Is It Normal For Newborn Kittens To Twitch?

Welcome to our blog, where we embark on a journey into the magical world of newborn kittens.

These tiny creatures may be small in size, but they are big in personality and cuteness overload. As devoted cat lovers ourselves, we know that every little movement or sound from our furry friends can bring us endless joy and wonder.

That’s why when we see our newborn kittens twitching or jerking in their sleep, it’s hard not to stop and watch in amazement. But fear not, dear reader, for this is completely normal behavior for these curious little beings.

So, sit back, relax, and let’s unravel this adorable mystery together.

Is It Normal For Newborn Kittens To Twitch?


But before you panic, it’s important to understand that twitching is a normal behavior in newborn kittens. As an expert in feline behavior, I am here to provide you with some insights and information on this common occurrence.

Understanding Twitching in Newborn Kittens:

Twitching in newborn kittens can refer to a range of movements, from slight tremors or shudders to more pronounced jerks or spasms. These movements can occur all over the kitten’s body, including the head, limbs, and tail. While it may seem alarming to see your tiny kitten twitching, it is actually a natural reflex and is usually nothing to worry about.

Factors That Contribute to Twitching:

Developing Nervous System:

Similar to other animals, kittens are born with an immature nervous system that is still developing and learning how to regulate itself. During this stage, it is common for them to experience involuntary movements such as twitching.

Milk Reflex:

A kitten’s body may also twitch when they are nursing on their mother’s milk. This reflex helps stimulate milk production and can continue even when the kitten is not nursing.


Newborn kittens spend most of their time sleeping and their brains are still developing. As they enter their REM sleep cycle, which is essential for brain development, they may experience muscle twitches and jerks.


As newborns, kittens have small stomachs and need to nurse frequently. When they are trying to nurse, you may notice them twitching as they try to latch onto their mother’s nipple.

Body Temperature:

Kittens are not able to regulate their body temperature until they are around three weeks old. Therefore, they may twitch when they are cold as a way to generate heat and regulate their body temperature.

When to Be Concerned:

In most cases, twitching in newborn kittens is completely normal and does not require any intervention or treatment. However, it is important to monitor the frequency and intensity of the twitching. Excessive or persistent twitching may indicate an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. If you notice that your kitten is twitching excessively or seems uncomfortable, it is best to consult a veterinarian for a thorough examination.

The Causes of Twitching in Newborn Kittens

As a cat owner, it can be alarming to see your newborn kitten twitching. You may wonder if it is normal or if there is something wrong with your little furball. While occasional twitching is a common and normal behavior in newborn kittens, excessive or persistent twitching could be a sign of an underlying issue that requires proper attention. In this blog post, we will discuss the potential causes of twitching in newborn kittens and emphasize the importance of seeking medical care if needed.

Causes of Twitching in Newborn Kittens:

Feline Neonatal Isoerythrolysis (FNI):

One of the most common reasons for twitching in newborn kittens is FNI. This occurs when a kitten’s blood type is incompatible with the mother’s milk, leading to an immune response that causes muscle tremors and twitching. This condition can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.

Low Blood Sugar:

Newborn kittens are completely dependent on their mother’s milk for nourishment. If the mother cat is unable to produce enough milk or a kitten is not nursing adequately due to illness or weakness, it can lead to low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. This can cause seizures and twitching in newborn kittens.


Roundworms and hookworms are common parasites in cats that can be passed from the mother to her kittens through the placenta or milk. These parasites can cause muscle tremors and twitching as they travel through the kitten’s body.

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Underlying Medical Conditions:

In some cases, twitching may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition such as infection or neurological disorder. It is crucial for cat owners to monitor their kittens closely and seek veterinary care if they notice any other concerning symptoms along with the twitching.

Birth Defects, Toxins, and Metabolic Disorders:

Other potential causes of twitching in newborn kittens include birth defects, exposure to toxins, and metabolic disorders. These conditions require immediate attention from a veterinarian.

When to Seek Help:

As mentioned earlier, occasional twitching in newborn kittens is normal and no cause for concern. However, if you notice excessive or persistent twitching, it is important to seek help from a veterinarian. Additionally, if your kitten shows any other concerning symptoms such as difficulty breathing, lethargy, or loss of appetite, it is essential to seek medical care immediately.

The Role of the Developing Nervous System

As cat owners, we all know the feeling of wanting to protect and care for our furry friends. From their first cries to their first steps, we want to make sure everything is going smoothly for our newborn kittens. One thing that may catch your attention during this time is their twitching. While some twitching is normal for newborn kittens, excessive or persistent twitching can be a cause for concern. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of monitoring twitching in newborn kittens and why seeking veterinary care if necessary is crucial for the development of their nervous system.

Understanding the Developing Nervous System of Newborn Kittens

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At birth, a kitten’s nervous system is still developing and is not fully functional. This means that their nerves and muscles are still learning to work together, which can result in involuntary muscle movements, including twitching. Similar to human babies, these twitches are a sign of a healthy developing nervous system and are often seen during the first few weeks of a kitten’s life.

External Stimuli and Reflex Responses

It’s also important to note that some twitching may be triggered by external stimuli, such as feeling cold or being touched. This reflex response is a natural instinct for newborn kittens and is similar to how human babies have a startle reflex when they hear a loud noise. These types of twitches are typically short-lived and should not be a cause for concern.

When Twitching Becomes a Cause for Concern

As your kitten grows and their nervous system continues to develop, the frequency and intensity of their twitches should decrease. If they persist into adulthood or become excessive or persistent, it could indicate a neurological disorder or injury. In these cases, it is crucial to seek veterinary care for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Why Seeking Veterinary Care is Important

As pet owners, it’s our responsibility to monitor our newborn kittens for any abnormal twitching and seek veterinary care if needed. Early detection and treatment of any potential issues can greatly improve the kitten’s quality of life. If left untreated, neurological disorders or injuries can lead to long-term consequences for your cat’s health and well-being.

REM Sleep and Twitching

That’s right, these tiny furballs can sleep up to 20 hours a day. But don’t be alarmed, this is completely normal and crucial for their development. Just like human babies, newborn kittens experience different stages of sleep, including rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. In this section, we’ll delve deeper into the role of REM sleep and twitching in the growth and development of newborn kittens.

So, what exactly is REM sleep? During this stage, the brain is active and the body is essentially paralyzed to prevent the kitten from acting out their dreams. This is important because it allows them to process information and experiences from the day, which is crucial for their overall growth and development. Think of it as their little brains taking a break to recharge and grow.

But why do newborn kittens twitch during REM sleep? These twitches are a natural part of the sleep cycle and are not a cause for concern. You may notice small jerky movements in their paws, whiskers, or even their whole body. This is completely normal and helps with brain development and learning. It’s like their bodies are practicing for all the pouncing and playing they’ll do when they’re awake.

Now, as cute as it may be to watch your little kitten twitching in their sleep, it’s important not to disturb them. Interrupting their sleep cycle can disrupt their growth and development. However, if you notice excessive twitching or if the kitten seems uncomfortable or in distress, it is best to consult with a veterinarian.

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It’s also important to note that while twitching during REM sleep is normal, if you observe twitching while the kitten is awake or during non-REM sleep, it could be a sign of a neurological issue and should be checked by a vet. Some factors that can affect the amount of REM sleep and twitching in newborn kittens include their age, breed, and environment. As they grow and mature, the amount of REM sleep will decrease.

Hunger and Twitching in Kittens

Newborn kittens are tiny bundles of joy that require constant care and attention to thrive. As a cat owner, it’s essential to understand your kitten’s needs, including their feeding habits and behaviors. One common behavior that may cause concern for cat owners is twitching in newborn kittens.

Twitching in kittens is often a sign of hunger or discomfort. Just like human babies, kittens need to nurse frequently to get the necessary nutrients for growth and development. This constant need for nourishment can lead to twitching, especially when they are not getting enough milk from their mother.

However, if your kitten continues to twitch even after feeding, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue. Low blood sugar levels, infections, or neurological problems can also cause twitching in kittens. That’s why it’s crucial to monitor your kitten’s weight gain as it can be an indicator of their milk intake.

A healthy newborn kitten should gain around 10-15 grams per day in the first few weeks of life. If your kitten is not gaining weight or is losing weight, it could be a sign of inadequate milk intake, and supplemental feeding may be necessary.

In some cases, twitching in kittens can also be caused by gastrointestinal issues such as constipation or diarrhea. These issues can arise due to changes in the mother’s diet or if the kitten has difficulty nursing due to competition with littermates.

It’s also essential to note that some breeds of kittens, such as Siamese and Oriental breeds, are genetically predisposed to twitching or tremors at a young age. These episodes are usually harmless and will resolve on their own as the kitten grows.

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If your newborn kitten is exhibiting twitching or shaking episodes, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment. They will be able to determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate care for your kitten.

Body Temperature and Twitching in Newborn Kittens

Newborn kittens are undeniably adorable, with their small and fragile bodies and curious little faces. As a cat owner, it is natural to be concerned about every little movement your kitten makes. Twitching is a common behavior in newborn kittens, but what does it mean? Is it something to worry about?

In this article, we will dive into the relationship between body temperature and twitching in newborn kittens and why it is important to monitor these factors. As an expert on the topic, I have researched and gathered information from reliable sources to provide accurate and relevant information for cat owners like you.

Understanding twitching in newborn kittens

Firstly, it’s essential to understand that twitching is a normal part of a kitten’s development. Their nervous system is still developing, which can cause involuntary jerking movements in their body. These movements can be seen in their legs, tails, or even their whole body. If your kitten is otherwise healthy and active, these movements are nothing to worry about.

The role of body temperature

However, twitching can also be a sign of low body temperature in newborn kittens. Kittens need to maintain a body temperature between 95-99 degrees Fahrenheit to survive. If their body temperature drops below 95 degrees, they may experience tremors and twitching as their body tries to regulate its temperature.

The importance of monitoring body temperature in newborn kittens

So why is monitoring body temperature important for newborn kittens? As mentioned earlier, their small and developing bodies are more susceptible to changes in temperature. A mother cat’s body heat is crucial for keeping her litter warm during the first few weeks of their life. However, if the mother cat is unable to provide enough warmth or has abandoned her litter, it is crucial to monitor the kitten’s body temperature and provide external heat sources like warm blankets or heating pads set on low.

When should you seek medical attention?

While twitching can be a normal part of a kitten’s development, excessive twitching and shivering can also be a sign of hypothermia, a dangerous condition that requires immediate medical attention. Other signs of hypothermia in newborn kittens include pale gums, weak or shallow breathing, and lethargy. If you suspect that your kitten is experiencing hypothermia, it is crucial to seek veterinary care immediately.

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Monitoring Your Kitten’s Twitching

As a cat owner, you may have noticed your newborn kitten twitching in their sleep or even while awake. While this behavior may seem concerning at first, it is a normal part of their development. However, it is still important to monitor their twitching and be aware of any abnormal behaviors or symptoms that may accompany it. As an expert on the topic, I will share with you the importance of monitoring your kitten’s twitching and how to identify any potential issues.

Firstly, let’s understand why kittens twitch in the first place. Newborn kittens have an underdeveloped nervous system, which means their muscles and reflexes are not fully controlled yet. This results in involuntary muscle movements, including twitching. Additionally, these reflexes play a crucial role in a kitten’s coordination and balance, so twitching can actually be seen as a positive sign of their healthy growth.

To monitor your kitten’s twitching, it is essential to observe them during both their waking and sleeping hours. During sleep, twitching may be more frequent and intense as their brain is actively processing information. This is completely normal and should not raise any concern. However, if the twitching persists while the kitten is awake or becomes excessive, it may be a cause for concern.

In such cases, it is crucial to also look out for any other abnormal behaviors or symptoms that may accompany the twitching. These can include difficulty walking, trouble eating, or unusual crying. If you notice any of these signs, it may be best to consult with a veterinarian for further guidance.

Moreover, regularly monitoring your kitten’s body temperature can also give you valuable insights into their health. A low body temperature can be a sign of illness or infection, which may also cause excessive twitching in kittens. Therefore, keeping a close eye on their temperature can help you catch any potential issues early on.


In summary, it is perfectly normal for newborn kittens to twitch. As they navigate their way through the world, these tiny creatures are constantly developing and refining their nervous system. Twitching is a natural part of this process and can be seen as a sign of a healthy kitten.

But don’t let their small size fool you – these little ones are full of surprises. From their first meows to their playful pounces, every movement is a delight to witness. And twitching is no exception.

As cat lovers ourselves, we know how important it is to understand and monitor our feline companions’ behavior. While twitching in newborn kittens is usually nothing to worry about, it’s always wise to keep an eye out for any unusual symptoms or behaviors that may indicate an underlying issue.

From the causes of twitching to the role of REM sleep and body temperature, we hope this article has shed light on this adorable mystery for cat owners. Just remember, if you have any concerns about your kitten’s health or well-being, don’t hesitate to seek professional veterinary care.

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