Zoology & Botany

Kitten

Prepare a picture of/book about/a toy kitten in advance, as well as a sample of fur

Say: Look at this animal. (Show a picture of a kitten.) This is a baby mammal.

Remember, to be classified as a mammal, an animal should have hair or fur, mammary glands (mammal mothers nurse their young with milk), lungs and need air to breathe. Mammals that live on land are warm blooded, have 4 legs and ears that stick out.

(Point to the kitten) Say: Inquisitive, energetic, exuberant and exhausting are all expressions that come to mind when trying to describe a little kitten. Kittens are born after a gestation that lasts between 64 and 67 days, with an average length of 66 days. Kittens emerge in a sac called the amnion, which is bitten off and eaten by the mother cat. Kittens are both blind and deaf when born but otherwise well developed. A newborn kitten has a very good sense of smell and it could select a teat to feed from and suck at no other. They are also unable to regulate their body temperature for the first three weeks, so kittens may die from hypothermia if their mother does not keep them warm. Kittens are living things and need energy to survive. The mother's milk is very important for the kittens' nutrition and proper growth. So mother cat provides them nutrition, warmth and security, and must even stimulate them to potty. Kittens open their eyes about seven to ten days after birth. Like puppies at first, the retina is poorly developed and vision is poor. Kittens are not able to see as well as adult cats until about ten weeks after birth. Kittens develop very quickly from about two weeks of age until their seventh week. Their coordination and strength improve. They play-fight with their litter-mates and begin to explore the world outside the nest or den. Play fighting among kittens may be a way for them to practice and learn skills for hunting and fighting. Go back to the picture of the kitten. Say: let’s find kitten’s body parts. This is its head, eyes, nose, mouth, body, legs: 1,2,3,4; this is its tail. Kittens have soft fur! (Approach the sample of fur next to the baby, let him touch and feel its softness) Say: As they reach three to four weeks old, the kittens are gradually weaned and begin to eat solid food, with weaning usually complete by six to eight weeks. Kittens generally begin to lose their baby teeth around three months of age, and have a complete set of adult teeth by nine months. After weaning, kittens live primarily on solid food but usually continue to suckle from time to time until separated from their mothers. Domestic kittens are highly social animals and enjoy human companionship. Only adults should handle young kittens. Young kittens are fragile and tiny, and even the best-behaved child may accidentally cause injury. We need to take care of Kittens and treat them with respect because they are living things just like us, people.

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