What is this Bengal cat saying to her kittens?

Bengal cat mother reassuring her offspring
Bengal cat mother reassuring her offspring
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I suppose it is pretty obvious what this Bengal cat mother is saying to her offspring. It will be the same sort of words and sounds that a human uses to reassure her young child.

It must be about providing reassurances to her kittens. The mother makes a trilling sound the kitten makes a faint kittenish meow.

The mother adds to the reassurance she provides by making physical contact as well. Nuzzling her kitten and touching him with her paw.

There is a great similarity with human behaviour. People who don’t like cats should recognise that. It may stop them mistreating cats.


“Are you alright?”

Mother makes baby noises.


“I want to get out of here and explore”


“Yes, dear” (while ignoring the request)


“I wanna get out”

Mother ignores request but is happy about the safety and welfare of her kittens.

Associated: cat giving birth.

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12 thoughts on “What is this Bengal cat saying to her kittens?”

  1. It appears that Mommy Cat wants her kittens out of the box. Maybe a bit of assistance from human parent would be so appreciated by Mommy Cat!I have raised cats for 30-years, of every sort.Love them.Meow*

    • Eva, thanks for that. I think the kittens want to explore (typical) but mother isn’t particularly interested in letting them probably for safety reasons.

      If you have some interesting stories or personal tips about raising cats, I’d like to hear them. Perhaps we could make them into an article.

  2. Dee, I certainly respect you and what you do for those colonies of ferals. Not many can handle such a job, with the love and compassion you show. Yet I do not understand why you describe the mother this way, especially when you are observing, painfully, the suffering that these cats go through.

    Please say more, so that I can understand more keenly?

    • Not really sure what you mean Caroline.
      I described a situation that happens, more than I like, where a mother cat will just abandon her babies rather than safe-guarding them in times of peril.
      I have no explanation for this but wonder if a mother cat’s instinct to protect her babies declines after having litter after litter.

  3. Interesting (but sad) observation, Dee. The abandonment may have been partly owing to inadequate food and shelter – i.e., both mother and offspring may have been pushed to the limit.(?)

    Another possible explanation – you know anatomical stuff, I don’t – but maybe it’s an undersized amygdala, or underdeveloped neural pathways. Scientists are saying that the SIZE of the amygdala determines the degree of compassion.

    Women can be poor mothers, too. One from the past: ‘Jennie,’ Winston Churchhill’s Ali McGraw lookalike mother, who didn’t enjoy spending much time with her little son.

    Women friends have often told me they didn’t care for infants before they had their own. To me, human babies are vaguely – well, not alarming, but slightly…can’t think of the word here. Which makes me suspect half of my amygdala is puny, and the other half hypertrophied – the half that targets the animal kingdom.

    My fur-kids were my sun & moon with the stars thrown in. Did they fascinate me? No. I could never sit and watch their cute antics for very long and feel fulfilled. But my love for them was excruciating.

    Nor are my maternal instincts confined to animals that wag their tails or purr. I have a rooted affection for my four pet spiders (each the size of a pea), and take great care to keep them fed. For spiders, they’re old as the hills. Have mothered them for three years and more, and they’re still going strong. Each gets a fly every week (a challenge during the winter, when you can stand outside for an hour, swatter in hand, looking for flies sunning themselves, poor things).

    The same goes for rodents & garter snakes and –the list goes on. Last month I was walking down a cobblestone alley near Seattle’s waterfront, an area with quaint shops, when all of sudden I smelled a rat. An enticing aroma? Not objectively so. Rather sickly sweet. But I had an instant uterine twinge – a maternal sensation – because the smell made me remember my two little girls from years ago. The same with pig manure. No — it’s not Chanel No. 5, but anyone with half a heart who smells it feels a surge of affection for these lovable folks.

    But have never seen a neglectful cat mother, and was shaken by your description.

    • I think you see the same behaviour in women in places like Africa. When there is a drought and people start to starve the most vulnerable die first, namely the infants. The mothers don’t sacrifice themselves for the sake of their children. When push comes to shove the kid dies first. Pure natural survival instinct.

  4. hmmm. . . Agreed with great pleasure Michael, you are a kitten and mom’s mind reader, and this is 100% love instinct which guide cat lovers like us to determine the actions and meanings of such actions in an other world of unknown langs & actions <3

    Love you Michael and thousand thanks for this article πŸ™‚

  5. Never really know what mother cats are thinking.
    I just brought 3 soaking wet babies inside from a litter down the road.
    Mama just seemed to have left them when it began to storm. I question the motherly instict all of the time when this happens so often.
    They run and seek shelter and leave the babies behind.

    • I think the behaviour you refer to is the result of the mother not being in a position to cope and mother her kittens. This happens when mother is starving herself and struggling to survive. I have read that some mothers will kill the runt for the same reason.

    • Thats such a shame do you think that just applies to feral cats Dee? I’ve never looked after any you see only domesticated moms and kittens and they’ve always been great mothers πŸ™‚

      • Perhaps, Leah.

        So many have litter after litter.
        These 3 babies are from the same residential colony that I took the beautiful, neglected grey baby from that died. The attitude is “I don’t care”. And, unbelievably, they just got a new kitten from the shelter.

        I think that it must be some sort of disease that some people love kittens and not cats when they are grown. That seems to be the case with these people.

        I’m not sure that I can manage another colony, especially one where no one cares.
        I can’t do it all but so wish that I could.


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