Saffy’s kittens are 18 days old this morning – and what a change you’ll see since our last update! Everyone’s eyes are open, and the kittens are surprisingly mobile (when they want to be). Mostly, they eat and sleep, but we are seeing the very first signs of playful interaction between them beyond just falling asleep randomly on each other or fighting over a space to feed. Amazingly, Saffy has kept them in the original birthing box – we’re not sure whether she’s just super-comfortable with this litter, or whether the kittens themselves are just easier for her to handle. In her previous litters, she’d moved the babies to a new nest after only a few days. Everyone is making good, steady progress – seven is a large number to feed, so we’re helping Saffy to “top up” a couple of kittens each day, which reduces the load on her milk supply without too much interference. These kittens are purring already, which is early in our experience, but quite delightful – especially when they drop off to sleep in a pile which gives Saffy a chance for a much-needed break!
You’ll see from our photos the clear differences between the Tonkinese pattern kittens and the Burmese pattern ones – but otherwise there’s hardly anything else to distinguish them at the moment so you’ll see splotches of purple in the pictures where the kittens are marked with gentian violet. Everyone is weighed twice a day which helps us make sure they are making the best possible progress, and lets us work out who to give extra milk. For more about the daily ritual of weighing – check out our article here.
Over the next couple of weeks we’re expecting some or all of the kittens to make their break for freedom from the birthing box, or for Saffy to move them herself to a larger nest we’ve prepared for her. We might also see some of the kittens start the early stages of weaning – we would rather this litter start earlier, but only if they are ready. We are working on pedigree and pet names, which as usual for us will be music-themed, and will be able to share those soon.
Click on the kittens for a larger view!