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One of my male cats is acting as a foster dad for a litter of 2 kittens,one a male also.Is it normal

Our most recently rescued litter,one named Igloo and one named Panther,are living in our barn with their mother(Sunset) One of our most dominent toms,Elvis,seems to be guarding and protecting these kittens when the mother is gone or resting,even though he has never fathered a litter of his own.Any ideas for his behavior?

Best Answers

  • Joy WaltersJoy Walters Member Posts: 9,276
    Accepted Answer
    One thing I've learned in my limited experience with cats is that with them, there is no such thing as "normal". ;-) I've seen males protect babies and I've also seen the results of a territorial male tomcat who didn't want the threat of kittens around. I've even seen kittens try to nurse off a male. Just like in humans, there are some males who have gotten an extra dose of the nurturing "gene", and it sounds like Elvis is one of them. If he's neutered, his territorial instincts are much less than in an intact male. If he's not neutered, then perhaps this is his "feminine side" taking over. In any case, give him ear skrtiches from us and tell him he's doing a good job!
  • angelhelp hairballangelhelp hairball Member Posts: 1
    Accepted Answer
    Our mom had a year-old male, Nux Vomica, littermate of Toes (another male), to which she added a male 6-wk-old kitten, Furpur, from the local shelter. Furpur had apparently never stopped trying to nurse. He spent the next 18 years nursing on Mux Vomica, who seemed quite accepting of the entire procedure. Nux Vomica was the welcoming committee for all cats new to the household, right up to the day he died at age 19. Whenever we heard LOUD purring and slurping, we'd know Furpurwas nursing again and that the older one was quite content. Even after they were both "old men", this loud purring and slurping continued, with Furpur kneadingNux Vomica's tummy just as if he expected to get milk. I've always seen this as similar to a human child sucking his thumb, albeit in secret, for most (or all) of his life.
  • Lissa NicholsonLissa Nicholson SydneyMember Posts: 1,562
    Accepted Answer
    While it might not be expected in most situations, it is certainly very acceptable :) It sounds like you have a lovely boy there in Elvis. Fui loves it when we have fosters, much more so than his sister. While they have never tried to suckle off him, I think he sees himself as their big brother, and will give long cleaning and poop covering demonstrations. I have fostered a litter that tried for days to suckle off my friends little Maltese cross- a male Maltese cross! He just lay there! I've also heard of a female dog who began producing milk for a litter of 3 week old kittens, whose mother had passed away (they were in the same family). They suckled from her for a week, which was enough to get them bigger and healthier, and ready for big kitten food. There are lots of miracles and magic in nature:)
  • Kate HorrellKate Horrell Member Posts: 12
    Accepted Answer
    I have a male Murphy and when I foster momma & babies he is the one who lets them climb on him and he takes his paws and gently taps them. It seems like he knows that their kittens.
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