Kitten copies mother’s yawn

Nothing much to say here except that it looks like this cute kitten is copying her mother’s yawn and if so why? Rather than following her mother’s behaviour it may be that she has been encouraged to yawn when watching her mother. Yawns are contagious as humans know.

Kitten copies mother's yawn
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Kitten copies mother’s yawn? Screenshot.

I prefer the first assessment. I think the kitten is learning from her mother by observation – a well known behaviour – which normally centres around how to hunt and kill prey in the wild. It appears to have extended to everything!

There is a third possibility; pure coincidence, but if you watch carefully the mother yawns first and at that moment the kitten is licking her lips. I think the mother also licked her lips but the video clip starts just after that. You can see a fleeting moment of it at the beginning. If this is correct it confirms that the kitten is learning by observing her mother. In other words, the mother licked her lips and yawned, followed by the exact same behaviour of her offspring.

My conclusion, therefore, in trying to explain this snapshot of feline behaviour is that the kitten is following her mother’s behaviour as part of the process of growing up.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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