Two unusual co-parents have melted hearts online after their photo went viral on Reddit this week.
Shared on Tuesday, Reddit user Lindsey, who uses the handle Lindseyh911, posted the photo showing two cats and their kittens, which has now received more than 34,000 upvotes and thousands of comments.
Posted with the caption: “Co-parenting at its finest!! 2 week old jellybeans, 6 week old toddlers and 2 moms loving and nurturing the nearest kitten”, the cat’s endearing story has brought joy to netizens.
The mother cats are Clementine and Cloud, and they each had their first litter recently. Clementine’s kittens are now 6 weeks old – called the toddlers, while Cloud’s kittens are 2 weeks old – called the jelly beans.
Lindsey, who lives in rural Ohio on a small hobby farm, said Newsweek: “We had no idea they would do this. Each litter had its own cat bed and Cloud combined the litters in the middle of the night into one bed and they have been a happy little family ever since. They take turns feeding of role any kitten is hungry and cuddles with those who are tired.”
A Redditor shared a story of a similar experience in the comments and wrote, “When I was a kid, we had two cats that gave birth in the same week, and a mom cat wasn’t interested in being mom, so the other took care of all the kittens. It’s so sweet to see how cats take care of kittens that aren’t their own.”
Sarah-Jane White, an animal behaviorist with Ruffle Snuffle, said Newsweek: “It is common for cats to co-parent. Co-parenting is when two animals work together to care for their young. Co-parenting has been observed in a variety of different animal species, including lions, gorillas and dolphins.
“Cats often form close bonds with their littermates, and those bonds can last well into adulthood. Cats that co-parent typically share responsibilities such as cleaning, feeding, and protecting kittens. believe that co-parenting offers many benefits to both parents and kittens, including a greater chance of survival.”
Redditors, delighted with the photo, flooded the comments. “It’s certified adorable,” wrote one commenter. “This is absolutely beautiful. So much love in one place,” another captioned the now-viral post. And another user wrote, “Too much cuteness here for my brain to understand properly!”
However, not all cats have the same maternal instincts, White explained: “Some cats may be willing to help if they see the kittens are in danger or need help, while others may not. not be interested at all in helping.It probably depends on the individual cat and the circumstances surrounding the situation.
“Whatever the reason, it’s clear that cats are able to form strong bonds with animals other than their own offspring.”
With ten cute kittens to care for, these co-parents have their hands full for now. “Two of the kittens will go live with family friends when they are old enough,” Lindsey said. “Any kitten that is not going to live with someone else will stay on our farm to be loved by us and hunt mice.”