their paws and walk.
The kitten takes its first steps at the age of two weeks. They walk unsteadily and awkwardly, they can fall and stagger. They jump rather than walk. This is how they develop and strengthen their muscles, ligaments, and joints. At the end of the first month (20-25 days), the kitten begins to walk independently. During this period of his life, he already actively walks, runs and jumps, plays with other kittens, his mother.
Kittens begin to walk on their own at the age of about a month, they already have teeth and they can eat not only mother’s milk but also regular food, repeat all the habits of the mother-cat. The cats are active, playful, and curious, so the owners should be attentive to this moment and protect them from possible injuries.
The cat is becoming more and more independent, interested in the environment, new smells and objects, wants to explore every corner. Already he knows how to jump on chairs, bedside tables, begins to eat solid food. From that moment on, he can be taught to socialize (contact with people, children).
When the cat is firmly on its feet and walks, he repeats her actions, including going to the litter box, after the mother cat. Therefore, at this stage, it is important to start teaching him to defecate himself on the litter box.
At this time, the kitten acquires self-control – it stops scratching and biting, and controls the playing time. Partially this function is performed by the mother-cat, she, if necessary, can punish the cat (slap on the nose, immobilization).
How to help a kitten
It is quite difficult to keep track of a baby who has just got up on its feet. After all, cats are very curious animals, all the time they try to leave their house and stick their noses wherever they want. A mother cat cannot always look after them, especially if there are several such nimble babies .
- Provide a safe area for movement by removing dangerous objects within the radius of the stay of pets. (wires, household appliances, chemical hygiene products, piercing and cutting objects, fertilizers, poisonous plants). And excessively slippery surfaces. In the early days, when the kitten has learned to walk. Do not let him out of the box for his own safety.
- If a month after birth, the cat does not stand on its paws and does not walk (or walks uncertainly, limps). This is a reason to contact the veterinarian. At such an early age, it is advisable to call the doctor at home so as not to injure the not yet formed limbs during transportation.
The reasons why the cat does not stand on its paws and cannot walk :
- Foot injuries (including postpartum). It hurts the animal to stand on its paws, so it avoids doing it.
- Curvature of the paws due to a lack of trace elements (rickets), poor genetics, dysplasia of the joints.
- Poisoning. In which an effect on the nervous system is possible, including the innervation of the hind legs.