Kittens eyes opening at different times

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Our question this week was:

My cat recently had a litter of kittens two weeks ago (almost three weeks) and five of the six have their eyes open and one has only little slits open. Do they open at different times? Should I be concerned?

Thanks for your help

Ky Annunziata

Answer

Hi – Ky – thanks for your email. Your question is do kittens from the same litter open their eyes at different times. The answer is they can. Generally most kittens in a litter will open their eyes within a few days of each other. This generally occurs around 10 to 14 days of age.

If they eyes are not opening and you are worried, the best thing would be to have the kitten examined by your veterinarian to make sure there is not something else going on.

One thing that I sometimes worry about is a condition called Ophthalmia Neonatorum in Kittens. Ophthalmia neonatorum is an infection of the conjunctiva (the thin layer of tissue that lines the eyelids) or cornea (the transparent structure that makes up the front part of the eye). It occurs before or just after the eyelids open in kittens. Signs may include that the upper and lower eyelids are fused together and bulge outward from the accumulation of discharge that is trapped behind the eyelids.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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