Brave mother cat climbs through fenced gate with kittens in mouth

You have to be very impressed with this mom. She is brave and strong. She finds a way through this gate which is a considerable obstacle for her. She manages by using all her athleticism and courage. A testament to the strong mothering instincts of the domestic, stray and feral cat. You see the classic scruff of the neck 'bite' of the kittens which pacifies them allowing her to take control without interference from struggling kittens.

I am sometimes astounded at the skills of feline mothers in their abilities to overcome obstacles when relocating her family to a new den. They move their kittens quite often depending on the potential threat. This cat is clearly a community cat or she may be a working cat. It is clearly a building that is in use.

Community cat navigates through a tricky barrier with her kitten in her mouth to relocate to a new den
Community cat navigates through a tricky barrier with her kitten in her mouth to relocate to a new den

Community cat navigates through a tricky barrier with her kitten in her mouth to relocate to a new den
Community cat navigates through a tricky barrier with her kitten in her mouth to relocate to a new den

During the first weeks after birth, the mother provides three essentials: milk, warmth and security. She also has to stimulate urination and defecation. Kittens cannot manage this on their own. They lick each kitten's genital region at regular intervals which stimulates them to evacuate and she consumes what they produce to keep the nest clean and dry. The kittens begin to taste solid foods as they move into the second month of life. If the nest is approached by anyone or anything which is a threat to the kittens, she will defend them bravely and ferociously.

People still believe that the father of kittens is predisposed to killing them to bring the mother back into heat which is what you see when an incoming group of male lions take over a pride but this does not happen with respect to stray and domestic tomcats. Observations of European wildcats which is the precursor of the domestic cat reveal that far from being kitten-killers the males sometimes actively participate in rearing their young. This is been observed in zoos but in the wild where cats have very large territories the chances of a tomcat coming across a female in her den with her kittens is quite remote and therefore there is little opportunity for him to exercise paternal care and even paternal infanticide.

Dr. Morris says that in a zoo setting where there is a greater likelihood of a tomcat meeting his kittens one of four reactions occurs: he simply ignores the kittens or behaves paternally towards them or the female attacks him as he approaches and that drives him away and fourthly the male kills the kittens but this is extremely rare. The three former ways are more likely. Dr. Morris explains the reason why a tomcat might kill his kittens and he describes the event as accidental. 

He tries to mate with a kitten and grabs the kitten by the scruff of the neck in his mouth as is typical for a male cat mating with a female. The kitten struggles and he bites tighter and tighter and finally kills the kitten accidentally. That is Dr. Morris' explanation of how a male stray or domestic cat might end up killing his kittens but this is not deliberate infanticide.

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

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