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We have a 7 month old male kitten/cat. His mother lives in the same apartment block and she and he have access to eachother's homes. My neighbour who owns the mother watches over our boy while we are at work which helps keep our minds at ease specially as we were easing him into the outside world.

Mummy cat was pregnant with her second litter (she will be spayed soon) when the neighbours left for an overseas trip a few days ago - we gladly agreed to cat-sit as we have done in the past. I didn't put too much thought into the fact that she would give birth while they were away, as the neighbours seemed to handle the first birth so effortlessly.

The 3 babies were born today (Sunday), and I just realised when we are away at work all day, our boy will be in the house with her and the babies. What are the chances he does not understand what the kittens are and will try and play with them? Alternatively, he understands what they are and will try and kill them to claim territory? Looking at the new babies colouring I am confident that they have been fathered by the same Tom that hangs around our area that fathered our boy, so our boy is 100% related to this new litter.

Our boy has not been neutered - I will be organising soon as soon as time and finances permit. His reaction to them so far has just been to slowly/timidly approach the box, peer over the edge, and then just as slowly retreat. He does this about once an hour, the rest of the time going about his usual business in other areas of the house - playing, napping, eating - without us even having to encourage him to be away from them. Is this a sign that he has no hostility towards them? I had always thought if a male cat were to kill kittens they would attempt to do it at first sight.

  • Is you boy old enough to father this litter? – Win.T Apr 9 '15 at 3:15
  • @Win.T he is 7 months old so I guess that's a no? – AnneFiji Apr 12 '15 at 17:45
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    7 months old is a definite possible for fathering the litter I once adopted a kitten whose 6 month old father had mated with his own mother, because their owner assumed it couldn't happen. – user10093 Aug 18 '17 at 13:21
  • I have 2 males one is netured and the other is the father of this litter and mommy kittie doesnt seem really intrested in her baby when hes around i started staying hime mire due to the fact i tbought hed hurt the baby now the baby is 19 days old and mom seems to show more agression and rough house wirh it then he does are these two safe to be around the kitten – Krissie Simmons Jul 29 '18 at 6:49
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A more likely issue is that the mother will beat the hell out of the boy for being in the neighborhood of the kittens.

In general, male cats aren't lions and aren't as territorial about little kittens.

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    He started slipping into their box after a few days and Mum was fine with it, would wash him along with the new babies. His behaviour while not aggressive, was not ideal.. he would lick her back... then start licking the kitten nearest to her... then would slowly open his mouth and move it over the kitten ... as if to slowly give it a big bite... at which point we would move him. He also batted at them a few times with claws out. So we kept her and babies locked in a separate room, and the new owners are home now, so this isnt an issue anymore. – AnneFiji Apr 12 '15 at 17:50
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This may be the reason for his opened mouth (smelling something), and you pulling him away in such a new confusing event for him may just get him stressed more and so swat at them. The mother knows if he's a threat and will beat him down to ground if he wanted to hurt them. He may swat at them just because he isn't sure what they are yet, and if the mother doesn't mind it it's probably because she knows that. Or at least she knows he doesn't intend to kill them.

And him retreating every time he approaches means he is aware that something is not right and watching out for any threat that may come his way if he's done something wrong. This means he is being careful of the mother. And them licking each other means they understood each other's positions, accepted it and are now friends. No problems. And since it's the mother's second birth giving, she should be mature enough to be careful for the babies. She won't be ignoring them or be stupid and let a threat hurt them even if she's very sweet and/or likes the animal approaching. In other words she is sure he won't hurt them. This gives relief. However, the kittens shouldn't ever be left alone with the male cat if you have any doubts of him hurting them. He may not hurt them when the mother is around, but no one knows what happens when she isn't.

Another good thing for you to know is that cats aren't like lions as one of the answers said. Only the most dominant of them would kill kittens. And after reading what you said about the male cat, chances are he's isn't one of them.

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