Birman kitten is born completely white; it's point color begins to gradually appear
starting at about three days old, first being most noticeable on their noses and
ears. It can take several weeks to determine what color the kitten will be
(whether it will be seal point, blue point, etc.). The kitten's eyes are
closed and the ears are folded down. The kitten's eyes usually begin to
open at about 10 days old. Gradually, the ears begin to perk up as
well. The mother rarely leaves the nest during the first two weeks and is
very protective of her kittens. She knows the kittens need her for warmth
and almost continuous nourishment; the kittens spend their time alternating
between sleeping and nursing. I begin holding the kittens for short
periods from the day they are born to ensure proper socialization.
Kittens will gradually start to explore
their world from about three to four weeks of age.
Their mother watches over them,
occasionally calling them back to her if she feels they've wandered too
the kittens begin leaving the nest box on their own, the box is replaced with a
soft bed, large enough for mother and kittens, but also smaller than the nest box
so the kittens are encouraged to continue exploring when they're not sleeping or
nursing. I put down a small bowl of "baby kitten" dry food along with
a water bowl that they can easily access on their own. I also begin giving them
wet food at about 4 weeks of age. Once they start
eating solid foods, they will begin to use the litter box also. Kittens
learn "cat skills" from their mother and through
play with their littermates, and at the same time they will also start learning
that people are not cats and they need to play and interact with us humans a
By about six or seven weeks, kittens become extremely active and have much to learn. Their climbing skills start improving, and I gradually give them more climbing challenges with posts and scratchers of various sizes and shapes as they are growing. Kittens receive immunity to illnesses through antibodies in their mother's milk. The weaning period is a particularly risky period for kittens as their own immune system is still developing and the immunity received from their mother is wearing off. Vaccinations may or may not give the kitten an adequate amount of protection during this stage, and cannot be fully relied upon, so it is best to keep the kittens in a clean and stable environment during this time.
Birman coats are easy to care for, but
it is still a good idea to groom the kittens regularly so
they will be comfortable with it as adults. The kittens learn to enjoy being combed and many will purr during
combing. I start trimming the kittens' claws at about 6-8 weeks of age
also so they will get used to it. Birmans are intelligent cats and are capable of learning
simple commands; they will learn their names and will come when called; they
will learn to use a scratching post; some even learn to play fetch or other
tricks. They are interested in their human's activities, they're playful, and will often enjoy
a warm lap and petting as well. My kittens are raised indoors and they will be content to
remain as pampered indoor cats in their new homes.
Please see my Nursery News section for kittens currently available.
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