Kittens typically open their eyes for the first time when they are between 7 to 10 days old. If you’ve seen your kitten’s eyes open at 3 days old you’re not alone, it can happen.
Ideally, you don’t want to see a kitten open their eyes before 7 days at least. Their eyes are hypersensitive to light and susceptible to infections at this age. Which is why they need to be protected for those first few days after being born.
Even when they start to open their eyes at around 7 to 10 days old, they will not open them wide right away. It’s vital to the development of their eyesight that they allow bits of light in slowly as their retina develops.
What If a Newborn Kittens Eyes Are Open?
I’ve never seen or heard of a newborn coming into the world with their eyes open. If this happens it’s almost certainly a sign that there is something very wrong. With something as sensitive and precious as eyesight, you will need to get them seen by a vet ASAP if their eyes are open as they’re born.
What Happens If You Force a Kitten Eyes Open?
You should never, under any circumstances, ever force a kitten’s eyes open. Doing so just because you think they should be opening their eyes is incredibly dangerous to their eyesight.
kittens are very susceptible to eye infections during the first few weeks of their lives. Letting too much light in before they are ready can also cause long-term damage to their eyesight. If there is any reason why you think their eyes should be open, take them to a vet for professional care.
I have heard of people thinking kittens should have their eyes open the first time they see a newborn. It’s an education issue, if you’ve never experienced kittens being born, on one hand, you’re not to know.
On the other hand, that’s why you should always research everything to get the answer. Which might be why you’re here! At least, I hope it is.
What If a Kitten Opens Their Eyes Late?
It’s better a kitten opens their eyes late than early. If you’ve passed the 10-day mark and your kids still haven’t opened their eyes I wouldn’t worry. I was talking to a friend a couple of weeks ago and he had two kittens in a recent litter that took almost 3 weeks to open their eyes.
As with all kitten-related issues, if there’s anything you’re unsure about you should try giving your vet a quick call. Maybe they’re busy and they have to call you back, but I haven’t met I vet or dealt with a vet’s practice that wouldn’t answer questions like this over the phone. If they need to physically examine the kitten they’ll let you know.
What you should not do under any circumstances is to try and force open a kitten’s eyes. Or do anything to speed up the process for them.
Why Are Kitten’s Eyes Blue When They First Open Them?
Something you may or may not have noticed while browsing the millions of cute kitten pictures online is that all kittens have blue eyes. You’ll certainly notice this from now on that I’ve told you!
It’s not a coincidence. kittens are born without the color pigmentation that determines what color their eyes are going to be. As the weeks pass by they develop this pigment, and you’ll literally see their eyes starting to change color.
It typically takes about 3 months for a kitten’s eyes to be the color they going to carry on through to adulthood. In the first few weeks, their eyes can actually change color a few times.
Obviously, you will not see any change in some cats if they are going to have blue eyes as an adult. Blue eyes are quite rare though. White cats are statistically more likely to have blue eyes, but most breeds and colors of cats can have blue eyes. You’re just going to have to wait and see.
Common Kitten Eye Issues and Problems
As I mentioned earlier, kittens are very susceptible to eye infections. Especially if their eyes have opened early. There are a few different types and causes of eye infections, the symptoms to look out for are:
- Pus-like or mucus discharge from their eye
- Eyelids sticking together or sticking to their eye
- Inflammation, redness, or obvious irritation
- Dried or crusty matter around their eyes
- Swelling or bulging eyelids
Eye infections in kittens are potentially very serious I need to be handled with care. Always take your kitten to your vet as soon as possible if you suspect they have any form of eye infection, no matter how slight.
The first few days, and weeks after a kitten first opens their eyes are crucial to the development and long-term health of their eyesight. Don’t take any chances or assume any infections will clear up. Take your kitten to a vet for a full check-up and the proper treatment.
You might have to keep their eyes clean with a warm compress to prevent their eyelids from sticking together again and wash pus from their eyes. But this will only under direction from a vet.
Whether you’ve seen your kitten’s eyes open at 3 days old, or when they’re 3 weeks old and you’re still waiting for them to open their eyes. Hopefully, this article has helped put you at ease a little.
The main thing to be aware of is how sensitive and precious kitten’s eyes are for the first few weeks of their lives. Never interfere with their eyes in any way, don’t force them open, touch them, or do anything else without acting under the advice of your vet.
Oh, and if you’ve jumped to the end of the article without reading the body. You’re not going to know why all cats are born with blue eyes!
Want to know more about a first-time cat pregnancy and birthing process? Please read what to do if your cat is giving birth for the first time.