Friday 5 August 2022

Viral video of mom reacting to the call of her kitten

Viral video of mom reacting to the call of her kitten
Viral video of mom reacting to the call of her kitten

In the video we see a mother racing home in response to her kitten's cry. This is a viral TikTok video (which I hate to be honest because of the sound track - horrible 😎) in which the owner of a mother and her kitten becomes involved. He or she holds the kitten up while they are crying and calling for their mother. The mother is some distance away but she races in to be with her kitten. It has touched a chord in the minds of viewers because it reinforces this beautiful connection between mother and kitten which is so evident in this video.

Of course, it is all entirely instinctive for a mother to respond like this. Clearly, the owner of this mother cat and kitten knew that this would be the mother's response and so he set up the whole thing. You might argue that this is slightly exploitative because the man is making a video on the back of this close connection and motherly instinct. It depends upon your point of view as to whether you see this as exploitative or not. It is beautiful and as mentioned it has touched a chord because it highlights the mother-kitten relationship.

Here is a little bit about the mother-kitten relationship. During the first few months of their lives kittens spend a great deal of time with their mum as you might expect. They say that the influence of the father in terms of raising the kitten is primarily genetic. In other words, the father simply mates with the mother and then clears off.  There is not always entirely the case because sometimes fathers are involved in the raising of their offspring. Under certain situations you might find several adult females helping each other raise their kittens. 

When kittens are between 26-32 days old, free-living mothers begin to bring killed prey back to the den for the kittens to consume. In their first introduction to solid food. And then she brings home live mice for the kittens to kill. The mother's interactions with her kitten are vital to their development both behaviourally and emotionally. 

Kittens who have been deprived of their maternal care are at a higher risk of developing aggressive and fearful behaviour. The weaning of a kitten from their mother's care is an important stage. Sometimes we see kittens to have been weaned too early and they develop what might be described as abnormal behaviours in trying to suckle on the arm or the year of their human owner. 

The experts say that "kittens should remain with their littermates and the mother cat until they are at least eight weeks old". That comes from Linda P Case in her book The Cat, Its Behaviour, Nutrition and Health.

Another author couple, Mel and Fiona Sunquist, state that kitten should not be removed from their mothers until about eight weeks of age. Separating them earlier can cause stress and behavioural problems as mentioned above.

The strong indication from the experts is that kittens should not be weaned from their mother until 12-14 weeks of age. I think this is an important statement because sometimes people who are involved in informal breeding of kittens want to release their kittens to their customers too early. This is cruel and immoral. And it can cause behavioural problems.

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