As an owner, you might be concerned about why your kitten has not opened its eyes yet.
It is, however, a natural thing, and you don’t have to be worried about it.
Newly born kittens are unable to open their eyes immediately and see.
It may take some time for their eyes to develop completely.
Why Is There a Film Covering My Kitten’s Eyes?
When your kitten opens its eyes, you might find a thin film covering them.
The eyes of kittens continue to develop even after their birth.
So, the film is present as a protective measure.
This film is called the nictitating membrane.
It shields the eyes from exposure to external factors while the kittens are maturing.
The film produces tears to keep the kittens’ (and adult cats’) eyes moisturized.
This film is also found in many other mammals like camels, seals, and polar bears and protect their eyes.
It is also known as a third eyelid or haw.
So, the inner film keeps the cat’s eyes covered and protected while they sleep.
That’s why cats can sometimes sleep with open eyes.
This protective film is the result of a long series of evolution.
What Things to Keep in Mind?
When kittens start to open their eyes, they usually shed the first film.
After this, a new inner film grows back. Some kittens, however, may not be ready.
So, they might take some days before shedding.
So, the owner must make sure not to subject the kittens to bright and intense light until they develop their eyes.
The kittens may need to adapt to the process of birth, and it may be overwhelming for them.
You don’t want to subject them to any more stressful conditions as it may cause serious problems.
When the kittens are ready to shed the film, a tiny slit will appear on their eyes.
This slit will get bigger with time.
Eventually, the eyes will open, and the film will start to fall off.
What to do If The Kitten Don’t Open Its Eyes?
It is recommended to visit a vet if your kitten does not open its eyes even after two weeks have passed.
Although it is a rare scenario, it is still better to get your kitten checked.
Don’t try to pry open the eyes!
It can damage their eyes.
Just clean them periodically and gently, by wiping gently with a wet and clean cloth.
Cats also produce eye gunk while sleeping.
This gunk is made by the mucus membrane.
It is usually due to the dust, dead cells, and oils accumulated in the eyes while sleeping.
Allergies can also produce excessive gunk.
So, regularly cleaning the eyes is necessary.
What are Common Eye Problems in Kittens?
If there is an odd form of discharge oozing out of the kitten’s eyes, or if you find the eyes swollen, consult a vet!
They may be suffering from an eye infection, and your vet will be able to prescribe the appropriate medication to deal with it.
Another issue in kittens, albeit not serious like an infection, is of burning and dry eyes.
If the protective film is not fully developed, then the eyes might not be moisturized.
Eventually, it may irritate their eyes.
Also, if your kitten is blinking excessively, it means that their eyes are not moisturizing properly.
You should consult with a vet, and get eye drops to cure the issue.
In the end, we indeed love our kittens, and every little problem with them might worry us.
What’s important is to keep a calm head and check the severity of the issue.
If some concern arises, don’t try to do things yourself and visit a vet!