Discover When Do Cats Start Opening Their Eyes – A Guide

Kittens start opening their eyes when they are around 7 to 10 days old. It’s a gradual process that takes several days, and the eyes may not fully open at the same time.

The kittens’ eyes will start out a foggy blue color and will start changing to their permanent color at around 3 weeks old. Please note that it’s essential not to force kittens’ eyes open as this could cause serious damage.

Last Updated on September 22, 2023

Welcome to my guide on when cats start opening their eyes! As a cat owner, it’s essential to understand your feline friend’s early development, including their eyesight. The journey of when cats open their eyes is a fascinating one, and by exploring it, you’ll gain insights into how your cats perceive the world around them.

When kittens are born, their eyes are tightly shut, and they rely solely on their sense of smell and touch to navigate their environment. However, as time passes, their eyes gradually start to open, revealing the beauty of their mesmerizing gaze.

But when exactly does this transformation occur? And what happens during their eye-opening journey? In this guide, we’ll delve into these questions and more, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of when cats start opening their eyes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cats are born with their eyes tightly shut.
  • Their eyes start to open gradually as they grow.
  • The process of eyes opening goes through several stages.
  • The development of a kitten’s eyes is a remarkable process.
  • Cats’ eyes continue to develop and mature even after they have initially opened.

The First Signs of Eye Opening in Kittens

As a cat owner, you might be eagerly anticipating the day when your newborn kitten’s eyes open. The good news is that this momentous occasion happens naturally as kittens grow and develop.

Typically, kitten’s eyes start to open anywhere between 7-14 days after birth, but this can vary depending on factors such as breed, litter size and individual development. At first, you may notice a small slit-like opening, and the kitten’s eyes may appear blue or grayish in color.

It’s important to note that during this early stage of eye opening, kittens’ eyes are still very delicate and vulnerable to infection. Thus, it’s recommended to avoid touching or handling their eyes unless necessary, and to ensure a hygienic environment to prevent eye infections.

If you’re concerned about the timing of your kitten’s eye opening milestones, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian for guidance.

when do kittens open their eyes

The First Signs of Eye Opening in Kittens

“At first, you may notice a small slit-like opening, and the kitten’s eyes may appear blue or grayish in color.”

The Stages of Kittens’ Eye Opening Process

Watching kittens open their eyes can be a heartwarming experience. This incredible journey goes through several stages, each with its own significance.

kittens eye-opening stages

Stage 1: During the first week of life, kittens’ eyes remain tightly closed. However, at the end of the first week, the eyelids may start to crack open, revealing a thin slit-like opening.

Stage 2: By the end of the second week, the eyes may have opened wider, and you might see hints of their eye color. At this point, their vision is still blurry and unfocused.

Stage 3: By the end of the third week, the eyes should have fully opened, and kittens can now see the world around them. Their vision is still developing, but they can distinguish between light and dark and perceive movement.

It’s essential to note that not all kittens develop at the same rate, and the age at which they open their eyes can vary. However, by the time they reach three weeks old, their eyes should be fully open, and they are well on their way to exploring their surroundings.

Understanding the stages of kittens’ eye opening process can help you monitor their development and identify any potential issues that may arise. If you notice any abnormalities or concerns, consult your veterinarian for advice.

The Development of Newborn Kittens’ Eyes

Watching the gradual opening of a newborn kitten’s eyes is a delightful experience. During the first few days of life, kittens’ eyes are closed, but by the end of the first week, you may notice some slight changes.

Their eyes will begin to open, revealing small slits that will gradually enlarge over the following days. By the end of the second week, their eyes will typically be fully open, and they will be able to see the world around them.

It’s important to note that the development of a kitten’s eyes doesn’t stop here. Over the following weeks and months, their eyes will continue to mature, strengthening visual abilities and improving focus. Understanding the timeline of kitten eye development is essential to ensuring their healthy growth and visual capabilities.

newborn kitten eye development

The Timeline of Cat Eye Development

The timeline of kitten eye development follows a predictable pattern. During the first week, their eyes will gradually open, and by the end of the second week, they will be fully open.

Over the following weeks, their eyes will continue to mature, with the retina and other vital eye structures developing and strengthening. By the end of the third week, their eyes will begin to focus, and they will start to differentiate between light and dark.

The fourth week is a crucial time for visual development as kittens start to develop depth perception. They will begin to see the world in three dimensions, which is essential for healthy development.

By the end of the fifth week, their eyes will be functioning at their full capacity, and they will be able to see with incredible clarity and acuity. As they continue to grow and mature, their visual abilities will improve, allowing them to see in low light and track fast-moving objects with ease.

Understanding this timeline of cat eye development can help pet owners recognize the normal stages of their kitten’s growth and development, ensuring they are well-cared for and healthy.

Cat Eye-Opening Milestones

As cats’ eyes continue to develop after opening, they reach important milestones that enhance their visual capabilities. Understanding these milestones can help you provide your furry friend with the best care possible. Let’s explore the key cat eye-opening milestones:

Milestone Age
Improved focus 2-3 weeks
Depth perception 5-6 weeks
Enhanced night vision 3-4 months

At around 2-3 weeks old, a kitten’s visual acuity improves, and they can focus more on their surroundings. By 5-6 weeks old, they develop depth perception, allowing them to gauge distances and navigate their environment more efficiently. Around 3-4 months old, their night vision improves, and they can see better in dim lighting.

Factors such as genetics, nutrition, and environmental stimulation can affect the rate at which cats reach these milestones. Providing your cat with a balanced diet, plenty of playtime, and a stimulating environment can help support their eye-opening journey and enhance their visual development.

cat looking through a window

How Long Before Cats Can See Clearly?

While cats’ eyes start to open at a specific age, it takes some time for their vision to fully develop. The cat eye-opening process continues for several weeks, during which their visual capabilities gradually improve.

At around two weeks old, kittens’ eyes start to have a hazy, blue-gray appearance, and their pupils start to respond to light. By three weeks, their eye color becomes more apparent, and they can distinguish some colors and shapes. However, their vision is still blurry, and they rely heavily on their sense of smell and hearing for navigation.

It is only by four to seven weeks that kittens’ eyesight becomes more refined, and they can see objects with greater clarity. At this stage, they can also judge distances more accurately and develop depth perception.

The cat eye-opening process is influenced by various factors, including genetics, nutrition, and environmental stimuli. Proper nutrition, adequate light exposure, and social interaction can all contribute to healthy eye development and faster visual maturation.

how long before cats can see

As a cat owner, it’s important to provide your kitten with a safe and stimulating environment that supports their eye development. You can also help them along their eye-opening journey by regularly cleaning their eyes with a damp, warm cloth to prevent any eye infections.

While the cat eye-opening process may take some time, the wait is well worth it. Watching your kitten’s vision improve and their eyesight develop is a rewarding experience that strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend.


As I conclude this guide on when cats start opening their eyes, I hope it has provided you with valuable insights into your furry friend’s early development. Witnessing the gradual opening of their eyes is an exciting moment, and understanding the stages of their eye-opening process can bring a deeper appreciation for their growth.

It is crucial to remember that every kitten is unique, and their eye-opening journey may vary. However, by understanding the typical age and stages of their eye-opening process, you can monitor their development and assist in their growth.

As your cat’s eyes continue to mature, they will reach significant milestones, such as improved focus and depth perception, and enhanced night vision. It is remarkable to witness their visual capabilities evolve and adapt to their surroundings.

Finally, it takes some time for cats to see clearly, and their visual abilities increase gradually. As pet owners, it is crucial to provide a safe and stimulating environment that supports their visual development.

So, celebrate your furry friend’s eye-opening journey and appreciate the wonders of their evolving vision.


Q: When do cats start opening their eyes?

A: Cats typically start opening their eyes between 7 to 10 days after birth.

Q: At what age do kittens open their eyes?

A: Kittens usually open their eyes around 7 to 14 days old, but it can vary.

Q: What are the stages of kittens’ eye opening process?

A: Kittens’ eyes go through stages, starting with a small slit-like opening that gradually expands until the eyes are fully open.

Q: How do newborn kittens’ eyes develop?

A: The eyes of newborn kittens develop rapidly in their early days, with important eye structures forming and visual capabilities progressing.

Q: What are some cat eye-opening milestones?

A: Cats reach milestones such as improved focus, depth perception, and enhanced night vision as their eyes continue to develop and mature.

Q: How long does it take before cats can see clearly?

A: It takes some time for cats’ vision to fully develop after their eyes open. The period can vary, but they gradually gain visual clarity.

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