Do Cats Remember Their Mom and Siblings?

Female felines produce a big litter; thus, kittens get 4-8 siblings. Their moms also look after their offspring for an average of 14 weeks; therefore, siblings have plenty of time to know each other well. So, it seems logical to question if cats usually recognize one another if they meet after years.

Do cats remember their mom and siblings? Cats recognize each other based on a similar smell. Siblings often interact well, even after they hit maturity, and moms always treat their own offspring in a unique way from unknown cats. But, in case the siblings are split up, they could forget about one another because their mutual scent would no longer be present.

Evolution has led kitties to identify brothers and sisters in their kittenhood. If the mom remembers her babies and develops a bond with her children, she would care for and protect them, and if the kitties identify their mom, they would stick with her. When the babies are old enough, she’ll greet all cats equally, despite the fact that they belong to her.

Do cats remember their mom and siblings?
Image credit: Ermal Tahiri from Pixabay

Can cat moms recognize their kittens?

Several investigations have been conducted to determine whether felines have an inherent intuition about who their offspring are. The majority of felines would welcome any kitty who needs to feed on them. You may introduce kittens from multiple moms to a single mom, and she would usually welcome all. So it stands to reason that felines probably do not possess a strong intrinsic intuition about which offspring are “theirs.” They look after any kittens that happen to be in their breeding area.

Nevertheless, cats frequently utilize smell to identify familiar cats. Typically, a mom would take care of infants who spend a lot of time in her breeding area because they “smell” similar to her own kittens. It would be applicable even if she didn’t give birth to the kittens.

As a result, the mom appears to be unaware of which babies she has given birth to. She may tell which babies are “hers” depending on their smell and presence in her breeding chamber. When one of the babies goes missing, she will realize and search for them. But, this is not always the reality. Cats can sometimes be unaware of their reduced number of offspring.

If the babies are raised together and not split, the mom might recognize them as her offspring as they get older. She won’t, nevertheless, form the same kind of mother-child bond that exists between people. Cats are not known to establish “family” connections.

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How long does a cat remember her separated kittens?

It is influenced by the circumstances. Whenever the babies turn around 12 weeks of age, have been nursed, and become mature and independent, their mother would no longer interact with her kids in an exact way. It just doesn’t always imply that she has totally ignored them; rather, it only means that she is aware that she is no longer responsible for caring for the kids.

She could even be aggressive towards them in specific instances, such as when they lie in her favored area. If she keeps grooming them, she might be able to maintain a deep connection with certain cats. Sometimes, she might act almost as if she doesn’t recognize the kittens.

Considering that we are unable to speak with the cat directly, we cannot determine whether or not she recalls her offspring. However, she won’t have the same parental connection with them forever. Rather, she’ll sometimes begin considering them like ordinary cats, rather than her own babies. This is significant since felines don’t form the same kind of family bonds as people do.

But, if the kitties are separated from their mom due to some circumstances prior to being nursed, the situation differs. The mother frequently tries to locate and call her kittens. This may occur if the kitties pass away without leaving their corpses for their mom to grieve for as well as when they are adopted before they have fully nursed.

Regardless, the mom would remember her offspring for several days and keep looking for them. She’ll stop looking at some point. This would take forever if the kitties are taken out well before they are ready to nurse. However, if kittens are between 10 and 12 weeks of age, most moms may continue looking for their babies for a short while before completely giving up. 

Do cats recall their siblings?

It is impossible to determine whether a cat actually remembers its siblings since we cannot directly communicate with them. Yet cats frequently don’t behave any differently around their siblings than they do with other cats. This is particularly valid when they were split up before being reunited. Based on the personalities of the kitties, they frequently display aggressive or insensitive behavior after being reintroduced.

Do cats remember their mom and siblings?
Image credit: Franz W from Pixabay

The only exception occurs when the kitties are raised in the same habitat with no separation. Even after they are weaned, some kitties could still groom and hug one another. The common fragrance between these kittens would keep them kind to one another.

Do felines get upset when they are separated from their kittens?

It is impossible to understand how the feline mom deals with the pain when her kittens are taken away. We are aware that the majority of moms don’t appear to care too much whether their kitties have finished nursing. In reality, many mother felines might have an aggressive and irritable attitude toward their offspring beyond 12 weeks.

Some could keep loving and grooming a few offspring, usually with other felines. It appears that the temperament of the mother feline affects a lot after giving birth and it could not be true in many cases. If the mom is generally friendly with other felines, she becomes less prone to be hostile against her offspring.

Do cats remember their mom and siblings?
Image credit: Kadres from Pixabay

In any case, once the babies have nursed at roughly 12 weeks, their mom is less inclined to consider them “her” offspring. If the babies are taken beyond this stage, the mother feline will most likely not pay attention or be concerned. It is unusual for the mom to meow loudly and search for her offspring once they have been nursed.

However, a lot relies on the mother feline and the condition of the offspring when they are separated prior to being nursed. Even though the babies are snatched away while they are quite small, some new mothers might not even show any signs of sadness. She is still learning how things are meant to run.

In most cases, the cat will be upset as a result of the separation of kittens for a while since they are just 2–3 weeks old. It might take her weeks to find them. The mother feline would probably just be upset for a couple of days if the offspring are taken near 12 weeks and before they have been fully breastfed.

It might be difficult to predict how long the mother feline would be in pain. It is mostly determined by the feline’s personality as well as other variables that humans do not fully realize. Some felines might not display any signs of suffering during one litter but then exhibit extreme pain for another.

Do cats think of their owners as their mothers?

Cats exhibit their people care and devotion that they would normally usually express to their mothers. Because of this, many people assume their cats consider them their mothers.

Although behaviorists and veterinarians agree that felines do not consider humans as their moms, they do respect their owners with respect and affection as they would show their own mothers. Cats know that their owners are their sole caretakers and providers.

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Final Thought

Cats actually don’t recall their mothers, which may seem upsetting. They can’t recall since they can’t identify other felines by their faces. To evaluate if they can recall the scent of some other cat, they utilize their senses of smell. It’s possible that your feline recognizes the smell of its mom.

Although cats can not recall their moms, they do regard their caretakers as their parents. They treat caretakers in the same way they love their biological moms.

In contrast to humans, felines don’t form the same kinds of familial bonds. They don’t recall their mothers, but that doesn’t imply they don’t experience pain when they’re initially separated. Cats don’t lack emotions; rather, felines are just the opposite of humans, which is possibly why people find cats to be so adorable.

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