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Fun Facts About Kittens
July 1, 2023

July 10th may very well be one of the most adorable days of the year: it’s National Kitten Day! There are few things that can melt our hearts and make us smile and the way these charming, mischievous balls of fur can. A local Meyerland, TX vet goes over a few fun facts about little Fluffy in this article.

Basic Definition

When you hear (or see) the word kitten, you probably think of a very young cat, one that is still in that adorable furry toddler stage. However, Fluffy is technically a kitten through that whole first year of her life.

New Arrivals

If you’ve ever seen a newborn kitten, you’ve probably noticed how tiny and helpless they are. Fluffy’s eyes and ears won’t open for at least a week. She won’t be able to regulate her own temperature at first, and will completely rely on her mama to feed her and keep her warm. However, that adorable growth spurt starts right away. Baby cats typically gain about a pound a month for those first six months.

What’s In A Name?

The word kitten is derived from French 14th century language. The original term was likely chitoun or cheton, which means ‘little cat.’ Alternative spellings include kitoun, ketoun, and kyton. 

Magic Purrs

One of Fluffy’s most adorable—and remarkable—traits is the fact that she literally vibrates with happiness. Our feline buddies may have learned to purr as a way for mothers and offspring to communicate. Cats can’t meow while they’re nursing, so they apparently decided to just let Momma know they’re okay by vibrating. As far as we’re concerned, kitten purrs are some of the best things ever. Just as kittens have their unique ways of communicating, imagine the chaos and fun if Fluffy had thumbs! Learn more about this amusing idea in our ‘If Pets Had Thumbs Day‘ article.

Socialization

Socialization is crucial for helping little Fluffy grow into a polite and friendly adult cat. However, you don’t want to overdo it during those critical first two weeks. Handle your tiny pals minimally at first. Once the little ones are big enough to start scampering around, you can pet and hold them much more. Ensuring your kitten’s health starts with proper veterinary care, including essential wellness checks and vaccinations. Discover how our ‘Veterinary Wellness & Pet Vaccinations’ services can support your kitten’s development and health.

Who’s The Daddy?

Here’s an interesting fact about our feline friends. Not all of the kittens in a litter necessarily have the same father. If a queen has mated several times, different toms could have fertilized different eggs.

Our Advice on Fun Facts About Kittens in 2024

What is the significance of July 10th about kittens?

July 10th holds a special place in the hearts of cat lovers and animal enthusiasts alike, as it’s celebrated as National Kitten Day. This day is dedicated to raising awareness about the joys and responsibilities of caring for young kittens, encouraging adoption from shelters and rescues, and highlighting the importance of early socialization, proper nutrition, and veterinary care for these adorable feline companions. National Kitten Day reminds us of the love, joy, and playful mischief that kittens bring into our lives while emphasizing the commitment required to ensure their health and well-being.

How long is a cat considered a kitten?

In veterinary terms, a cat is considered a kitten from birth until one year old. During this first year, kittens undergo significant growth and development, both physically and behaviorally. This period is crucial for their health, including significant milestones such as vaccinations, nutrition optimization, and socialization. Recognizing this timeframe helps ensure these young felines receive the care and attention necessary for a solid foundation, leading to a healthier and happier adult life. The designation of a cat as a kitten underscores the need for specialized care tailored to this developmental stage.

At what pace do kittens typically grow in their first six months?

Kittens experience rapid growth in their first six months, typically gaining about a pound per month. This growth rate is a critical indicator of their overall health and development. During this period, proper nutrition is vital in supporting their physical development, including bone growth, muscle development, and organ maturation. It is essential to provide a diet formulated specifically for kittens to meet their high-energy needs and support this significant growth phase. Regular veterinary check-ups are recommended to monitor their progress and ensure they are growing at a healthy rate.

What is the origin of the word “kitten”?

The word “kitten” traces its roots back to the 14th-century French language, originating from the terms “chiton” or “chiton,” which mean ‘little cat.’ This etymology reflects the diminutive and affectionate nature of young cats. Over time, the term evolved with alternative spellings such as “kitoun,” “ketoun,” and “kyton” before settling into the modern English “kitten” we use today. This linguistic journey highlights the enduring fondness and cultural significance people have placed on young felines throughout history.

What is a recommended approach to handling newborn kittens?

A gentle and minimal handling approach is recommended for newborn kittens during their first two weeks of life. This cautious handling helps prevent stress while their senses and motor skills develop. Initially, allowing the mother cat to provide the necessary warmth, nutrition, and grooming is crucial. As kittens open their eyes and ears and move around, gradually increasing interaction is beneficial. Gentle petting and careful holding can foster their socialization and acclimate them to the human touch, laying the foundation for a well-adjusted adult cat. Always ensure your hands are warm and clean to protect your developing immune systems.

Have you recently adopted a kitten? Contact us, your Meyerland, TX animal hospital, for all of your feline pal’s veterinary care needs. We’re always here to help!