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kitten behavior stages

kitten behavior stages

Stages of kitten behavior from birth

Cats are dwarfs, kittens are born with closed eyes and ears, and poorly developed hearing and visual systems.They are unable to urinate or defecate without their mother's help and are totally dependent on her for food. During the first two weeks of life, they can only move with a slow, paddling gait. Eye-opening usually occurs between seven to ten days, although it can occur as early as two days and as late as 16 days in normal kittens.

kitten development

Various genetic and environmental factors affect when the eyes are opened, including sex, paternity, light exposure, and the mother's age at the time of parturition. Kittens typically start walking in the third week of life and running in the fifth week.Maturation is a gradual process, affected by a variety of genetics, nutritional, and environmental factors.

The wild queen will begin bringing prey to her offspring around the fourth week of life, suggesting that this is when kittens are able to learn complex tasks. Handling kittens produces a decrease in fear and faster development of a variety of physicals and behavioral traits.

Behavioral and physical development is delayed if the mother suffers from malnutrition. Some of these effects are directly due to malnutrition, as some areas of the kitten's brain are underdeveloped. However, some effects are likely due to learning disabilities, as queens who have been undernourished during pregnancy and lactation are more aggressive towards their kittens than well-fed queens.

As these deleterious effects continue into the second generation, this should be kept in mind when attempting to domesticate chronically malnourished wild queen kittens.

Play is an important component of early development in kittens. Social play, which can be practiced for later social interactions, reaches its peak in the third, and fourth month of life.

The item game, which probably functions primarily to aid in the development of useful hunting skills, reaches its peak around the fifth month of life. Singleton kittens have less experience with social games than kittens with siblings, even though their mothers play with them.

Kittens separated from mother too early

Kittens separated from mother too early

As with all social species, the cat is born with the ability to acquire social skills, in an appropriate social environment. However, he was not born with specific social skills, and the kitten raised as a singleton from birth to five or six weeks old, then taken from its mother and raised as a single cat, is likely to be deeply socially incompetent .

He will be an asocial individual, not because it is normal for the species, but because of the way he was brought up.The sensitive period for socialization is the period when animal is particularly sensitive to social learning experiences.

Little research has been done on sensitive periods and specific social learnings in cats, possibly due to the misconception that they are not social.The best socialization with humans occurs if kittens are handled from the second to seventh week of life. The presence of a calm mother is beneficial to the process.

To facilitate the formation of socially stable groups in cats, research should be conducted on when socialization to their species occurs, and what particular early experiences are needed for the development of high rates of affiliation behavior and social attachment, and low rates aggression. Until this research is complete, it is reasonable to assume that the period of kittens socialization with other cats also occurs between 2 to 7 weeks of age.

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