The First Two Weeks:
- In the first 1 to 2 days, the kittens receive colostrum
from their mother, which gives them their initial immunity.
- After that time, they feed on their mother's normal, rich, milk.
- Kittens have to find their food even though their eyes are shut for the
first 5 - 10 days, and the fact that they cannot walk.
- They find their mother's teats through their sense of smell, touch, and by
sensing warmth, and they can squirm around to reach the teats.
- The mother helps them by rolling on her side and nuzzling them in the right direction.
- Kittens have a preference for a teat.
- When they nurse, their paws open and close as they "knead". The mother cat also
rhythmically opens and closes her paws while the kittens suckle.
- The kittens squeak to let their mother know they are hungry.
- They will feed for very long sessions.
- Kittens at this age do not like to be cold, so they stay in a
huddle with their litter mates.
Source: Understanding Cats -- Their History, Nature
and Behavior, by Roger Tabor, The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.,
Pleasantville, NY, 1995, pp. 77-78.