Cat nursing: spot the odd one out

This a nice feel good cat photo. It is time for a bit of “feel good”. Sarah Hartwell recommended it!

Cat nursing a squirrel

Photo credit: ingur/mustardtits

It is not uncommon for interspecies mothering to take place: dogs raising leopards (see also dog saves kittens), cats raising rabbits, cats raising dogs and in this instance a cat nursing a squirrel. As it happens this beautiful cat went under the porch of the house and fetched a second squirrel. She had brought in the first baby squirrel the day after she had given birth to her litter. What a great mum she is.

They live on a farm. I presume the baby squirrels had lost their mother.  On a different subject, cat geneticists would have a field day looking at this picture. Her kittens are (a) pure white (b) red tabby and (c) brown tabby…….oh and ticked tabby (the squirrel). Sarah Hartwell can give me some leads on why the coat types of the kittens are so diverse. Maybe the dad is a ginger and white tabby.

Note: my thanks to Sarah for pointing out the picture.

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Cat nursing: spot the odd one out — 12 Comments

  1. A really lovely photo I just love the way the little baby squirrel has got his mouth wide open around the teet 🙂
    With regards genetics is it possible that more than one cat fathered the kittens?

    • It perfectly possibly more than one male was involved. Without knowing the genders of the ginger and tabby kittens, it’s impossible to be certain though.

  2. The female appears to be poorly contrasting colourpoint or mink. Underneath that she’s a black/brown tabby tortie (you can see a cream blaze on the top of her head) with the white spotting gene. The rest can only be guessed at without knowing the kiteens’ genders.

    If mum is tabby tortie and dad is genetically tabby or genetically solid black, then the ginger kitten is a male (one X chromosome). If the dad is a ginger male, then that kitten might be a ginger female (female needs 2 X-chromosomes with the red gene).

    It’s likely that dad is genetically tabby or genetically solid black because one of the kittens is black/brown tabby (making the ginger kitten a male that inherited the red colour from mother).

    It’s also likely that dad is visually white, masking tabby/solid black, or that he has a high level of white spotting. That would result in the solid white kitten.

  3. What a lovely picture, pure contentment, humans could learn a lesson from this lovely cat mother who is so accepting of all her family no matter their differences.

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