Kittens – fourth week – Teddy does bums too9 August, 2006
One of the many joys of a mother cat is cleaning kittens bums (see photo above).
In case you weren’t aware, a mother cat will lick the bum of a kitten and that causes the kitten to relax the muscles around that area and pee and poo. What’s amazing is that mother cat will then swallow the pee and poo so that the smells don’t attract predators. That’s how it was when cats were living in the wild, and that’s how it is even today. It must be one of the less pleasant tasks of being a mother cat. But who knows, maybe eau-de-kitten is one of those secret pleasures that only mother cats know about. How many human mothers would go that far? All I can say is … I would make a bad mother cat, let alone a mother human.
I have a male neuter, Teddy. Teddy is the light of my life, he is a cuddle wuss and typifies the “gentle giant” aspect that all Maine Coon owners rave about.
Teddy has been keeping an eye on the kittens ever since I let him near them. He used to lie on the kitten box and watch the kittens suckling and being washed by mum.
So, should it surprise me when I caught him licking, and doing the bums of the kittens? The way he smacked his lips after a particular long and moist session reminded me of a wine taster committing a vintage to memory.
I wondered also whether neutering had perhaps feminised him. No matter, I think mum cat is grateful for a little helping hand with the kittens. It can’t be easy (no matter how tasty) to have to do 7 bums.
Teddy’s a little rougher than mum cat though – he just forgets his strength. This morning I caught him with a paw wrapped round the neck of a kitten, clutching it close to him as he groomed it. The kitten was paralysed, and I was afraid that Teddy had strangled it, but it was still alive and kicking. Maybe kittens are tougher than I give them credit for. I extricated the kitten though because it had a look on its face that said “help! Uncle Ted wants to eat me!”