Have you ever got lost in a crowd? Do you remember how your mother reacted to it? Was she in distress? Was she worried about not finding you ever again? Your answers to these must be a yes. It is obvious for humans to have a stronger connection than any other living creature on Earth and when it’s a mother and a child relation, it is exceptional. You must have seen your mother’s unconditional love towards you. It will be difficult for you to even think, that a mother can ever forget her child. Isn’t that so?
Welcome to a new episode of Random Thoughts! Today we are going to reveal some unbelievable facts so get your popcorns ready and come with us to unfold if cats really do remember their babies?
Cats give birth to a litter that has usually around 3 or more kittens. She loves them unconditionally just like your mother loves you because a mother is a mother no matter a human or an animal. She takes care of her little kittens, grooms them, feeds them and teaches them the do’s and don’ts of living, from doing pee to hunting the prey, all are taught by the mother cat. Even after she nurtures them, it is hard to believe that cats forget their babies.
A lot of questions must be fuming in your mind as to how can a cat forget her own babies?
Cat spends most of her early motherhood weeks around her litter in the same environment where they develop a distinct scent. This lets them know this is their safe haven. So how do they create that environment? Cat marks the boundaries of her territory with her scent. If you own a cat, you must have noticed, it licks you and the things around it or brushes its body against the chairs and tables and even around your feet. You might feel it does that to show affection. That is true but also, it marks its territory by leaving its scent to claim its ownership. Through this, it is able to identify what belongs to her and who is its friend.
Similarly, a mother cat and her kittens lick or rub each other’s cheeks, paws and faces to exchange their scents to create a bond of familiarity and belongingness with each other. Most of the kittens from different litter seems identical. So how do the cats identify their own kittens? There comes the scent. Every kitten has a distinct scent mixed with her mother’s scent and a unique meow that helps the cat identify her litter. It might seem confusing to you as humans detect their family members through face identity. But that is not the case with cats. Cats depend on scent, not vision to recognize each other.
Here comes the interesting part you were waiting for. Now we are clear how the cat validates her babies, it is through the scent. When a kitten or a grown-up cat leaves the territory or it’s mother’s nest, after a few weeks the mother wouldn’t recognize her. A little confused? Let’s make it simpler to understand. When kittens losses contact with its birth family, it adopts the scent of another environment it moves in. When a mother sees her baby after a few weeks, she denies her belonging as she is unable to catch the usual scent. Even the baby doesn’t recognize its own litter as it adopts a different scent and forgets it’s the early territorial scent. When you take one of your kittens to veterinarian, take her favorite blanket with you. Before returning it to its litter, rub that blanket on her so it regains its usual scent overcoming the clinical scent as there are chances that the litter may deny the kitten because they may sense an unusual scent. It is more common for a male kitten to leave the litter as it plans to mark his own territory while female kitten stays longer with her mother and help her raise future litter kittens.
Are you thinking of adopting a cat, or do you feel the unease that you might be unfair to them, taking them away from their mother? You might think it is distressing for a mother to lose her kitten. Every mother sorrows the loss of their children. Humans tend to sorrow for years or even their whole lives. Cats do not follow this trend. After the cat loses her baby, she searches and meows for a response, but a few days later, she forgets and moves back in her normal life. Similarly, the kitten might not eat for a few days and might seem sad and lost, but then it adapts to the environment itself. It is a little difficult for kittens to survive alone as they are not well trained than the grown-up cats who are ready to face the circumstances.
If you find a lost kitten, what would you do? Apart from cats forget their babies, cats are willing to adopt a new kitten to her litter. When a friend of a cat gives birth, the aunt cat helps her in nurturing the kittens and even feed them her own milk. So if you find a lone kitten, you can add her to your cat’s litter but remember to get her clinically checked.
This is what we found. If you enjoyed this video, do like, share and comment down below what are your thoughts as now you found out the cats really not care much about their lost kittens? Are you still planning to adopt one?