Is there any scientific or anecdotal evidence that cats recognize other cats who closely share their DNA? As in, new kittens from the same mother and the such?
I'm suspecting that there might be such a thing, and what follows is my reasoning for doing so.
I adopted my (once feral) cat when she was about 6 months old, from the area around my summer home. Ever since she has lived with me in a city flat. About a month ago, I moved back to the summer home for a while, taking her along.
Interestingly, she seemed to instantly recognize her surroundings, from which she was taken almost a year ago: Once she was allowed to go outside the house, she went out as if she already owned the entire garden. She didn't take her time to explore gradually, as she seems to have done with pretty much every other new area she's been.
There is a number of feral cats in the area. One of them, about 5-6 months old, looks extremely alike my own cat, both in terms of fur length (she has medium-lengthed fur, which is unusual for feral cats in my country), color, markings and so on. It's not unlikely at all that they're sisters from another birth, or that the kitten is my cat's niece.
This kitten is the ONLY cat or kitten I've seen in the area that my cat doesn't feel threatened by or attack at all. Over the last few weeks, I've seen her get defensive or aggressive, or at least meow at every single other cat around. With her kitten double, she just stares with apparent curiosity.
I've heard stories of cats seemingly recognizing their owners' close family as soon as they meet them; my logic tells me it must be hormonal, or otherwise related to smell - naturally, siblings and the such smell alike. But can it happen the other way round?
I highly doubt my cat understands that this kitten looks like her, but do you think there's a chance she recognizes it through scent?