When Do Newborn Kittens Open Their Eyes?

In a normal situation, all kittens are born with closed eyes. They look at this world after some time. And after how many days does the cat’s offspring begin to see? Are all kittens born blind? What problems can newborns face and how to help them?

All these questions often concern owners, especially if they are waiting for the first offspring of your pet. But this question cannot be answered unequivocally. Most kittens are born with tightly closed eyes.

Usually, a week or 10 days after birth, the eyelids begin to open slightly.

Most often this does not happen immediately. That is, the kitten does not widen its eyes, but slowly, literally one millimetre a day, the eyelids begin to rise. Moreover, this process can take from one to three days. But it will also be the norm if the kittens “see clearly” by the end of the second or third week of life.

Major differences and features depend on the size of the animal, sex, and breed. And long-haired individuals are later than their short-haired counterparts.

Also, a lot depends on the breed. For example, proud sphinxes may even be born with their eyes already open. Or open them wide on the 3rd day after birth.

British or Persians open their eyes on the 9th day, and ragdolls begin to see only by the age of three weeks.

True, to say that kittens begin to see is still incorrect: at first, newborns distinguish only fuzzy shadows. If you look closely at the kitten’s iris, it will be slightly unclear. The keen eyesight inherent in these predators appears only by the age of one month. 

It is because of this that many veterinarians advise keeping newborn kittens in a slightly darkened room so that the bright light does not injure the eyes.

When Exactly Kittens Open Their Eyes

By the way, many years of observation experience says that all these terms are completely individual. For example, kittens from post-term pregnancy will open their eyes earlier than their counterparts born on time.

Therefore, you need to start worrying about the vision of the offspring no earlier than 21 days after birth. Although to calm down, you can show the newborn to the doctor already at the 2nd week of life, if the eyes have not yet begun to open.

An urgent visit to the clinic requires purulent discharge from the eyes. If the mother cat is infected, the kittens can catch conjunctivitis, which will have a very negative effect on their vision in the future.

It is also worth contacting a doctor if you notice that newborns do not fully open their eyes: for example, only on the left or right side. This may indicate a partial fusion of the eyelids, which requires specialist advice.

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