Behavior

April 2011 Issue

Is It Really a Mother’s Love?

Do you have two cats that are related? The nature of this relationship can often predict how well they get along.

If anyone has learned to accept the empty nest syndrome, itís the mother cat who watches her kittens leave one by one by at about 12 weeks or so ó either through adoption or by wandering off to fend for themselves. So itís interesting to see how mother cats and their kittens behave when they remain together in the same household. Sibling Rivalry? "The least amount of conflict occurs with cats that have been brought up together," says Katherine A. Houpt, VMD, the emeritus James Law Professor of Animal Behavior at Cornell Universityís College of Veterinary Medicine. "Feline siblings often become friends in the household."

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