Monday, 30 July 2012

Kitten Socialisation


Kittens grow up so quickly!

We started having kittens born at the centre in March and recently had three pregnant queens come in that delivered a week apart.


This is Tabitha and she has four kittens.
She has two sons Alf and Xavier and two daughters Indie and Irene.

These photos were taken on the 9th July when they were 3 weeks old.





It was amazing to see the differences in the three litters and watch the growth of the kittens day by day. All kittens are born blind and deaf and open their eyes about ten days. These three litters were very advanced and some of them even had their eyes open at birth! 

The eyes remain blue until about six weeks old and then they start to change colour. They learn to eat and use a litter tray by watching their mother.

Play and other cat social behaviour is learnt from their siblings. 

Irene and Xavier working out who’s in charge!





They are very inquisitive and interested in everything going on around them.

Alf is surprised by my camera!

We are taking part in a kitten socialisation study. The Cat Longitudinal Analysis of Welfare Study, or ‘C.L.A.W.S.’, is an exciting new study being undertaken by researchers at the University of Bristol. They aim to collect a range of information on kittens aged 2 – 6 months until they are 2 years old. Collecting information about kittens early on in life and then following their development into adult cats will inform them of how the early environment of a kitten shapes his/her later health and behaviour.

To find out more about this click on this link-http://www.bristol.ac.uk/vetscience/claws

They are playing with different toys, getting used to new experiences such as walking on carpet and sounds like hearing music on the radio. For kittens born in a home, lots of things will be natural to them but the environment here is very different. We don’t have a TV, carpet, doorbell, hoovers, etc. We do have a lovely retriever dog, Max, who loves all the cats and kittens and it’s very useful for them to meet him too. 

Imagine how you would feel if someone took you to a strange place with sounds and smells you don’t recognise. This is why we provide advice about settling in your new kittens. We have leaflets to take away and are always happy to answer any questions you might have once you get home. 

This is Indie, she looks just like her mum.

Keep watching our blog for more kitten stories and updates on the cats at our centre.

If you are interested in adopting any of our adorable kittens, please contact us via our website at http://www.axhayes.cats.org.uk/, thank you.
 

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