Cutest Animal Moms: Is Mother-hood Really an Instinctive Animal Trait?

Cutest Animal Mamas

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In Honor of Mother's Day

I always understood that there is nothing like a Mama Cat protecting her young, an instinctive and quite special trait that cats and many animals are just born with! There is that pre-birthing ritual where they seek out a suitable and safe "nest" in which to actually give birth and then care for their new born infants, close to food and water yet hidden away from potential dangers and threats.

I have indeed seen this in action and have learned that some animals really do make better mothers than others do, but then again, some have better resources, so maybe it isn't 100% instinctive. Like humans and every other creature, it is most probably a combination of factors that determines whether an animal will do an excellent job of mothering her young, so should we really generalize and assume that it is all instinctive?

Feral cats for example have a challenging life, even finding themselves enough food is a constant battle and many females are just barely six months old when they become pregnant with their first liter. Still a kitten themselves, it is hard to imagine that they will be able to care for a liter of crying babies. And sadly, many times they are not, inadvertently leaving their young in harm's way while out hunting for food or perhaps because of poor nutrition, her kittens are born sick, sometimes dead, which I can't categorize as poor mothering, just unfortunate circumstances.

I still remember so many animal mother-of-the-year worthy stories, like the mama cat, caught in a burning fire with her liter of kittens. Mama cat returned inside the burning home to rescue each kitten before finally exiting, badly burned and barely alive, she saved each and every kitten, without even a singed whisker. After the mother cat recovered, she actually made the papers and was adopted because of her parenting heroics and devotion to her babies.

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Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 3 years ago from California Author

My how time flies! You are a wise one vocalcoach and dear friend Audrey! I think this is why I love animals so much, they exhibit such remarkable behaviors without saying a word, we can indeed learn so much from them. Hope you are well and please come back soon! xoxo


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Is it possible that 2 years have gone by since I last commented on this precious hub? I just love it so. Had to come back and treat myself again.

There is so much to be learned from our animal friends. If we are still and listen as we watch them, a life-lesson will come just as clear as can be.

The 2 biggest lessons that I've learned is forgiveness and unconditional love. Thank you dear Kath!


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 4 years ago from California Author

Thanks for popping by phoenix2327! Nothing like a baby animal!


phoenix2327 profile image

phoenix2327 4 years ago from United Kingdom

So adorable. How did I not see this sooner.


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Greetings Ethel, I think you have a point there! lol Thanks for visiting!


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Thanks for your comments HBN! It is always a joy to see you. Interesting concept no doubt about it!


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 5 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

All baby animals are so cute whilst not all baby humans are. A lovely hub


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Wow! What a delightful hub. The photos were so beautiful and loving and the video was amazing.

You also raised some interesting points about how external circumstances, not just maternal instincts can play a role in how well a mother animal is able to parent her young.

Voted up across the board except for funny.


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Thanks Phoebe! It is adorable, I always wondered what it would be like to adopt a baby squirrel, although my cat would have a fit, no doubt!

Thanks for stopping in ;-)


Phoebe Pike 5 years ago

The squirrel video is too cute! I had to watch it twice because it was too sweet not to see again. :)


Ciao 5 years ago

WOW!


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

I think you are right tillsontitan! It is all about choice isn't it....For whatever reason, some Moms don't seem to take the responsibility that others do??

Thanks so much for commenting!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 5 years ago from New York

You said you didn't even realize that this hub about animal mothers relates so well to human mothers. Everyone has the mother instinct, whether they use it or not is another story! Nice hub with a great video. Voted up.


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Thanks d., I enjoy the squirrels too (even tolerate the way they dig up my plants...) and my cat seems to like watching them leap through the trees for hours! Not sure if she would like one as a brother or sister though :-)

There was a really tame old squirrel where I used to live - He would wander in and out to say hi every now and then...probably raised by people (?) I am not sure what made him so friendly...

Glad you came by - I thank you for your comments!


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south

What a beautiful article. I am so glad i ran across it. Loved all the pictures and especially that beautiful video. I love squirrels. (and cats). I would not mind having a squirrel for a pet. That would be cool. Although, the one cat i have left would probably eat it for lunch.


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

I so agree q! Animals are so vulnerable and they all deserve a loving forever home where they can thrive! Thanks so much for your comment - I really appreciate your concern and love for animals!


quester.ltd profile image

quester.ltd 5 years ago

Great Hub - some of the stories are amazing, aren't they? thanks for writing your hubs. Animal lovers should unite and those who don't - shame on them!

Be responsible so our animals can have healthy, love filled lives.

voted up and awesome

q


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

I have to agree Fay, I can't wait to be a Grandmother - everything won't be my fault anymore!!!! Enjoy them and return to parents-lol

Thanks for visiting !!!


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

Hi Chatkath:

I'm not exactly an animal lover, but I simply loved this hub, the pictures and the video was wonderful. As for mothering...I do think a great deal of it is instinct; you just know what to do. Grandmothering is better.:)

up/awesome and beautiful


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Yep, I know what you mean Sally, my son just got married and his wife who is 5 years younger is about 20 years ahead of him, in many ways, boys will be boys for quite awhile....I think animals are the same. Thanks for your comments !!


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

Nice hub and love the baby animal pictures. What is the line -- a face only a mom could love? My oldest is 24 (and a girl), and we have had our rocky times through the years. This mother's day was great. She is really growing up. The boys -- not yet. Ha!


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Thanks Alicia, I was wondering about that - I will have to find out what his future holds! Squirrel, Cat?? We'll have to see, stay tuned. Thanks for visiting.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a beautiful hub for Mother’s Day! The photos were so cute, and the video was very interesting. I wonder how similar to a cat the squirrel will be when he grows up? I hope we get to find out with another video in the future!


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Hello daydreamer - Nice to see you! Thank you for your visit. I also enjoy the beauty of animals, and especially appreciate the bond between the mama and baby, animals could probably teach us a few things in that department....


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Hi Audrey - as always it's a pleasure to see you, you always bring a smile to my face (it's contagious)! Yes the animals bring me such joy! They have so many wonderful and instinctive traits that really do just melt the heart! I have a homeless little tabby cat mama that I took in and she just had 4 babies. She is so proud and such a good mama at only 7 months old herself. Need a kitten anyone? :-)


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Greetings Nell, thank you so much for popping in, animals are always such an interesting topic (to me anyway)! They all seem to have their own unique characteristics, especially when caring for their young...like your blackbirds. I don't know much about bird behaviors only what I have seen with a few doves around, and that they seem to raise the babies as a couple and as lifetime mates (so adorable)!


daydreamer13 profile image

daydreamer13 5 years ago

Beautiful, just beautiful!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I might have guessed that you love animals ~ and you have really out done yourself with this marvelous hub. The photos are fantastic, and I spent a fair amount of time with each one. Brought tears to my eyes. We learn so much from animals. Yes, Kathy, this was a real treat and I thank you so very much. Rated up and useful, awesome and beautiful ~ just like you.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, first of all I loved the pictures! and then the video made me sit here and keep saying, 'Ahhhh'! lol I have noticed that some animals don't have the instinct, it is strange, and then others that you wouldn't think would, do! the one's that fascinate me are blackbirds and other small birds, where I live I have loads of Kites flying around, in fact they live in the tree behind my house, and the amount of times I have seen an 'air attack' by these smaller birds trying to protect their young, it is amazing! lovely hub, cheers nell


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Thanks you John, I am so glad you tolerate kitties (especially California ones with Female owners :-) I really do like dogs too but just don't have adequate space right now to keep one!

Glad you popped in!


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Thank you K9, Nice to see you!! Instinct is an interesting topic, of course animal behaviors usually are quite intriguing, in so many ways we humans could learn a few things!


johnwindbell profile image

johnwindbell 5 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

Not a cat lover per say, but I rate most animals higher than man, and have helped many a cat in my time, when my dog wasn't looking, however. If a babe I love has a cat then ok. But she has to live in CA.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California

Chatkath~ This is the cutest hub ever! Your take on motherhood has me in deep thought; in my humble opinion to be a mother takes a graceful heart and unconditional love, but a few of those resources you tell of can't hurt! Great work here!

Up and awesome.

K9


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Susan, it is so great to see you, I have slacked off on my hubs lately (as you can see...) but I have 3 on the back burner - just can't decide which to work on! Thanks so much for this Sunday visit with the animal moms! Talk soon!


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Thanks Kashmir- I am always game for great animal story, especially when babies are involved. Thank you for visiting!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Not sure how I missed this one but am glad that I stopped by your profile page today to see what you have been up to. Great article absolutely loved it.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Chatkath, a very beautifully written hub on motherhood, loved all the cute pictures and video to !

Awesome and vote up !!!


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Thank you Kathi, so nice to see you! It is sweet isn't it? The Mama cat brought me to tears too, I can't even imagine... In celebration of Mama Cat's devotion! Cheers!


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Thanks d. - Yes it is interesting how "most" animals do seem to have mothering instincts, while so many humans I've seen could sure take a few lessons from them on that topic. Thank you for commenting!!


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

Oh how sweet it is, cats are amazing creatures, the mother who rescued her kittens from a burning fire just makes me want to weep! Loved this Kathy


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south

loved the article. the pictures and video were wonderful also. I think the mother instinct in animals is naturally innate. However, i have seen some humans who have no interest in caring for their offspring at all.


Reynolds_Writing profile image

Reynolds_Writing 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

OMG.. So cute, Love the pictures.. Thanks for posting.

Marci R.

Rat Terrier Mom Blog

http://ratterriermom.com/


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Eiddwen, thanks so much for the visit! I will check your blogs out too and then follow, posting a link on mine (it will show a little preview of yours), us hubbers have to stick together! It is a bit much to do all this posting sometimes but writing does keep me sane(r) ...


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Absolutly brilliant and beautiul.

Thank you for sharing with us on here.

I also went on to your blogger site and left a message,but I couldn't find the link to follow you on there.

If you could just let me know how link on to link on to your blogs.

I also have four blogs on blogger, which i have neglected a little of late so this may give me the little push I needed to get back to them..

I push all the buttons for this one.

Take care

Eiddwen.


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Hey Jalus, it is so good to see you! The elephants are also my sister's absolute favorite creature, in fact she traveled all the way to Thailand primarily to see the elephants which I think is awesome, however expensive? :-D

Have a great Sunday!


Jalus 5 years ago

Great photos - especially the elephants! Thanks


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Thank you Kitty, I think animals have a way of doing that - I am so glad that you enjoyed!


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether

Awww super cute! This hub put a smile on my face instantly! Voted up and beautiful.


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Thanks for stopping in Prasetio, I enjoy your comments and it is always good to see you!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Nice information from you. My friend, you always come up with interesting topic like this one. Well done. You got my vote....

Prasetio


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Good to see you Genna! You are so right - I went to see the new Disney Film, African Cats over the weekend and no one wants to mess with that big Mama Cat, they have mothering down, and it is passed along with what they teach their young! We could learn plenty from them!

Thanks for your feedback!!


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Thanks Ethel, so glad you had a chance to stop in, I had this "epiphany" on Mother's Day, animal lover that I am, thinking about why some animals are such overly protective mamas, while others are seem to care less? I guess they are not so much different than us after all....


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Thank you Lucky, I knew my twin cat lover would appreciate this animal Mama hub, but I can't believe you helped the little baby squirrels. I would love to do that, although I can imagine how much work it is! I gave my now 13 year old cat "Baby" a bottle when she was just a few weeks old, but 3 squirrels, and they are now running free in the trees - so awesome! So glad you stopped and shared that story!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Yes, we are not the only mothers. I truly belive that all animals have maternal instincts. Tigresses teach their cubs to hunt and to survive, as well as fiercly protect them. There are so many loving, brave and compassionate stories about animals saving their young. There are times when I think we can much from them. Excellent Hub, Kath.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 5 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

What an unusal and fabulous mother's day hub. Those images are just so cute


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

UP AWESOME AND BEAUTIFUL Chatkath! Just wonderful! I love that you've written this. the video is amazing and, how great is that couple who save the kitties and now, just accept that they'll keep Rocky the squirrel, too. This is so neat! Last year, I rescued 3 baby squirrels who fell from the tree and came up to me as I was weeding. They huddled at my feet..so, I took them inside and nursed them using goat milk replacement formula...they survived and I've been able to glimpse them from time to time, as adults in the big trees around my place. This is just wonderful, CK!! Love it.


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Dearest Colin, thanks to you and your - oh so subtle support, I celebrate 100 followers, thanks to you - the most popular poet on the block - I know you are a great pet Papa! :-)


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Wow, K- I didn't know that about crocs, guess my research was lacking (LOL) but my brother was crazy about reptiles too! That is so cute that your daughter has taken on their "cause" so to speak!...I have always loved animals and I agree that we should probably look to them for parenting assistance! Thank you so much for reading and commenting!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

Hello Kathy - congratulations on 100 + hub followers - you really deserve it because your hubs are absolutely fantastic (hubfantastic) and you put a lot into your comments to other people - and this hub is no exception to your golden rule - I have two furried babies in my life as you know so I guess I'm 'father' - lol lol - and I know that anything to do with animals is a labor of love with you - and in this grand hub subject it really shows!!!


K. Burns Darling profile image

K. Burns Darling 5 years ago from Orange County, California

When she was five, my now fifteen year old daughter had an obsession with reptiles, but most especially with crocodiles, whom she felt were greatly misunderstood, and she became our resident expert on all thing crocodillian..(her made up word) Did you know, (I didn't) that crocodies are one of natures best mothers? They carry their babies around in their mouths, and form co-opt nurseries to keep them safe...Sometimes, animals are better parents than we humans. Great hub, entertaining and full of insight. I look forward to reading more by you!


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Maggie May-

It is a pleasure to see you! I really appreciate your wonderful feedback, I never really thought about it like that, but you are right...I am really discussing parenting...I think the instinctive mama cat really comes out with us single parents too, no doubt.

I best get to sleep, I will need that am coffee after all!

See you then :-)


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Thank you always exploring, nothing like a good animal mama story to give you that warm smile :-) Hope you enjoyed your Mother's Day!


Maggie-May profile image

Maggie-May 5 years ago from the Island of Cape Breton to the Eastern Shores near Halifax, NS

I just love how you have the ability to write something so sensitive and difficult to say about parenting by using cats as your example...All these words so true and very well said, thanks for sharing this great voted up, useful, awesome, and beautiful hub,

Have a great night, maybe see ya for coffee in the a.m., or on my spritzer stroll tomorrow night,

MM


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

What a beautiful story, the Mother cat who saved her babies. I enjoyed the video, so sweet. Thank you. You brought happy smiles.

Cheers


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Hi R - Your visits are always such a welcome surprise! I love your story, and although I used to have so many squirrels in the yard before moving, I never had the joy of seeing anything like that happen! Thanks for sharing with me :-)


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Thank you so much b. Malin for your visit and comments, I know I will thoroughly enjoy reading your Hubs and look forward to following you!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Our kitty adopted a baby squirrel that fell from a tree nest. The little thing followed her around until she couldn't resist it. Our kitty was young and confused by this intruder into her life, but her mothering instincts came through.

Neat hub. :)


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

What a Wonderful and Informative Hub, Chatkath. I really enjoyed looking at the videos too. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to following you, and thanks for becoming a follower of mine.


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California Author

Good morning Pamela, I know the little squirrel is so cute, not sure if all mama cats would have done the same...Thanks for stopping in-have a great week!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

That baby squirrel video is so cute.

Not all mothers have the instinct. I've seen my share of lousy mothers both human and animal and then there are others that take wonderful care of their own and even take in other babies like your story.

Not sure why some have it and some don't.

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