Why Are Kittens Born Deaf & Blind?
Newborn kittens are born blind, deaf, and very cute. But few people know that infantile blindness and deafness is an evolutionary mechanism that allows you to grow a natural and fearsome predator in the future.
The fact that newborn kitties do not see or hear is taken for granted by many, although people are born hearing and sighted. And no one almost ever wonders what the reason for such differences between cat babies and human babies is. Some people do not care enough, while others do not know about it because they have never seen newborn puppies in their lives (they are also born blind and deaf) and kittens. People would also know that kittens are deprived of something else besides sight and hearing - they cannot go to the toilet themselves! This is because their excretion system has not yet had time to form sufficiently. What are the reasons for this? After all, they must be because, as we know, there are no meaningless trifles in nature.
Naturally, predators are hunters whose diet consists of carrion or animals they killed themselves or taken from another predator. But, on the other hand, Herbivores eat plant foods that need to be collected, not hunted down. Furthermore, rodents are divided into many species and subspecies, depending on their lifestyle, food habits, and habitat. Therefore, among rodents, there are both herbivorous and omnivorous species.
Kittens from birth are predatory animals. In other words, already at birth, they are future hunters. It is vital for such animals living in the natural environment to have sharp eyesight and excellent hearing. Naturally, both ears and eyes of kittens should be extremely healthy. Suppose an infection gets into the eyes or ears of a kitten after birth or during the prenatal period. In that case, this can turn into big problems in the future for a predator. Closed ears and eyes provide maximum protection from dangerous external influences. In addition, since newborn kittens are blind and deaf for some time after birth, they have to rely more on their sense of smell, which contributes to the development of this quality and will definitely come in handy in the future during hunting.
There is another reason for infantile blindness and deafness in kittens. Since cats are warm-blooded animals leading a reasonably active lifestyle, they need a large amount of food. It must be supplied constantly and without interruption, especially during pregnancy. Naturally, cats must constantly hunt since they do not want to take care of their pregnant females. The female must always remain in shape for the hunt to be successful. Otherwise, her running and jumping will be clumsy and, accordingly, ineffective. As a result, hunger will threaten both the female and her future kittens. Therefore, nature has provided cats with such a gift as a relatively short pregnancy, lasting from two to four months. Thanks to this, the female can hunt successfully and briskly until the end of her days, providing herself and future offspring with food. Still, for the same reason, her babies are born not fully developed and are too small. If they were more prominent, the female's body in the last stages of pregnancy would become too large and clumsy. Add to this the fact that the offspring of predators are always multiple and need more space in the mother's body than one child.
Do They Actually Need It?
There is also an assumption that at first, the newborn offspring of predators do not need either hearing or sight. Because for the first about three weeks, they will sit in their parent's lair, from which they will emerge only when they develop normal vision and hearing.
From the first minutes of life, they need hearing and vision to hear and see their mother, follow her, and navigate in space. After all, herbivores rarely have holes in which they could hide, and in most cases, they lead a nomadic lifestyle. Therefore, a newborn cub must stand on its feet from birth and continue the journey along with adult animals.
If you would like to dive deeper into the loving world of cat owning there is no better place to start than here.