How Do Mother Cats Teach Their Kittens? – 7 Important Skills

Kittens learn things faster from a mother than from others – this is due to the bond and the intimate relationship they share.

Basic things kittens learn from their mother at a young age are essential before separation takes place.

An example of such things is how to provide food for themselves.

how do mother cats teach their kittens

Other things mother cats teach her kittens include taking care of and protecting themselves.

Due to this reason, the average age for separating kittens from their mother is about 12 weeks old.

We understand the significance of allowing kitty cats to stay more extended periods with their mother.

To know how mother cats teach their offspring, let’s see how the mothers teach them essential abilities.

1. Security And Protection

Mother cats are aware that they may not always be there to defend and protect their kittens. Especially after separation, so teaching them how to be safe is essential.

Kittens often feel free and comfortable approaching everyone and anything without being wary of any potential danger.

While socializing may seem reasonable, the mother cat usually teaches them to be cautious around strangers.

Mother cats teach their offspring how to behave around strange dogs or other cats.

They train them on how to protect themselves in case they need to run in times of threat.

2. Hunting

Learning how to hunt for food is one of the essential traits found in cats. They have this hunting instinct from birth.

Nevertheless, they still need guidance on how to hunt, and this is what the mother cat teaches them. The kittens learn hunting basics, such as where to find their prey and how to approach them.

Their mother teaches them how to catch the prey without making any noise to scare them away. The mother teaches her offspring how to hunt by first bringing a dead mouse.

She then eats it to show that it is good to eat a mouse.

Next, she allows them to play around with a dead mouse and eat with her. She brings a live mouse next and teaches them how to kill it with her assistance.

After a few lessons, she takes them for mice hunting. She may help them until they can hunt for themselves.

3. Identifying Edibles

Young cats often eat whatever they see when hungry. Sometimes, they even eat from their litters after urinating or defecating, which is harmful to their health.

Knowing what to eat is another vital thing mother cats teach their kitty cats.

Besides hunting for their food, kittens learn from their mother what to eat and what they should avoid.

The mother cat teaches them how to identify food that is appropriate for them to eat. She communicates this by hissing or gnarling at her young when approaching a particular type of food.

4. How To Excrete

Excreting at any place is a common habit of kittens. As they grow, she teaches them how to handle their excretions and use a litter tray properly.

More so, the mother cat teaches her young ones the right way to bury their waste. This helps to keep away wild, dominant cats and predators from the kittens.

5. Interacting With Others

Mother cats also teach their offspring how to interact and mingle with other young cats.

Before being separated from their mother, kittens learn how to communicate and live with other cats. They also learn how to share space and stay away from trouble.

Cats are not the most sociable of animals and struggle to dominate over territories. They learn how to adapt and interact with other cats in their environment.

Mother cats teach them how to hiss properly and gnarl. This helps the young cats to socialize and adjust to the new environment after separation from their mother.

6. Socialization

Kitty cats are born with a sharp set of teeth. Without proper training, they can hurt themselves or other cats around them.

This is important as they need to socialize and interact with other young cats.

Mother cats also instruct them on how to moderate their behavior and restrict themselves when playing.

Mother cats show their kittens how to use their claws and sharp teeth. It is essential, mainly when wrestling or playing, to prevent them from hurting themselves.

Sharp paws are essential when there is a need to protect themselves.

Hence, the mother instructs them on how to use their claws defensively.

7. Self-Cleaning

Queen cats also teach their young ones how to self-clean. Initially, they watch and try to emulate their mother as she does her self-grooming.

The mother cat first teaches them how to lick their paws, furs, and ears. Over time, they become great at self-grooming themselves, especially after eating.


Kittens should be allowed to stay longer with their mother to learn certain basic behaviors. Young cats tend to understand better when taught by their mother, rather than other adult cats.

There are several things that a mother cat teaches her offspring before they are taken away from her.

These abilities are required for their survival of the young cats without their mother. The teachings of a mother cat go a long way in helping kitty cats mature and grow.