Call Us! Button

Request an Appointment Button

Fun Facts About Kittens 
March 1, 2024

Do you often melt when you see a picture of a super-cute kitten? Cats are adorable at every stage of their life, but they are ridiculously cute—not to mention a lot of fun—during that kitten phase. Why are kittens so charming? What is it about these little balls of fur that makes us so smitten with them? A Mt. Pocono, PA vet offers some fun facts about little Fluffy in this article.

A Purrfect Sound

We all know that cats purr, right? This may have started as a form of communication between momma and baby cats. Little Fluffy can’t meow while she’s nursing. The purr may have started as a way for mama and baby cats to signal to each other that all is well and that everyone is safe, comfortable, happy, and loved.

Making Biscuits

Our feline pals have many cute habits. One of Fluffy’s more painful ways of showing affection is kneading. Some people also call this making biscuits. This is a holdover from behaviors cats learn as kittens. Kittens knead to stimulate milk flow when nursing. Therefore, when an adult cat does this, it’s a sign that she sees you as a second parent.

Kittens Are Born With Blue Eyes

All kittens have blue eyes at birth. Little Fluffy won’t open her eyes for about a week or so after her birth. Once she does, her eyes may begin to change color. By the time your furry pal is about a year old, her permanent eye color will have come in. The pigmentation may continue to change for another year or so, though. Of course, some cats, such as the Siamese, keep that blue color.

They’re Born Blind

One reason newborn kittens are so vulnerable is because they are born blind and deaf. Even once your pet opens her eyes, it will still take about a month for her vision to develop.

Claws For Thought

Have you ever gotten scratched by a kitten? Whether Fluffy was playing with you or trying to climb your leg, you probably winced a bit. Those little claws are sharp! Kitten’s claws actually are a bit sharper than those of adult cats, simply because they’re smaller. Your tiny lion won’t figure out how to retract her claws until she’s about four weeks old.

Kitties Don’t All Age At The Same Pace

Here’s a fun tidbit you may not know: different breeds mature at slightly different rates. For instance, the Maine Coon isn’t considered mature until she’s about three or four. (Some cats really never outgrow their kitten phase, but that’s another story.)

They’ve Been Charming Us For A Very, Very Long Time

Research indicates that we’ve been friends with cats for about 10 to 12,000 years. We met Fluffy around the dawn of agriculture, over in the fertile crescent. It’s not hard to imagine people in that era being charmed by these little balls of fur! Kitties had definitely clawed their way into our hearts by the time ancient Egypt was thriving. As you may know, the Egyptians considered cats sacred. In fact, they even had a cat goddess, Bast, who was sometimes depicted with kittens playing at her feet.

They’ve Sparked Many Folk Tails

Cats appear in myths and legends from all over the world. One of the most well-known ones that features kittens is the story of the pussy willow. According to legend, kittens were swept into a river. The tree at the edge of the water heard the kittens’ cries and lowered her branches to help the baby cat escape. Ever since then, the willow sprouts little buds that are covered in a soft down, as a homage to her feline friend.

Who’s The Daddy?

One unique thing—or at least, fairly uncommon—about cats, confirmed by a Mt. Pocono, PA vet, is the fact that they are able to give birth to litters that have different sires. That means that a litter of kittens may genetically only be half-siblings.

They Can’t Warm Themselves

Baby cats don’t gain the ability to regulate their own body temperature until they are about five weeks of age. During that first month, they rely on their mama and siblings to keep them warm. This is why they are so vulnerable to cold.

Many cats really never outgrow the urge to seek out warm napping spots. Fluffy loves snoozing in sunbeams and warm baskets of laundry.

Why Are They So Cute?

If we had to use one word to describe kittens, it’s probably safe to say that many of you would go with cute, adorable, charming, or something similar. Why do we think kittens are so cute? One reason may be because their eyes are quite large in proportion to their heads. Fluffy’s eyes will actually never grow, though the rest of her head will.

Then again, little Fluffy’s playful antics and adorable vocalizations also have a way of melting hearts.

Clowder Or Kindle?

Did you know that a group of cats is technically called a clowder? A group of kittens also has an official name: the Kindle.

One In A Million

Every now and then, one special kitty captures our hearts and becomes a media sensation. In recent years, many of these celebre-kitties have been internet stars, such as Grump Cat and Colonel Meow. One feline star was Lil Bub, known as the perma-kitten. Lil Bub’s claim to fame was actually a birth defect: she had dwarfism, and her teeth never grew. Even as she grew up, she always had a natural, and very cute, kitten-like appearance.

A Different Worldview

Cats certainly have their own unique outlooks on life. Turns out that Fluffy literally doesn’t see things the way we do. Our feline friends have better depth perception than we do, and they can see better in the dark. However, they don’t see the full-color spectrum.

They’ve Made Their Mark In Literature

You could take this one quite literally: kitty pawprints have been found on medieval manuscripts, basically proving the point that cats haven’t changed much in the last few centuries. Our feline pals have also popped up in literature from throughout the ages. There’s Dinah the kitten from Alice In Wonderland, Hello Kitty, Nermal from Garfield … the list goes on. 

Kittens Or Cubs

Big cats have quite a lot in common with housecats: they share many of the same traits and habits, including a love of boxes. There are differences, though. The babies of larger cats are usually called cubs.

Origin Of The Word Kitten

Ever wonder why baby cats are called kittens? We can trace that one back to the Middle English. word kitoun. It was derived from the French word chitoun or cheton, meaning a young cat.

They Can Feel Earthquakes. Maybe.

There’s still research needed on this one. However, researchers suspect that cats are sensitive to the Earth’s magnetic fields, and are able to sense tremors. This does make sense. We do know that kitty paw pads and whiskers can pick up minute variations in things like wind direction, and can also sense impact, such as footprints.

They’re A Bit Magic

Did you know that cats purr at specific frequencies? Kitties rumble at between 25 and 140 Hertz. Those same frequencies promote tissue healing and are even used in physical therapy. Cat purrs also just have a way of soothing and relaxing us!

They’re Tiny Predators

Cats are hunters by nature. Fluffy of course has decided that she prefers to be a pampered pet, rather than work for her supper, but she still has those instincts. Kittens are very, very interested in figuring out how all those claws and teeth work. This can be dangerous, so be sure to keep up with pet-proofing!  

Do you have questions about caring for your kitten? Contact us, your friends at the Animal Hospital of Mt. Pocono in Mt. Pocono, PA, today. We are always happy to help!